Digression #2: Your Back and the Effects of Modern Technology

By | January 29, 2015

Most people think of technological change as a distinctly modern phenomenon, but in terms of your back the most important event ay have been the introduction of the ox cart. "The cow pushing the decorated cart" by Chad Rosenthal from Jerusalem, Israel - The cow pushing the decorated cart. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_cow_pushing_the_decorated_cart.jpg#mediaviewer/File:The_cow_pushing_the_decorated_cart.jpg

Most people think of technological change as a distinctly modern phenomenon, but in terms of your back the most important event ay have been the introduction of the ox cart.
“The cow pushing the decorated cart” by Chad Rosenthal from Jerusalem, Israel – The cow pushing the decorated cart. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_cow_pushing_the_decorated_cart.jpg#mediaviewer/File:The_cow_pushing_the_decorated_cart.jpg

Most people tend to think of words modern and technology as things unique to their own life and times, but this is clearly not the case. Socrates, nearly 2500 years ago complained about effects of the strange new music popular with the youth of his day as well the corrosive effects of luxury and modern ideas on the Athenian character. From the point of view of technology and your back the key development started not 60 years ago but 6,000 years ago with the domestication of farm animals. With the introduction of the dog sled and the ox cart, followed by the invention of the steam engine and finally the internal combustion engine, man slowly ceased to be a beast of burden. The implications of this transition are profound. Man could no longer depend on his normal daily activities to provide all of the exercise necessary to maintain the health of his back. Man would continue to carry things to be sure, but not for the extended periods of time that had prior been the case. One of the things that I have found in the patients at Schlesinger Pain Centers is that back problems can occur not only from a deficiency of exercise, but also from an imbalance in the types of exercise done.


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