July 6, 2022

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Are you growing a horn in your head for using your mobile too much? Obviously not

If they say it BBC, CNN or Washington Post will be true, right? These media have echoed these days of a 2018 study by the Scientific Reports publication announcing the discovery of horns in the lower back of the skull of young people between 18 and 30 years. From there we jump, nothing more and nothing less, than what we think is the definitive test of human evolution because of smartphones.

What is that of the horn in the head: technically an “external occipital protuberance” that is located just at the point between the nuchal ligament and the trapezius. The images show that little horn in the neck, which would serve as a cranial counterweight for the effort we make by lowering both the head. 40% of the radiographs they analyzed showed that bump.

They are not new news: The problem, according to experts, is that the appearance of protrusions on the neck is not something so rare or studied because it is precisely that, a consequence of bad posture: it is known that surgeons can leave These bumps, or that one in 10 people get a similar heel spur, closely linked to the use of heels in women.

How bad is it? The text says “Sex was the primary predictor with males being 5.48 times more likely to have EEOP than females (P <0.001).” The figure shows almost no difference between males and females (and young females HIGHER than males). One of these is obviously wrong! pic.twitter.com/CmcGhhejQI

– John Hawks (@johnhawks) June 20, 2019

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A little rigorous study: the study is limited to observing radiographs taken in the past by people who had already complained of having posture problems, lacks a control group and is not able to prove any cause or effect. Or put another way, the conclusions that have circulated, that it is a new bone trend caused by technology, is a mere hypothesis within the text that is not based on anything.

In fact, the article is so bungling that in one of its conclusions it indicates that men tend to have bigger horns when in reality the graphics with which they accompany the subject do not support that conclusion.

Stress? Other studies that have analyzed these protuberances did not find sufficient statistical relevance to justify that it is a juvenile anomaly, while others affirm that yes, that they are a matter of young people, but of all times, and that the protuberance may disappear. over the years, so that smartphones would be out of the equation. Other evaluators have concluded that the main factor in the creation of these horns is joint stress.