Back pain supports a tremendous industry. Doctors, healers, acupuncturists, manipulators, and drug dispensers compose an army of caterers destined to grow in size as incidents of back disorders increase.
The young suffer as much as the aged. Males suffer only in slightly larger numbers than females. The sedentary office clerk is just as vulnerable as the piano mover.
"It's not the price we pay for being human and upright," an anthropologist recently noted. "There are many primitive peoples who have never suffered back pains, and we have substantial numbers of 'civilized' men and women who seem to be impervious to back disorders. The answers are to be found in our way of life."
A mere survey of the conditions under which we live and work provides credence to the accusation that disability and discomfort of the back can be attributed to the type of chairs we sit upon, the table and desk heights that we use, and the slouching and degenerating postures that our stressful lives create.
The rise of the upholsterer in the mid-19th century may have been the precursor to many of our spinal disturbances. Our colonial ancestors sat on straight hard …