WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- The culture of younger generations being too dependent on smartphones, constantly bending the neck to uncomfortable angles while using smart devices, is what causes our body grows spikes on the neck as a response.
- Study shows that this is prevalent to younger generations ages 18-30 compared to older generations.
- This rarely causes medical issues, but it is best to always have a good posture.
Smartphones appear to be not only changing our lifestyle but also our body. It is believed that the bony skull bump–external occipital protuberance–is a weird, bony spike, just above the neck sometimes get so large it can be felt by pressing the fingers on the base of the skull–is caused by the long hours we spend scrolling through our smartphones.
Dr. David Shahar, a health scientist at the University of The Sunshine Coast, Australia, told the BBC in an interesting feature about the changing human skeleton, that he noticed this on his patients, especially the younger crowd. As a clinician for 20 years, only in the last decade did he observed that the growth on the skull is increasingly recurring on his patients.
It is not yet clear what the cause-effect relationship is, but it is said that the spike possibly comes from constantly bending the neck at uncomfortable angles to look at smart devices. The human head weighs about 10 lbs. (4.5 kilograms), and bending it to different angles can strain the neck — it is the crick people sometimes get, known as “text neck.”
Shahar told the BBC, text neck increases pressure on the joint where the neck muscles attach to the skull, and the body copes up by developing a new bone thus the spiky bump, that distributes the weight of the head on a large area.
In the Journal of Anatomy, 2016, Shahar and a colleague studied 218 young patients, ages 18 to 30. Regular spikes had to be at least 0.2 inches (5 millimeters), and enlarged spikes measured 0.4 inches (10 mm).
The doctors found, 41% had an enlarged spike and 10% had an especially large spike measuring at least 0.7 inches (20 mm), The largest spike was from a man, 1.4 inches (35.7 mm) bump. Enlarged spikes concluded to be more common in males as compared to females.
Another study was done to 1,200 respondents, this time changing the age range from 18-86. 33% of the group had enlarged spikes. It was found out that the spikes are more common to ages 18-30 than the older generation.
The bony spikes are likely to be a thing from here on. Nothing to be scared though because they rarely cause a medical issue. However, if you feel discomfort, try improving your posture.
Source: Live Science