Update - 3:44PM ET 6/21/19: This article has been updated to reflect skepticism of the claims made by researchers and any direct causation with the symptom of bone spurs in the subjects of the study.
Some recent biomechanics research suggests that young people are developing horn-like spikes at the back of their skulls due to excessive mobile phone use. These bone spurs are reportedly caused by the forward tilt of the head, which shifts the weight from the spine to the muscles in the back of the head. That tilt is reportedly causing bone growth in the connecting tendons and ligaments. The scientists involved in the study claim that the weight transfer that causes the build-up is comparative to how the skin thickens to form a callus in response to pressure or abrasion.
The authors of the study say that the result of the forward tilt and resulting abrasion for some is a hook or horn-like bone spur that juts out from the skull just above the neck. Researchers at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia say that the prevalence of the bone in younger adults points to shifting body posture thanks to smartphones and tablets, but the studies findings have been called into question. These researchers claim that their discovery marks the first documentation of skeletal adaptation to the penetration of technology into the daily lives of humans. The data as it is presented, however, doesn't necessarily corroborate that claim.
Bone growth isn't the only ailment that has potentially surfaced due to the widespread use of smartphones and technology. Health experts have also warned of "text neck" and "Texting Thumb." The latter of which is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, a type of repetitive stress injury. The bone spurs the researchers have featured in their study are described as large if they measure between three and five mm in length.
The researchers say that the horn is no danger in and of itself, but the formation could be a sign that the head and neck aren't in the proper configuration. This structure in the past has only shown up on older people who have suffered a prolonged strain that affected their posture. Researchers suggest that the bone growth can reportedly be seen in 41% of young adults 18 to 30 years of age.
Images, credit: Nature