Mobile technology has changed our lives – how we read, work, message, trade and date. But we already know this.
What we have not yet understood is how small machines that precede us shape our skeletons, which not only changes the behavior we show, but also the organs of our lives.
New research in biomechanics suggests that young people are developing the horns behind the tips – bone fractures from the front of the head that move the weight to the muscles of the spine and cause the tendons and ligaments that link bone growth. Accumulation weight transfer can be compared to how the skin thickens as a callus in response to pressure or abrasion.
The result is a hook or hornlike feature that extends from the outside of the skull just above the neck.
In academic studies, a couple of researchers at Sunshine Coast University in Queensland, Australia, claim that the presence of bone growth in younger adults indicates a shift in body position due to the use of modern technology. They say that smartphones and other handheld devices distort human form and require users to bend their heads forward and understand what happens in miniature displays.
The researchers said their discovery is the first documentary of physiological or skeletal adaptation to the penetration of advanced technology into everyday life.
Health experts warn of "text on the neck," and doctors have begun to treat a "text line" that is not a clearly defined condition, but resembles a carpal tunnel syndrome. However, previous studies have not linked the use of the phone to deep bone changes in the body.
"An important question is what will be the future of young adults in our research when the development of the degenerative process is evident as early as their lives?" Ask the authors in their latest paper published in Nature Research's peer-reviewed open scientific reports. The study was published last year but has received new attention after the BBC's publication last week, which discusses: "How modern life changes the skeleton of man."
Since then, unusual assemblies have attracted the attention of the Australian media and have been named differently as "main horns", "phone bones", "spikes", or "strange bumps".
Each is a suitable description, says paper first author David Shahar, a chiropractor who recently graduated as a doctor of biomechanics at Sunshine Coast.
"It's like anyone's imagination," he told The Washington Post. "You may say it seems to be a bird's beak, a horn, a hook."
However, it is named, Shahar said, the formation is a sign of a serious postural deformity that can cause chronic headaches and pain in the back and neck.
He noted that some of his findings were amazing in bone size, believed to be large if their length was 3 or 5 millimeters. Growth was included in the study only if it was measured at 10 millimeters or about two fifths of an inch.
The danger is not the head horn itself, said Mark Sayers, Assistant Professor of Biomechanics at Sunshine Coast, who served as Shahar supervisor and co-author. Rather, formation is "something disgusting about the rest of the world, a sign that the head and neck are not in the right configuration," he told The Washington Post.
Their work began with an X-ray image of a neck taken in Queensland about three years ago. The pictures took part of the skull, including the area where the bone results, called enthesophytes, form the back of the head.
Unlike the conventional perception of hornlike structures that are believed to rarely grow, and largely from long-suffering sufferers, Shahar noticed that they were prominently displayed on younger individuals with X-rays, including those with no apparent symptoms.
The first paper of the couple, published in the Journal of Anatomy in 2016, took a sample of 218 X-rays from 18 to 30-year-olds, suggesting that bone growth was observed in 41 percent of young adults, much more than previously thought. The feature was more common among men than among women.
The impact, called the expanded outer shell protrusion, was so rare in the past that Sayers said that one of its early observers opposed the end of the 19th century against its title and claimed that there was no real projection.
That is no longer the case.
The second paper, published in Clinical Biomechanics in the spring of 2018, used a case study of four teenagers claiming that head horns were not caused by genetic factors or inflammation, but instead showed a mechanical load on skull and neck muscles.
The paper published in the previous month was used to draw a sample of 1,200 X-rays in Queensland, aged 18–86. The researchers found that the size of bone growth is 33% of the population, actually decreasing with age. This discovery was in stark contrast to the existing scientific understanding that had long held that the slow and degenerative process occurred in the context of aging.
Instead, they found that bone incentives were greater and more common among young people. In order to understand what the impact is, they looked at recent developments – the circumstances of the last 10 or 20 years that changed how young people keep their bodies.
"The development of these formations takes a long time, so those who suffer from them are likely to have highlighted this area after their early childhood," Shahar explained.
The type that the bone needs to penetrate into the tendon, showed him hand-held devices that bring the head forward and down, and require the use of muscle behind the skull to prevent the head from falling on the chest. "What happens to technology?" he said. "People are uninhabited, they put their heads forward, look at their equipment. This requires an adaptive process to spread the load."
The long-term development of bone growth suggests that sustained improvement in position can prevent it from short and even counteract its associated effects.
The answer is not necessarily expelling technology, Sayers said. At least there are less drastic actions.
"We need survival mechanisms that reflect the importance of technology in our lives," he said.
Shahar puts pressure on people to take a prayer position when they became dental hygiene in the 1970s, when personal care included brushing and floss every day. Schools should teach simple positioning strategies, he said. Anyone using the technology during the day should get used to re-calibrating their position at night.
As a motivator, he suggested turning the hand to the bottom of the skull. Those with hornlike qualities can feel it.