This book deals with the human spine with particular emphasis on the lumbar spine. It reviews the existing biomechanical theories on the function of the spine, analysing their limitations, and showing in what way they could be improved. The human gait is traditionally believed to be the function of the legs. The book presents arguments and data that challenge that belief. It proposes that the spine is the primary engine which makes us move. This engine, inherited from our fish ancestors, was never transferred to any extremity during our long evolutionary journey. The theory of the spinal engine is new and provoking. It positions the vertebrates as benefiting from the earth's gravitational field for their activities. The theory resolves many apparent contradictions in the experimental data collected by scientific peers. It shows in what way everybody did hold a piece of the truth. In short, the theory of the spinal engine represents the framework into which the pieces of an immense puzzle fit. The spine is described as a machine subjected to the basic laws of physics. It opens a new field in robotics. The theory enables the process of injury and repair to be understood. It provides a method for evaluationg the function of the spine in clinical terms which in turn is useful in the diagnosis of a patient. Presenting the spine in the context of the evolutionary theory contributes towards a generalization of the basic laws of life. It opens the mind to a new interpretation of known facts.
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