Excessive Use Of Smartphones By Young People Lead To Horn-Like Bumps On Skulls

A study that was published last year and which has been taken notice of recently claims that the long time extended use of communication technologies such as the use of smartphones and tablets could be causing the development of  horn-like bumps on the skulls of the younger lot of users of such technology.

This somewhat bizarre discovery was made while examining 218 X-rays of people aged between 18 and 30 by a couple of researchers at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia. The examination revealed that a spur at the base of their skulls had been developed by more than 40 per cent of the people in the X-rays.

One of the possible reasons for this bizarre formation on the head in which the formation of bone spurs in the skull, located just above the neck, could be the constant forward tilting of the head, specifically because of the extended use of mobile phones and other mobile devices, said the two researchers Dr. David Shahar and Associate Professor Mark Sayers. The spurs on the skull varied from in size between 10 and 31 millimeters.

Typically, those elderly people who are hunched over exhibit such forms of spurs on their skulls. In such people, such bone development happens because of long-term poor posture and because of significant stress loads on their bones. However the resreach conducted by the two researchers indicated that there are much higher chances of development of the protrusions among people who are aged between 18 and 30 years compared to those in their 30s, 40s or 50s.

People who regularly use smartphones and tablets have to crane their necks forward and hold their heads forward because they have to hunch over smartphones and tablets. This causes the problem because of the average weight of the head which is around 10 pounds. That is as heavy as that of a large watermelon, said Shahar in an article to the BBC last week which has drawn widespread attention in the work.

Men were more prone to this phenomenon compared to women, the researchers said. They assume that usage of devices such as smartphones and tablets are done by men for longer periods of time because of activities like gaming or sports events while usage of such devices are for much smaller durations of time because they use them for other forms of social activities.

The research result however is not aimed to completely write off use of technology, according to Shahar. He suggested in an interview with The Washington Post that those individuals who are prone to make use of such technology during the day time should also re-calibrate their posture during the night. Shahar suggested reaching a hand around to the lower rear of the skull. Those who have the horn like structures on their skulls can actually feel it that way, he said.

(Adapted from CBSNews.com)

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