New Delhi: New research in biomechanics suggests that young people are developing hornlike spikes at the back of their skulls – bone spurs caused by the forward tilt of the head, which shifts weight from the spine to the muscles at the back of the head, causing bone growth in the connecting tendons and ligaments.
The result is a hook or hornlike feature jutting out from the skull, just above the neck.
Researchers at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, argue that the prevalence of the bone growth in younger adults points to shifting body posture brought about by the use of modern technology. They say smartphones and other handheld devices are contorting the human form, requiring users to bend their heads forward to make sense of what’s happening on the miniature screens.
The researchers said their discovery marks the first documentation of a physiological or skeletal adaptation to the penetration of advanced technology into everyday life. But prior research has not linked phone use to bone-deep changes in the body.
The formation of these horns or bone spurs is a sign of a serious deformity in posture that can cause serious headaches, pain in the neck and upper back.
One of the striking findings of the research was the size of the bone spurs, which are thought to be large if they measure 3 or 5 millimetres in length. An outgrowth was only factored into their research if it measured 10 millimetres, or about two-fifths of an inch, Washington Post reported.
However, controlling one’s sitting posture can stop this and ward off its associated effects, the study said. Getting enough sleep and lying down in proper positions are also important to compensate for the time spent staring at the phone during the day, it added.