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Top Reason for Back and Feet Aches: You May be Surprised

Back aches and feet aches are some of the most chronic conditions that humanity experiences. The pain is not selective, as it encompasses all cultures, countries and peoples and have been experienced over the history of the human race. While some doctors and chiropractors will give you your personal reasons for this chronic pain, the actual overall reason is based on evolution.

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As mammals, homo sapiens evolved in a completely different manner than any of our close relatives. None of the other species walk upright, which places an intense stress on the overall structure of the back and skeletal areas. This information was validated by anthropologists that attend the meeting held by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Our ancestors were accustomed to walking parallel to the ground, and their spines were therefore more horizontal. The spine of human beings evolved in an upright positioning along the correct balance over the feet and hips. This required that the spine itself adapt to allow curves. Unfortunately, this is not a system that offers optimum efficiency, and can cause physical problems. Evolution may have brought us to an upright position, but as human beings, we also suffer from some unique disorders. Scoliosis is a medical condition that involves abnormal curvatures of the spine and is one that is only found in human beings. As we grow older, the stress of daily activities as well as load bearing activities such as carrying items in front of us, can cause other medical conditions such as herniated disks. We may not realize it but when we walk, moving our legs and arms to propel us forward and keep our back upright, we are creating a consisting torque of the spinal system. There is no other known animal that moves in this rather inefficient way. We are also the only known animal to carry items in front of our bodies. Apparently our ancient ancestors also shared back problems, as ancient skeletons have displayed. Both the ‘Lucy’ skeleton, dating back to over 3 million years old and the Homo erectus skelton from 1.5 million years of age, show evidence of back problems which probably resulted in back ache.

When examining the structure of the human foot, we may soon realize that it too is not the most efficient for the incredible requirements it has. While the twenty six bones that make up the structure of the foot might seem like enough, the intensity of the load requirements places an intense amount of stress on every area of the foot, thereby bringing a reason as to why your feet ache. Once again, our ancestors shared some of the same problems that we experience today as we see evidence in skeletal remains of osteoarthritis, sprained and fractured ankles; a direct result of an inefficient system. Scientists have long examined the arch of the foot, as it another unique area of design. Some have speculated that the reason we have the arch is to act as a kind of shock absorbing system for the immense amount of weight involved in the process of walking. Another theory is that the ligaments that make up the arch offer the ability to lengthen and recoil, to allow for the mechanics of running.

Sources: http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/20/why-your-back-feet-hurt-blame-evolution/

The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.

4 Responses to “Top Reason for Back and Feet Aches: You May be Surprised”

  1. 1
    AMatterOfTime Says:
    Wonder if there is anything that we can do to adjust for the situation? Special exercises? Anything to watch or be careful of? I didn't have back problems until I got older, but no one told me to be aware of anything when I was younger.
  2. 2
    SmartPetOwner Says:
    My husband has chronic back pain and his chiropractor told him the same thing. He works outdoors and puts a lot of stress on his back. He was also told that his feet affect his back and one problem compounds the other.
  3. 3
    FBFan Says:
    I have had a ton of foot problems my whole life and now I am experiencing some back problems. Doctor told me that they are related, but until I read this I really didn't believe her. I guess I stand corrected and will probably be looking into taking care of my feet and back better.
  4. 4
    ChangeIsGood Says:
    We learned a little of this in school. The human spine has adjusted to walking straight, but apparently not enough. For some people, back and feet problems are a life long pain struggle. I don't have those problems but my brothers do. They are involved in sports and also have knee problems.