(ORDO NEWS) — Low back pain bothers almost everyone. To avoid it, they recommend moving more, but why does this part of the back hurt in principle, while other animals do not?
Low back pain in people arose because of our lifestyle. Anthropologists have shown that this is already an evolutionary change that is passed down from generation to generation.
Pain in the lower back, of course, inherited from our ancestors and due to our upright posture. But the reasons for this phenomenon and its evolutionary prerequisites remained unclear for a long time.
Past research has shown that an increase in the incidence of low back pain is associated with living in urban areas and especially in “closed shop” settings where employees are in painful working positions for long periods of time.
But, studying the spines of people who lived in the post-industrial era, scientists may have erroneously concluded that the formation of the spine is due to changes in living and working conditions, and not evolutionary development.
Low back pain is inherited from ancient people
To explore this possibility, the authors of the new work examined the spines of both pre-industrial and post-industrial men and women from around the world. Their data set included more than 300 samples, more than 1,600 vertebrae in total, as well as samples from Neanderthal vertebrae.
Anthropologists have found that the spine in post-industrial people has more lumbar wedging than in pre-industrial people.
Moreover, the spine of Neanderthals was significantly different from the spine of post-industrial people, but not from the spine of pre-industrial people. It is noteworthy that scientists did not find any differences related to geography in samples of the same era.
However, differences in spinal formation between pre-industrial and post-industrial people provide new insights into the low back pain that many face today.
Decreased levels of physical activity, poor posture and use of furniture, and other lifestyle changes that have accompanied industrialization have, over time, led to inadequate changes in the structure of the soft tissues that support lumbar lordosis during development, the scientists say. This is what causes frequent back pain.
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