The hours we spend scrolling through our smartphones appear to be changing our skulls. This may be the reason why some people — especially the younger crowd — are developing a weird, bony spike just above their necks.
The bony skull bump — known as an external occipital protuberance — is sometimes so large, you can feel it by pressing your fingers on the base of your skull.
"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," David Shahar, a health scientist at the University of The Sunshine Coast, Australia, told the media in a fascinating feature about the changing human skeleton.
A cause-and-effect relationship hasn't been identified, but it's possible that the spike comes from constantly bending one's neck at uncomfortable angles to look at smart devices. The human head is heavy, weighing about 10 lbs. (4.5 kilograms), and tilting it forward to look at funny cat photos (or however you spend your smartphone time) can strain the neck — hence the crick people sometimes get, known as "text neck."
Text neck can increase pressure on the juncture where the neck muscles attach to the skull, and the body likely responds by laying down new bone, which leads to that spiky bump, Shahar told the media. This spike distributes the weight of the head over a larger area, he said.