Part Three: Evolution of the Back and Spine


We’ve seen how our hairier, primate cousins (and I am not talking about your direct relatives) have a narrow set of hips, short legs with a straight line running from their pelvis to their ankle, and how they brachiate to swing from vine to vine. We also share something with them that evolves then devolves if we’re not careful, within our lifetime: the shape of our spine.

From knuckle dragging to upright walking.

The Spine: From C to S shape:
As we are develop in our mother’s womb, our spine is C-shaped. Slowly through our developing skills as we crawl and learn to look around, to the point that we stand, our spine develops its S-like curvature. It is designed to be mobile and is much longer than that of a primate. Our wide pelvis is also mobile and short (compare that to the tall pelvis of an ape and fixed Sacroiliac Joint on the illustration).

Hazards of Joint Misalignment:
The SacroIliac Joint (SIJ) if misaligned, can cause much damage and pain in our bodies, such as disc herniation, wear and tear of the spine, as well as hips and even affects our neural and immune systems!
Many times, the pain in our bodies is not diagnosed as SIJ Dysfunction because we look at other symptoms like stiffness due to poor posture, stiffness in neck and shoulders, misalignment of the femur, stiff hamstrings or calves and associate the cause to that area of the body. There is a plethora of tests, good and bad, to diagnose and treat SIJD, but I’ll leave that discussion to orthopedic surgeons, whose job is to fix you, or at the very minimum, a T-phase Z-health practitioner. My job is to prevent that from happening in the first place (or from recurring if you’ve already been experiencing it).

How to Prevent Bad Posture:
There is a series of exercises that one can do to help develop strength and keep proper alignment in your back and spine: cobra extension, superman extension (with legs on or off the floor depending on your desired intensity of work). An inexpensive way to get a great coach to show you is to watch babies as they begin to crawl, push themselves up and try to take in the world around them. Their brains are not tainted with misinformation yet (and they don’t charge as much as a pro!)

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2 comments on “Part Three: Evolution of the Back and Spine”

  1. LA

    Well, some of us are still knuckle-draggers…
    However, you’re right about the evolution of the spine, and its importance to proper movement. Wear and tear on the spine from everyday life can have a huge impact on your cpmfort level, physical movement, and overall ability. (Speaking as someone rehabbing a back injury). There isn’t enough focus on proper movement through the axis of the body in
    “conventional” fitness programs.

    1. Philippe Til

      Think of your core, your trunk. What’s the point of big shoulders if you have a slinky in your midsection? Lifting 100lb overhead on a seated machine ain’t the same as doing it standing up. And even then, a strong back needs to be backed by a strong butt (something people forget to engage when doing any kind of pressing)…

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