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Most people have a sore back or neck from time to time. It’s normal. Whether you lifted something too heavy, slept the wrong way the night before or tweaked something at the gym, there are lots of ways you can hurt your back. You may also be genetically predisposed to having spinal issues.
A recent study at Simon Fraser University may have found a link between upright locomotion and spinal health. Kimberly Plomp, a post-doctoral fellow and biological anthropologist at the university, had spent seven years researching the relationship between vertebral shape, upright locomotion and spinal health.
"We have found that some characteristics of human vertebrae differ in shape between those individuals who have a lesion called a Schmorl's node—a small hernia that can occur in the cartilaginous disc between the vertebrae," Plomp says.
"As evolution occurred, our vertebrae would have changed as we evolved from using some form of quadrupedal locomotion, using four legs, to bipedalism, using two legs… In short, our study suggests that the pathological vertebrae of some people may be less well adapted for walking upright," she adds, suggesting that some people are more susceptible to spinal and back injuries.
These developments are a reminder that there is a lot we can do to improve our spinal health, especially considering how many Canadians are living with spinal issues today.
Spinal health statistics
According to Spinal Cord Injury Canada:
Tips for maintaining a healthy spine
Many people deal with back and spinal pain on a daily basis, which undoubtedly affects their quality of life. Being proactive about caring for your back is the key to a strong and healthy spine:
Top private health insurance companies can help you get the proper care you need if you have a spinal health issue. Back and spine issues can be debilitating, requiring extensive medications, therapy and even surgery. Good health insurance coverage can help you cover the medical costs related to chiropractic treatment.
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