By David P. Evans MSc (Biomechanics), MD (auth.)
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Additional info for Backache: its Evolution and Conservative Treatment
The upper body and forelimbs on the one side and the tail on the other have to engage in complicated counterbalancing to maintain equilibrium as the animal moves. If there is no tail, and hence no projection behind the fulcrum, the forward part of the body must lie directly above the fulcrum. Thus in man the trunk is approximately vertically above the lower limbs. 1 Although apparently upright and bipedal , the penguin exhibits marked flexion at the hips and knees their hindiimbs but do not habitually do so.
Some other mammalian groups, for example dogs and the great cats, employ lumbar propulsion. During running they flex and extend their spines thereby increasing the span between footfalls. Despite the variation between land-vertebrate forms, the trunk muscle masses are divided in the same way into dorsal, epaxial groups and ventral, hypaxial groups. dles and deeper bundles which still retain their primitive metamerism. 4 From four legs to two An animal can only stand on an inclined surface if a verticalline through the centre of gravity passes through the quadrilateral formed by its feet.
The animals gradually acquired the ability to stand and to walk erect but they usually assumed a half-sitting posture. Experimental bipedal animals were, in general, about 25 per cent lighter in weight than controls and the long bones of the legs were shorter and thicker than those of the controls. Radiological examination of the spine showed a tendency to a gradual increase in the degree of cervical lordosis and thoracic kyphosis with decreased lumbar kyphosis. Some even developed lumbar lordosis.
Backache: its Evolution and Conservative Treatment by David P. Evans MSc (Biomechanics), MD (auth.)