Back ache sufferers 'more closely related to chimpanzees'

Evolution linked to back pain

Suffering from Back Ape?

Scientists say people who suffer from lower back pain are more closely related to chimpanzees - our closet ape ancestor - than others.

Spine experts have long argued that back pain is so common in humans because for most of evolutionary history our spines were not held upright.

Like apes today, our ancestors spent much of their time walking on their back legs and knuckles. But now we all stand upright and carry vertical loads such as heavy shopping bags.

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.

They found that humans with the most ape-like back bones were more likely to suffer from back problems.

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

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