This might sound bizarre. But hear us out. Chances are, you are reading this hunched over your phone right now – which might the reason there reports about young children growing horns because they spend too much time hunched over their smartphones.
Thanks to smartphones, we’ve stopped being the social beings we’re supposed to be. Cellphones have made us rude and inattentive. But according to medical experts, cell phones are not the reason technology has warped our skeletons.
The area of concern is the back of the skull where it meets the neck, a place that already has a slight, normal bump that’s easy to feel. Two Australian researchers say they have found enlargements, or bone spurs in that region, anywhere from 1/3 inch to more than 1 inch long.
Recent articles by the BBC and The Washington Post have cited a 2018 study in the journal Scientific Reports saying that these bone growths have been turning up more often than expected in people aged 18 to 30. The study suggests that “sustained aberrant postures associated with the emergence and extensive use of hand-held contemporary technologies, such as smartphones and tablets,” are to blame. The authors are a chiropractor, David Shahar, and an associate professor of biomechanics, Mark G.L. Sayers, both from the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia.
avid Putrino, director of rehabilitation innovation at Mount Sinai Health, said the connection between a bent neck and the bone spurs seemed real. And he said the growing bones of adolescents were more likely than those of adults to change shape or form spurs in response to increased forces.
“But I don’t think we’re at a point yet where we can blame this on cellphone use,” he said.
Dr. David Langer, chairman of neurosurgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, said, “It doesn’t make a bit of sense to me.”
He said disc problems were well known to occur in people who spend a great deal of time looking down with their necks bent, surgeons among them.
“You’re more likely to get degenerative disc disease or misalignment in your neck than a bone spur growing out of your skull,” Langer said. “I haven’t seen any of these, and I do a lot of X-rays. I hate being a naysayer off the bat, but it seems a little bit far-fetched.