Because teens are constantly hunched over on their phones texting or on social media, the muscles in the neck become overused, causing what's called "text neck," Siegel explained on "Tucker Carlson Tonight."
"The muscles of your neck get weakened, and guess what happens when your muscles get weakened?" he asked. "Your body responds by making more bone and it's making these external occipital protuberances that are spurs that are growing out the back of our heads, especially in teens," he continued.
The research is based on a study by David Shahar, a health scientist at the University of The Sunshine Coast, Australia, according to BBC. Shahar realized that the growths at the base of the skull he observed in patients from ages 18-30 were particularly prominent, and theorized that it was due to a "text neck" phenomenon.
Dr. Siegel added that these shocking physical changes are not the only shifts we're seeing due to smartphone use.
"Not only are we seeing alienation and anxiety and depression from frequent use of smartphones and too much screen time, we are also seeing physical changes, blurry vision and headaches," he said.
These changes are permanent, Dr. Siegel argued, and will only get worse over time. In some cases, he said, the bone growths extend larger than an inch from the base of the skull. Not only that, but through epigenetics, we're likely to pass the skull formations on to the next generation.
"They are helping us to keep our muscles tied to our heads, so they have a purpose, but they are going to be transmitted," Dr. Siegel said. "Your grandkids are going to have them and they are going to get larger and larger the more screen time you have."
Fortunately, the medical contributor said, he has a prescription.
"I want us to go out to dinner with each other, not bring our smartphones, to exercise, to talk to each other, to hug each other. Maybe the spurs will shrink if we go back to hugging each other," he said.