So....Horns Now, Too?

You’ve all heard me discuss numerous times about the potential dangers of extended tech use with abnormal posture.  Maybe I’ve even called you out about it in the office if I noticed your head was down.  We know that keeping your head forward or your chin down for too long can result in damaging alterations to the spine.  From changes in mechanics, to increased pain, restrictions in motion, and even accelerated arthritic changes and disc damage.  However, there is new research now from the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia that has found an outcome that I never would have guessed.


Yes, horns.

Well, more specifically bone spurs, but bone spurs growing out of the back of the head.  The researchers were able to correlate increased postural strain from prolonged tech use to the development of these spurs in their patients.  The worst part was that these were not elderly subjects.  They were very young, in their 20’s, and already showing these permanent anatomical changes!

Now while a permanent anatomical change is alarming, to me it’s not as significant as the pain, loss of function and accelerated arthritic changes that can associate prolonged abnormal posture or changes in the neck curve.  But the idea of these “phone bones” definitely grabs your attention.

So does this mean we need to swear off tech altogether?  Not at all.  And especially if you are younger, there is no way to do that in our modern world and expect to have a typical social or professional experience.  It’s not about stopping doing these things; it’s about adapting to them.  If there is more strain placed on our neck from tech use, we have to learn how to fight back against it, and develop a consistent plan for combating these potential changes.

For those of you who have treated with us you should absolutely know the three steps to that:

  1. Get adjusted
  2. Do your corrective exercises
  3. Do your recommended tractions

These three steps which we refer to as E.A.T. (exercise, adjust, traction) are critical for addressing and maintaining the health of the joints, muscles, and ligaments of the spine.  Seeing your chiropractor regularly and doing your at-home care will not only help prevent the development of “horns” but they will keep you functioning better, in less pain, and getting more enjoyment out of your everyday life.

We can’t escape the rapid proliferation of technology in our life.  What we can do is get smarter about how we fight back against the potential damage that it can cause our body.  If you are worried about damage to your neck, or there is someone in your life who is dealing with this, please have them get in touch with our Newark office at 302-368-1300.  We can fully evaluate your spine, posture, and any potential damage occurring and teach you how to correct it and protect it! 

Dr. Travis McKay

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