Buffalo Hump

Buffalo Hump is the name ascribed to a condition characterized by the accumulation of fat at the upper back and behind the neck. It is a kind of lipodystrophy which involves changes in the production, distribution and storage capacity of dorsocervical fat pad or the buffalo hump . A Hump back on neck is mostly a result of excessive secretion of glucocorticoid or cortisol hormones by the adrenal glands. The over secretion of cortisol hormone is known as Cushing’s syndrome. It may also be triggered by other underlying causes.

Picture 1 – Buffalo Hump on Neck
Source – www.americanhealthandbeauty.com

Buffalo Hump on back of neck may be a symptom of other hidden causes but may not cause serious side-effects. This reason necessitates the need for immediate medical diagnosis so as to detect any serious cause which may require prompt medical treatment.

Buffalo Hump Symptoms

The most common symptom of Buffalo Hump disease is the elevation of the hump over the neck, which may seem pretty odd and unusual. Other symptoms may include a bulging out belly in case of, accumulation of fat in the face and swelling of the same, buttocks, and limbs; enlargement of the breast and chest, severe obesity, high blood sugar and cholesterol level, and lumps of fat known as lipomas that occur irrespective of body parts. All these symptoms are specific to Buffalo Hump HIV AIDS. It may also appear as a moon face buffalo hump.

Those suffering from Cushing’s Buffalo Hump, gain unwanted weight, have to run to the toilet quite often, delayed puberty in addition to the aforementioned symptoms. Along with this, those suffering from adrenocortical carcinoma may exhibit fatigue, muscle cramps, and even an enlarged organ.

Muscle cramps in women may actually be triggered by menstrual problems. This is one of the basic causes of their weakness. Hypertension is a common sign of buffalo hump. But when hump bull is associated with osteoporosis, scoliosis or curvature of the spine may be a serious and noticeable symptom.

Buffalo Hump Causes

The causes of Buffalo Hump may actually be grounded on very many underlying causes. The most common cause of buffalo hump is hormonal imbalance and excessive accumulation of fat. The hormonal imbalance is basically caused due to the elevated levels of cortisol released by adrenal glands. Buffalo Hump causes actually include medicinal side-effects of oral corticosteroid drugs such as prednisone, hydrocortisone, and certain AIDS medications. One caused due to side-effects is in fact known as Prednisone Buffalo hump.

Glandular or problems related to endocrine glands such as adrenal tumours, and adrenal hyperplaxia. Problems related to pituitary glands such as its dysfunction and growth of tumours may contribute to buffalo hump pain.

Diabetes may be a prime reason for buffalo hump obesity. Osteoporosis may also be cited as a cause of buffalo hump on back of neck, which is known as Kyphoscoliosis. It leads to the weakening and thinning of the bones. This leads to an abnormal shape of the neck. Most of all, lipodystrophy is one of the basic cause of buffalo hump among most patients.

Buffalo Hump Diagnosis

The diagnosis of buffalo hump is conducted at first by a physical examination of the hump and an enquiry of the nature and kind of symptoms and one’s medical history.

Some of the tests that are recommended include blood count, bone mineral density test, blood and urine cortisol test, and dexamethasone suppression test. Other imaging tests that are conducted include bronchography, arteriography,  a CT scan of the head, adrenal glands, pituitary glands, and the abdomen; a chest X-ray, an MRI of the skull and a visual field exam.

Buffalo Hump Treatment

The treatment for buffalo hump depends on its underlying cause and entails dietary changes, buffalo hump surgery or removal, buffalo hump exercises, and hormonal therapy.

The primary buffalo hump home remedy is the restriction of drug intake or reduction of its dosage. Next is undertaking a healthy dietary plan that aids the toning and shaping of the body by the loss of extra fat. This basically helps in reducing the size of the hump.

In case of HIV Buffalo Hump, the replacement of protease inhibitors like stavudine, with non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors may help in the treatment for buffalo hump. However, one may have to resort to a buffalo hump surgery which is aimed at HIV buffalo hump removal.

Buffalo Hump Surgery

Cosmetic surgery aimed at buffalo hump removal has been promoted and practiced by eminent specialists such as Dr. Harvey Abrams. This is an option that is mostly adopted in case when the hump becomes irritatingly large. One can also go for liposuction buffalo hump removal which has received an impetus by eminent plastic surgeons like Dr. Gregory Mueller. A quite advanced form of liposuction is the one conducted by VASER Lipo Technology. But this surgical method to remove a hump bull is still to gain acceptance by as it may have severe repercussions for those suffering from HIV AIDS.

Buffalo Hump Exercises

One may not have to go for a surgical removal of buffalo hump, and may naturally treat the humped neck by exercising regularly and following a few preventive measures. Aerobic exercises are the best recommended for treating humped back or neck. It also helps in controlling the effects of lipodystrophy, which is a significant cause of the same. Moreover, exercising with the help of weights helps in muscle strengthening and burns greater amount of fats in the body.

One may also undertake some exercises that aim at strengthening the neck and also the upper back, shoulders and arms. Exercises using a barbell and it constant repetition aids the proper treatment of buffalo hump. This form of exercise proves highly beneficial for cases related to neck knots, and at the same time helps in relieving stress.

The treatment of buffalo hump must be corroborated with some preventive measures such as avoiding unfettered work in a single posture, taking breaks, and keeping a distance from monitors and other objects that may strain one’s vision. Working with objects which abide by ergonomics help in comforting one’s professional life without causing much physical agony and getting over stressful activities. Moreover, it gives respite from the social embarrassment that is associated with an odd looking buffalo hump.

Buffalo Hump Pictures

To get an idea as to how odd does a humped back or neck look, one may have a glimpse at some of the buffalo hump images provided.

Picture 2 – Buffalo Hump Image
Source – wilshireaesthetics

Picture 3 – Buffalo Hump Photo
Source – hivandhepatitis


  1. John LUbumbe March 1, 2012
  2. Namrata Chauhan August 4, 2012
  3. Kaylan Faust August 25, 2012
  4. jacqui June 27, 2017

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