Evolution is the root of many human physical problems

Everybody suffers from occasional back pain and ankle sprains every now and then; these are just facts of life. Although most people would assume that these things are due to poor posture and clumsiness, scientists now recognize that our path of human evolution is mostly responsible for all types of  physical issues that affect everyone on Earth. Some of these issues include feet and back pain, hip fractures, flat feet, sprained ankles, and slipped disks. This is due to the fact that walking upright on two feet is a very strange way for mammals to walk as humans are the only ones to do it. Our pre-human ancestors switched from walking on all four feet to just two, freeing up their hands to carry things, make tools, and hunt. However, these benefits come at a cost as walking upright puts new stresses on the back, legs, and feet. Scientists say that these aches and pains suffered by humans do not affect our primate relatives, meaning these particular ails of the human body are solely due to humans evolving into bipeds, or two-footed, upright walkers.

According to Bruce Latimer of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, it is very easy to differentiate between the fossils of ape and human ancestors due to the fact that the skeleton had to go through many changes for humans to be able to walk on two feet. “In order to walk upright, you have to change essentially every bone from the neck down,” Latimer says. Some body parts that have changed a great deal over time are the feet, back, brain/head, and the female pelvis and birth canal. These long-term changes are what causes wisdom teeth to no longer be of use to humans, as well as things like back aches and sprained ankles. So in reality, it is evolution’s fault that we humans twist our ankles and have to get our wisdom teeth pulled out. Hopefully our species will eventually evolve to the point where these common problems are no longer existent.


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