About the Idea That You’re Growing Horns From Looking Down at Your Phone … Neck strain and bone spurs are certainly possible from poor posture, but some experts doubt that cellphones are the only culprit for this shocking medical discovery

growing horns from cellular use – An X-ray of a 28-year-old man, with an arrow pointing at a bony bump on his skull. The image was included in a 2018 study by two Australian researchers linking bone spurs in the skull to too much time spent bent over cellphones and other devices. Shahar and Sayers/Scientific Reports

You may be hunched over your phone right now, worrying about reports that young people are growing horns on their skulls from spending too much time hunched over smartphones.

O. K., cellphones are making us rude and inattentive, but medical experts don’t totally buy the idea that technology is also warping 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 a third of an inch to more than an 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.

The researchers could not be immediately reached for comment on Thursday.

Experts give the report mixed reviews, noting that the study is based on looking back at X-rays taken in the past, lacks a control group and cannot prove cause and effect. In addition, the subjects were people who were having enough neck trouble to visit a chiropractic clinic and require X-rays, so it’s not clear what bearing the results have on the rest of the population.

At the same time, it’s well known that people who spend a lot of time with their necks craned forward can develop neck and back problems that cause stiffness, pain and headaches.

People who spent their days leaning downward over a laptop or phone sometimes refer to those aches as tech-neck or text-neck.

Bending the head forward for long periods of time could, in theory, cause a bone spur to form, said Evan Johnson, an assistant professor and director of physical therapy at NewYork-Presbyterian Och Spine Hospital. In that position, the ligament that helps hold up the head pulls against the skull, and “the bone will adapt by forming a small mound or protuberance,” Dr. Johnson said.

The bone spur itself “is really a big ‘So what?’ moment,” Dr. Johnson said. “The fact that you have this little bony projection in your skull, that means nothing.”

He said a more worrisome finding of the study, from angles measured on the X-rays, was that some of the subjects’ necks had settled into an abnormally bent posture.

If technology is causing that postural change across the population, Dr. Johnson said, “It’s not a small thing. We may see more and younger arthritic changes in the neck and disc degeneration and more tension in the neck.”

David 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 J. Langer, the 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,” Dr. 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.

“Head horns? Come on.”

A Don Juravin review based on source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/20/health/horns-cellphones-bones.html


Add yours

  1. We as people have the bad habit of misusing and over-using everything we get our hands onto, may that be cellphones or newspapers in the past decade, we take unexpected advantage out of everything. And anything which is misused is harmful for us, in this era, they are electronics. This article is just about that and Juravin did a great job on raising awareness on this matter.


  2. I used to suffer a lot from neck pain but not due to using mobile but due to reading a lot with the neck bent down.
    Reading while lying down causes eyesight problems. Now I don’t know which position to choose.


  3. Mr. Don is doing a great job. I agree with on this matter, I believe the Millenials need to pay attention to other areas of life and not necessarily social media. Technology has in no doubt made life more comfortable, also at the same time, it has made relationship and love among people and family members weak. Let’s use technology with caution, so it does not end up using us.


  4. We as a species are a dangerous one, particularly because we have no native weapons. Our fists are just barely (except for very large, strong, or well-trained people) enough to protect us from other humans. Our teeth are just for chewing (unlike chimps and gorillas, who have hardcore fighting canines), so what we have done as a species is arm ourselves.
    Check this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Gv5iUxD_Po


  5. We as a species are a dangerous one, particularly because we have no native weapons. Our fists are just barely (except for very large, strong, or well-trained people) enough to protect us from other humans. Our teeth are just for chewing (unlike chimps and gorillas, who have hardcore fighting canines), so what we have done as a species is arm ourselves.


  6. This is a rare problem in the world. Every small child is using cell phones and they are not focusing on there studies. I agreed with this article. You are doing a good work for the humanity
    You are doing a very nice work Juravin. Your work is accurate. I agreed with you and your this article.


  7. Yes. This article is usually very right. Because with the cause of mobile, childs are not focusing on there studies. Cell phones are taking so much time of all the people.
    You are really doing a good-work Juravin. I am agreed with your work.


  8. You are saving life of so many people Juravin. You are such a kind and good human being to this Earth.
    Juravin you are superb and so is your work.


  9. This is really a serious problem of this developing world. Cell phones are taking the place of so many things in our lives and not only things but family members. Our society really need to take a step to change this kind of lifestyle.
    You are doing a wonderful work Juravin. I love your work: https://juravin.com


  10. It has always been an interesting experience to such diverse topic in your writings Juraving. You have got such a good taste of writing. I love your research work every time. I wanna read more and more from you.


  11. Don’t tell me Juravin. Are we really going to get horns over our heads in near future because of the excess use of cell phones and other accessories? You have made me worried for my habit of excessive usage of cell phones.
    I am thankful to you for warning me before having any trouble in my life. I feel like Jesus have sent you to help us. You are amazing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: