Excessive use of smartphones has led to an increase in young people developing horn-like bony growth on the back of the skull, surveys have found.
These bony spurs, also known as entesophytes, are abnormal bone projections that may form at the attachment of a tendon or ligament.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, involved more than 200 radiographs of people between the ages of 18 and 30.
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It was found that 41% had developed a bony lump of 10 to 30 millimeters in the back of the skull.
Additional tests, including MRI scans and blood tests, ruled out the possibility that the growths were the result of genetic factors or inflammation.
Enthesophytes are typically seen in older people with poor posture and are the bone's response to stress, according to the study.
The researchers explained that in this case, abnormal growths appear to be caused by long-term pressure on the skeleton as the head moves forward while using smartphones for long periods.
"Our hypothesis is that the sustained increase in load on this muscle fixation is due to the weight of the head that moves forward with the use of modern technologies for long periods of time," said David Shahar, who completed his doctorate at USC at the time . of the study.
"Moving the head forward results in transferring the weight of the head from the bones of the spine to the muscles at the back of the neck and head.
"The increased load stimulates remodeling in both the tendon and the bony ends of the implement. The tendon tendon in the bone becomes wider to distribute the load on a larger surface area of the bone."
While bone growth is not a problem in itself, it is a sign of sustained terrible posture, which could cause chronic pain in the long run, according to the researchers.
Dr. Shahar said the findings highlighted the need for prevention intervention through the modification of posture when using hand technologies.
The research was published in 2016 but resurfaced after a BBC article published last week mentioned it as an example of how the human skeleton is still evolving.
Some industry commentators have questioned the study, however, pointing out that there is nothing to prove the connection between the use of the phone and the size of these so-called "horns."
There is also no way to compare the prevalence of these bony growths with the pre-smartphone era, so it is possible that they are only more common than previously thought.
There are already several medical ailments related to the excessive use of computers and smartphones, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and eye fatigue.
There is also a condition known as "tech neck" which causes the neck to invert its curve from a curve backwards to a forward curve, creating tension in the neck and spine.
If you are concerned about the effects of using the technology on your health, you should talk to your doctor and consider checking your posture and moderating your screen time.
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