We’ve all heard about the potential health risks associated with cell phones: the radiation they emit might cause cancer, blue light from your phone could damage your eyesight, and bending your neck in such a way could lead to a condition known as text neck.
A recent study suggests cell phones might also be responsible for the early development of a small horn at the base of a person’s skull.
Researchers in Australia recently published a study that showed evidence of the development of horn-like bone spurs in young adults.
The fact that humans have these bone spurs is not news itself – they were first reported in 1875 – it’s the idea that so many more people are showing signs of them within the past decade.
“Now that we see them… growing massively it’s quite surprising, particularly finding them in the young generation when large bone spurs don’t normally form before the age of 40 according to the literature,” Dr. David Shahar, a musculoskeletal researcher at University of the Sunshine Coast who co-wrote a study told Today.
Researchers believe the horn-like bone spur forms when the neck spends an extended period of time either tilted, extended, or shifted forward. Basically anytime the weight of a person’s head shifts forward that weight is placed on muscle instead of bone.
“Therefore, there is extra stress on the insertion of the muscles on the skull and therefore the adaptation process is occurring where bone deposition is enhanced,” Shahar said. “The footprint of that insertion into the bone increases to spread the load on a greater surface area and a result of that, we see those bone formations there.”
In order to come to their conclusion, researchers studied X-rays, MRIs, and blood tests of 218 Australians who fit in the young adult category (18 to 30 years old).
They found that 41 percent of participants had a horn-like bone spur that ranged in size from 10 to 30 millimeters.
Shahar made sure to note that in most cases bone formations measure only a few millimeters, but the ones discovered during the study were much larger.
New research suggests that young people are developing horn-like spikes at the back of their skulls – bone spurs caused by the forward tilt of the head from phone use.
While the thought of a horn growing at the base of your skull might sound unsettling, experts say the bone spur is nothing to worry about. It’s your posture you should be more concerned about.
“If people are worried that this is starting to happen, you can work with a physical therapist to learn exercises to strengthen the muscles that help with their posture,” Dr. David Geier, an orthopedic surgeon, told NBC News.
“We need to get up and moving. We have got to get people more active for a number of reasons. The sedentary aspect of this is huge and these devices are killing us in that respect.”
Do you suffer from any pain associated with your use of technology?
Maybe it’s time to take a break.
Share this post and see if your family and friends will join you in putting down your phone and sitting up straight.