Young people are growing bony bumps at the base of their skulls, Australian researchers have found - and smartphones could be to blame.
The protrusions, just above the neck, were found in X-ray images of adult Australians, with researchers analysing 1,200 of the images.
The researchers found that 41% of people aged between 18 and 30 had developed the spurs, 8% above average.
Lead author David Shahar said, ‘I have been a clinician for 20 years, and only in the last decade, increasingly I have been discovering that my patients have this growth on the skull.’
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Some of the bony bumps were smaller than half an inch, but others were up to 1.1 inches in length, the researchers said.
The researchers have suggested that the spurs could be related to the ‘hand held technological revolution’, and specifically the poor posture brought on by using devices such as smartphones.
The researchers write, ‘We acknowledge factors such as genetic predisposition and inflammation influence enthesophyte growth.
‘However, we hypothesise that the use of modern technologies and hand-held devices, may be primarily responsible for these postures and subsequent development of adaptive robust cranial features in our sample.’