Health stories in the news – week starting 27th April 2015

Our round-up of osteopathically-relevant health stories that have been in the news.

Fighting obesity with exercise

A recent editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine by Malhotra et al has emphasised the need to focus on moderating diet to help with weight management.  The article attempts to counter the idea that it is possible to maintain a healthy weight using exercise to compensate for a poor diet. More details concerning this article can be found at:  Malhotra A, Noakes T, Phinney S.  It is time to bust the myth of physical inactivity and obesity: you cannot outrun a bad diet.  Br J Sports Med.  2015;Apr 22. pii: bjsports-2015-094911. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2015-094911. [Epub ahead of print]    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25904145

Lower back pain and the link to chimpanzee spine

This recent study has examined the nature of the relationship between intervertebral disc herniation and vertebral shape.  The findings support the hypothesis that intervertebral disc herniation preferentially affects individuals with vertebrae that are towards the ancestral end of the range of shape variation within H. sapiens and therefore are less well adapted for bipedalism.  The researchers identified that the last thoracic and first lumbar vertebrae of healthy humans, orangutans, and chimpanzees differ significantly in shape.  The research team also found that human vertebrae with Schmorl’s nodes share more similarities in shape with chimpanzee vertebrae than do healthy human vertebrae.  Further information about this article can be found at Plomp KA, Viðarsdóttir U, Weston DA, et al. The ancestral shape hypothesis: an evolutionary explanation for the occurrence of intervertebral disc herniation in humans.    BMC Evolutionary Biology.  2015;15:68. http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/s12862-015-0336-y.pdf