Scientists in the University of Oxford say a hangover from development may help explain why people get as much hip, shoulder and knee pain. And if present trends continue they call the people of the future may be at greater danger. They examined 300 specimens from distinct species crossing 400 million years to find bones changed over millennia. As man started standing up on two legs, the changes came. Other scientists have found similar evolutionary quirks in people. Some individuals prone for instance, could have spinal columns closer in shape to all those of our closest ape relative – the chimpanzee.

 

Dr Paul Monk, who headed the research in the Nuffield Department of Rheumatology, Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Sciences, was interested to investigate patients in his practice came in with orthopaedic issues that are similar. "And it struck us the solution to answer which will look back through development." Bringing the data together, they could develop a library of 3D models, and place changes to the contours of bones that are single over an incredible number of years. As species evolved from moving around to standing up for instance, on four legs, researchers say the so-called wider developed to support the additional weight.

 

Scientists say this is one possible reason people are susceptible to hip pain that is so much.

"What's fascinating is if we try and transfer these tendencies forwards, the contour that's coming has an even wider neck and we're trending to an increasing number of arthritis." In the shoulder, scientists found a natural difference – which blood vessels and tendons typically pass through – got more narrow. The more narrow space might help clarify why some individuals experience pain when they reach say the scientists and causes it to be harder for tendons to go.

Using all these forecasts, the researchers propose joint replacements of the future must be redesigned to adapt the contours that are evolving. However they say it isn't all bad news – working and the appropriate physiotherapy on keeping a great posture will help mitigate a number of the drawbacks of our layout. More discussions on hip pain takes place at shoulder pain forum

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