Modern Day Back Pain: How Ancient Cultures Avoided This Affliction

In the modern world, most people work sitting down at a desk all day or are engaged in some kind of manual labor. Whether you're an athlete or a couch potato, both back and neck pain seem to be a very common problem, especially among more developed nations. Straining to see a screen or looking down at a smartphone can wreak havoc on the muscles in the neck, shoulders, and back, and can be part of the reason why so many of us experience this issue. When observing ancient culture and society, there could be a link between the way people once lived and the way we live today and back pain.

Villagers and Tribes

When observing people who live in remote villages and who live in a tribal environment, there is a stark difference in the way they carry themselves and the way most modernized people do. People who live in these environments often must carry heavy loads across several miles, and usually they do so by carrying those loads on their heads. This motion forces the body to stay upright and encourages people to hold their spines straight. In fact, if one were to look at medieval artwork or older paintings, it's noticeable how people's spines were flatter and straighter, rather than the commonly seen curved "S" shaped spine so many people have today. This may have something to do with how people carried themselves in general in the past as well as in different cultures; good posture came naturally, and people stood and walked much more often than they sit down now. Over time, this can be good for the back and helps to force good sustainable posture.

Civilized Culture

In most developed nations, people either drive, fly, or take some form of public transportation that encourages them to sit down as they go from one place to another. This fact coupled with today's obsession with television and technology has encouraged people to become a bit more lax when it comes to maintaining proper posture. Slumping at a desk and reaching the body forward in order to see a computer screen can have devastating effects on the body's spine and neck. Over time, this can cause headaches, neck strain, and lower back issues. Another issue related to modern back pain is weight. More people than ever before are overweight, and most carry this weight in their stomach. This excess weight can pull the spine forward, also resulting in pain. These are just some examples of the differences between the old and new worlds, and they can give us insight into how and why we may be dealing with back pain. 

For further assistance, contact a local back pain professional, such as one found through