Did you see the article in the news last week about people growing horns from using their phones too much? If you didn’t, we have a few printed copies so you can read it. Sounds like sci-ﬁ but it’s a real adaptation that’s occurring from extended use of handheld devices.
“Humans appear to be growing horn-like protrusions at the back of the head, and researchers believe smartphones and tablets may be to blame.”
This isn’t a new phenomenon, but it’s becoming more pronounced. Just like with corrective spinal exercises (like neck traction), when you load tissues in an unusual way, they adapt. The purpose of corrective neck traction is to load tissues for extended period of time (10-20 minutes) to help restore the natural curve in the neck. Bone structure will change, as do ligaments, tendons, spinal discs and nerves. Spending long periods staring at screens also places unhealthy loads on tissue. This position shoves the head forward and down, causing a large supportive ligament attached to the back of the skull (nuchal ligament) to continuously pull on the back of the skull, eventually creating a protrusion, or horn.
This is the same type of response that occurs when someone has poor foot structure, particularly in their instep arch. Fallen arches cause a ligament and tendon to excessively pull on the heel bone, creating a bone/heel spur.
There appears to be some debate about how signiﬁcant screen usage is on these bony skull outgrowths. There is no doubt, however, that long periods of abnormal posture prematurely damage the spinal bones and discs, and affect brain to body connection.