Update 6/25: Following the publication of this story, concerns were raised about the undisclosed business venture of one researcher who works as a chiropractor. This story has been updated to reflect questions about a possible conflict of interest involving its business. The magazine, which publishes the main study in question, says it is investigating the concerns. Researchers say they make minor changes to their paper, but keep their jobs.
Mobile technology changes the way we live – how we read, work, communicate, shop and date.
But we already know this
What we have not yet understood is the way in which small machines can redistribute our skeletons, potentially changing not only the behavior we show but also the bodies that we live. New research in biomechanics suggests that young people develop horns in the back of their skull – bony spurs caused by the inclination of the head that shifts the weight from the spine to the muscles in the back of the head, causing bone growth in the connecting tendons and tendons. The weight transfer that causes the accumulation can be compared to the way the skin thickens in callus in response to pressure or wear.
The result is a characteristic of a hook or horn that is emanating from the skull just above the neck. 19659009] Two researchers from Sunshine Coast University in Queensland, Australia, came up with the idea in several reviewed journals that the spread of bone growth in younger adults, seen in X-rays, reflects the distorted posture. The reason they imply is the prolonged use of smartphones and other portable devices that require users to tilt their heads forward to understand what is happening on miniature screens. Michael Nitabach, professor of physiology, genetics and neurology at Yale University, is not convinced by the findings.
"Without knowing the use of a cell phone by someone whose X-rays have been analyzed, it is not possible to draw conclusions about the correlation between cell phone use and skull morphology," he said.
Researchers behind the astounding allegations are David Shahar, a chiropractor who recently completed a Ph.D. in Biomedicine at Sunshine Coast, and his supervisor Mark Sears, an associate professor of biomechanics at Sunshine Coast, who has more than 60
Shahar, who runs a clinical practice on the Queensland coast near Brisbane, is also Dr Posture's owner, keeping online recommending strategies to improve the posture, including the use of his chest pillow. He said he "has not been selling the product for several years" at the time of publication in related areas.
The main study, in which he and his supervisor suggest that bone growth among young people may be the result of the "anomalised posture" resulting from phone use, was published last year in Nature Research's scientific reports reviewed, open access. The journal requires the authors to "declare any competing financial and / or non-financial interests in relation to the job described."
Shahar did not claim a conflict in the study, just as he said there were no competing interests in articles published in the Journal of Anatomy and clinical biomechanics, both reviewed magazines, which require disclosure of potential conflicts. and legislators and journalists need to know whether or not there are competing interests for people working in an area where they claim to be independent, "said Simon Chapman, a professor of public health at Sydney University and an editor. from the tobacco control magazine for 17 years.
Shahar maintains that there is no conflict because he did not recommend a specific course
Scientific reports refused to make an editor available for comment, suggesting a spokesman's statement that the magazine "deals with the issues" with paper and will "take action when is appropriate. "
"If we understand of undisclosed competitive interests that are not in line with our policies, we will look carefully at the issue and update the literature as appropriate to ensure that the science record is correct," the spokesman added.
If another need arises to indicate a conflict of interest, the co-author, Cyers, said, "I'm happy to raise my hand and say it's a potential mistake."
He added, "It's not my experience to see it, but the reality is that David is a chiropractor." Syurs said he remained "confident" in the data that was "freely available in the OU Research Bank at the University."  In another study published this year, assessing the effectiveness of a device designed to alleviate pressure on the spine, The paper, which appears in the reviewed Spine Journal, states that the author is "a chest pill developer."
According to research ethics specialists, the difference between testing a specific product and supplying more general intervention is less meaningful than it may seem
In 2012, Chapman found that Australian universities fail to take responsibility for complying with competition law. "The problem is just as acute, he, for academic journals, few of whom have resources to independently investigate possible conflicts.
Permanent retrieval from research does not necessarily have to discredit it, said Nancy Berlinger, a researcher at Hastings Center, oetika in New York.
"Many researchers of clinicians work, for example, on a patent," she said. Disclosure allows the academic community and the general public to decide whether the presentation is still credible, she said.
Brian Earp, associate director of the Yale-Hastings program on ethics and health policy, said readers may want to apply. increased care when assessing study methods "if they know that the author is interested in having evidence of a conclusion.
The study, published in the scientific reports, which received a lot of attention after last week's coverage in The Post, has been subject to considerable criticism. Skepticism has focused on the source and size of the sample, and the ability to draw conclusions about the use of smartphones from X-rays, some of which are derived from patients with mild neck problems.
John Hawkes, a biological anthropologist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, has suggested other explanations for bone growth in the back of the skull and claims that the protuberances are actually minimal. Shahar said the result was included in their research only if it was 10 millimeters or about two-fifths of an inch
Although the survey came out last year, it first attracted a new note following the publication of BBC history that "Modern life transforms the human skeleton." The unusual formations attracted the attention of the Australian media and were called "horns" or "bones of bones" or "spikes" or "odd bumps."
"It depends on someone's imagination," he said. "It can be said to be like a bird's beak, a horn, a hook."
A large part of the interest generated by the study focuses on the use of the term "horn", which makes Shahar clear that he uses the term in interviews as an analogy, a way to understand how formations look. He argues that structures and conditions are often called because of how they appear, not what they chemically represent. As an example, it indicates the syndrome of a closed horn, a connective tissue disorder.
Researchers said their discovery marked the first documentation of physiological or skeletal adaptation to the penetration of advanced technologies in everyday life. "Door text" and doctors began to treat a "text message thumb", which is not a clearly defined condition but resembles carpal tunnel syndrome. But previous research has not linked the use of the phone with deep body changes.
Their work began about three years ago with a pile of X-rays made in Queensland, some in the Shahar clinic. The images capture a part of the skull, including the area where bone projections called entesophites are formed at the back of the head.
Contrary to the conventional understanding of horn structures that are thought to occur rarely and mainly among Elderly people suffering from prolonged strain, Shahar noticed that they appear prominently on X-rays of younger people, including those who do not show obvious symptoms.
The first book of the couple, published in the Journal of Anatomy in 2016, included an example of 218 X-rays on subjects aged 18 to 30 years to assume that bone growth can be seen in 41% of young adults, much more than previously thought. This characteristic is more common among men than among women.
The effect – known as the increased external obliquity – was so unusual, Cyers said one of his early observers at the end of the 19th century objected to
This is no longer the case, according to the researchers.
Another article published in Clinical Biomechanics in the Spring of 2018 uses a study involving four teenagers. that heads are not caused by genetic factors or inflammation, but instead indicate mechanical stress on the muscles in the skull and neck.
And the scientific reports published a month ago decreased to take a sample of 1200 X. Studies have found that the bone growth rate present in 33% of the population actually decreases with age. This discovery was in sharp contrast to the existing scientific understanding that long ago thought slow, degenerative development had happened with aging.
Dangers are not bone stimulation itself, Cyers noted. Rather, the formation is a "sign of something wrong doing elsewhere, a sign that the head and neck are not in the right configuration. "
" These formations take a long time to develop, so it means that those people who suffer from them have probably been in the field since early childhood, "said Shahar. understand what the driving effect is, they looked at recent events – circumstances over the last 10 or 20 years that have changed the way young people hold their bodies
The type of strain necessary for the bloody infiltration of the tendon directs it towards handheld devices that bring the head forward and down, requiring use muscles in the back of the skull to prevent the fall of the head in his chest: "What about technology?" said Shahar. "People are more sedentary, put his head forward to look at the devices.
The fact that bone growth develops over a long period of time suggests that a sustained improvement in posture can arrest it and prevent its associated effects, the authors say. 48] Syers said the answer is not necessarily a stigmatization of technology. There are less drastic interventions.
"What we need is a coping mechanism that reflects how important technology has become in our lives," he said.
Shahar, in his job as a chiropractor, urges people to become so regulated. for posture as they became for the dental hygiene in the 70s of the last century, when personal care included washing and cleaning teeth every day. Schools should teach strategies for a simple posture, he said. Anyone using technology during the day should get used to calibrating their post at night.
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