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Got Back Pain? You Might Be Part Chimp

People with lower back problems are more likely to have a spine similar in shape to the chimpanzee, our closest ape relatives.

A lesion which forms in the disc between the bones of the spine is the reason for the differing shape.

It would have caused the vertebrae to change as humans evolved from using four legs to two legs.

The researchers say their findings could help doctors predict who may be at risk of back problems.

The study, published in BMC Evolutionary Biology, involved scientists from Scotland, Canada and Iceland.

The research team analysed the vertebrae of chimpanzees, orangutans and ancient human skeletons to investigate the relationship between the shapes of the bones of the spine, upright movement and the health of the human spine.

Prof Mark Collard, from the University of Aberdeen and Simon Fraser University in Canada, said they provided valuable insights into our ancestors’ health and lifestyles.

The skeletons also provided information about how humans evolved to move on two “rear” legs.

“Our findings show that the vertebrae of humans with disc problems are closer in shape to those of our closest ape relatives, the chimpanzee, than are the vertebrae of humans without disc problems.”

The research picked up that these individuals have a lesion called a Schmorl’s node – a small hernia which can occur in the disc between the vertebrae.

Although there is not one cause for the node, it is thought to be linked to stress and strain on the lower back.

Evolution is not perfect, so over many thousands of years humans have not all adapted in the same way.

Prof Collard said: “Our study suggests that the pathological vertebrae of some people may be less well adapted for walking upright.”

They say their findings could have benefits for modern health issues and be used as a predictive tool.

SOURCE: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-32452250


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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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