Young 'growing horns' due to smartphone use
The over-use of smartphones and hand-held devices such as games consoles may be causing "horn-like" growths on the back of the skulls of young people, scientists say.
Researchers at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, took X-rays of 218 people aged between 18 and 30 and found that four in 10 had developed a bony lump of up to 1.2 inches just above the top of the neck.
A second study of 1,000 people found the strange growths were larger and more common with young adults than with the older population, suggesting they are a recent phenomenon.
Dr David Shahar said the bony growths were once exclusive to older patients, resulting from the slumping that comes with age.
But he was surprised to find so many growths in younger people. Testing including MRI scans and blood samples ruled out the possibility that the growths were the result of genetic factors or inflammation. Instead the researchers believe they are linked to stress on the neck ligaments and tendons caused by the head being tilted down for extended periods.
Dr Shahar said the findings highlighted the need for preventive intervention through posture modification when using hand-held technologies. (© Daily Telegraph London)