Nuestros parientes más cercanos en el árbol evolutivo, los simios, sufren raramente el castigo que aflige a tantos seres humanos: el dolor de espalda. La probable explicación es que la postura bípeda, una de las características que más nos diferencia de ellos, produce tensión y deterioro en la columna vertebral.

evolucionUn equipo de investigadores procedentes de Escocia, Canadá e Islandia ha analizado los esqueletos de chimpancés, orangutanes y humanos antiguos para detectar a relación entre la forma anatómica de la columna, el tipo de locomoción y los llamados nódulos de Schmorl, unos indicadores de futuras hernias discales y molestias lumbares.

Pues bien, parece que los individuos afectados por hernias tienen una espina dorsal más parecida a la de los chimpancés que las personas sanas; o dicho de otro modo, como explican los autores del estudio en la revista BMC Evolutionary Biology, estarían peor adaptados a la bipedestación.

La semejanza se revela, concretamente, en la última vértebra torácica y la primera lumbar. Los investigadores creen que este hallazgo podría ayudar a detectar precozmente y tratar de manera más personalizada los problemas de espalda.

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