According to a story published Thursday morning in the Washington Post, researchers at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, have published research suggesting that some people between the ages of 18 and 25 are developing small bone spurs, or enthesophytes, at the backs of their necks as a result of weight being shifted from the spine to the muscles at the back of the head.
(Scroll down for a video version of the story)
Because such bone growth is often caused by tilting the head forward, study authors David Shahar and Mark Sayers speculated in a 2016 paper that they may be caused by “the increased use of hand-held technologies from early childhood.”
Translation: If you text a buttload when you’re a tween/teen, you might get a little more skull than you bargained for!
According to Dr. Steven Shoshany, a chiropractor based in New York, so-called “text horn” is absolutely a thing. “As a practicing chiropractor, it’s an epidemic. I see it all the time on X-rays,” he says, estimated that “40 to 50%” of his clientele has some version of it.
He says it’s particularly common for young people to develop it because their bones are more malleable than those of adults. “We’re seeing children as young as 10 developing this,” he said. “And it’s something we’re seeing more and more.”
Shoshany is unequivocal that he believes excessive phone use is the culprit, and recommends that parents limit screen time for their children to one to two hours a day as a result.
If you’re curious as to whether or not you’ve developed so-called skull horns, Shahar says it’s easy to find out: you simply can reach toward the back of the base of your skull and feel whether you have a slight protuberance there.