Video transcript

It’s long been known bones are malleable – They adapt to their environment.
So how are our bones adapting to modern life? Are our skulls changing shape due to our use of technology?

An Australian study of 218 X-rays of people aged between 18 – 30 found that 41% had a horn-like lump at the base of their skull. This bony lump measured between 10-30mm in length.

The researchers hypothesised that the lump is due to poor posture. And that the poor posture is due to the use of handheld devices such as smart phones and iPads. It’s known as “text neck”. Having the weight of the skull shift forward over prolonged period … transfers the load from the spine to the muscle attachments of the neck and skull. The result of the pull of the muscles on the bone results in the laying down of extra bone to cope with the stress.

This bony “horn” is not in itself a danger. What’s of concern is the sustained poor posture and the associated health risks such as:

  • headaches
  • neck and lower back pain
  • foot pain
  • fatigue.

To limit these risks…Reduce the amount of time spent on handheld devices. Keep your head and chest upright when looking at your screen. Do upper chest and neck exercises. Use a specially contoured pillow to support your back when sitting or your neck when lying down.

Last Reviewed: 18/11/2019

myDr