This HND piece puts the spotlight on lower back problems, which are not only the leading cause of disability, they have plagued mankind since we started walking upright. Unfortunately, our backs, knees, and feet—to name a few—would look a lot different if they were purpose-designed for us from the get-go. Instead, these structures have been modified from the original ape design, and trade-offs were definitely made.
Spondylolysis, a vertebral defect that can lead to small stress fractures, is found only in humans, and not apes. We describe research showing that the further from an ape-like vertebral structure humans get, the more likely they are to develop spondylolysis. Indeed, these people have vertebrae that seem to be over-adapted to bipedal life, and are of a different shape.
Read the complete article.