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Historical overview of spinal deformities in ancient Greece.

Vasiliadis ES, Grivas TB, Kaspiris A - Scoliosis (2009)

Bottom Line: He introduced the terms kyphosis and scoliosis and wrote in depth about diagnosis and treatment of kyphosis and less about scoliosis.The innovation of the board, the application of axial traction and even the principle of trans-abdominal correction for correction of spinal deformities have their origin in Hippocrates.Galen, who lived nearly five centuries later impressively described scoliosis, lordosis and kyphosis, provided aetiologic implications and used the same principles with Hippocrates for their management, while his studies influenced medical practice on spinal deformities for more than 1500 years.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Orthopaedic Department, "Thriasio" General Hospital, Magoula, Attica, Greece. eliasvasiliadis@yahoo.gr

ABSTRACT
Little is known about the history of spinal deformities in ancient Greece. The present study summarizes what we know today for diagnosis and management of spinal deformities in ancient Greece, mainly from the medical treatises of Hippocrates and Galen. Hippocrates, through accurate observation and logical reasoning was led to accurate conclusions firstly for the structure of the spine and secondly for its diseases. He introduced the terms kyphosis and scoliosis and wrote in depth about diagnosis and treatment of kyphosis and less about scoliosis. The innovation of the board, the application of axial traction and even the principle of trans-abdominal correction for correction of spinal deformities have their origin in Hippocrates. Galen, who lived nearly five centuries later impressively described scoliosis, lordosis and kyphosis, provided aetiologic implications and used the same principles with Hippocrates for their management, while his studies influenced medical practice on spinal deformities for more than 1500 years.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

A portrait of Empedocles, a Greek pre-Socratic philosopher.
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Figure 5: A portrait of Empedocles, a Greek pre-Socratic philosopher.

Mentions: Classical Greek philosophers were not an exemption and there are a lot of references in their work about the origin and function of the spine. Plato (427-347 BC) (Figure 4), who influenced the disciplines of philosophy, psychology, logic, and politics, through his conceptualization that mathematics is the life force of science, implicated biomechanics in function of the spine. However he believed that a divine intervention contributed to the creation of the flexible spine [3]. In contrary, Empedocles (490-430 BC) (Figure 5) thought that the vertebrae are initially unified (rigid spine) and subsequently this solid osseous column brake down (segmented) into pieces as a result of movements of the body [4]. Aristotle (384-322 BC) (Figure 6), who was the most prominent research scientist in ancient Greece, lived in a period when athletics, sports, and gymnastics was part of philosophy of developing the human being as a whole to optimize functional capacity and harmony. Álthough Aristotle's studies were not directly related to the spine, in his treatises, Parts of Animals, Movements of Animals, and Progression of Animals, he described the action of the muscles and subjected them to geometric analysis for the first time. For this work, he is considered as a biomechanist and the father of kinesiology [5]. Aristotle defined the act of "muscular flexion" as a change from a straight line to an angle and noted that without this "flexion," there could not be forward progression, such as walking and swimming. This implied, for the first time, the thought or conceptualization of transformation of rotatory into translational motion.


Historical overview of spinal deformities in ancient Greece.

Vasiliadis ES, Grivas TB, Kaspiris A - Scoliosis (2009)

A portrait of Empedocles, a Greek pre-Socratic philosopher.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2654856&req=5

Figure 5: A portrait of Empedocles, a Greek pre-Socratic philosopher.
Mentions: Classical Greek philosophers were not an exemption and there are a lot of references in their work about the origin and function of the spine. Plato (427-347 BC) (Figure 4), who influenced the disciplines of philosophy, psychology, logic, and politics, through his conceptualization that mathematics is the life force of science, implicated biomechanics in function of the spine. However he believed that a divine intervention contributed to the creation of the flexible spine [3]. In contrary, Empedocles (490-430 BC) (Figure 5) thought that the vertebrae are initially unified (rigid spine) and subsequently this solid osseous column brake down (segmented) into pieces as a result of movements of the body [4]. Aristotle (384-322 BC) (Figure 6), who was the most prominent research scientist in ancient Greece, lived in a period when athletics, sports, and gymnastics was part of philosophy of developing the human being as a whole to optimize functional capacity and harmony. Álthough Aristotle's studies were not directly related to the spine, in his treatises, Parts of Animals, Movements of Animals, and Progression of Animals, he described the action of the muscles and subjected them to geometric analysis for the first time. For this work, he is considered as a biomechanist and the father of kinesiology [5]. Aristotle defined the act of "muscular flexion" as a change from a straight line to an angle and noted that without this "flexion," there could not be forward progression, such as walking and swimming. This implied, for the first time, the thought or conceptualization of transformation of rotatory into translational motion.

Bottom Line: He introduced the terms kyphosis and scoliosis and wrote in depth about diagnosis and treatment of kyphosis and less about scoliosis.The innovation of the board, the application of axial traction and even the principle of trans-abdominal correction for correction of spinal deformities have their origin in Hippocrates.Galen, who lived nearly five centuries later impressively described scoliosis, lordosis and kyphosis, provided aetiologic implications and used the same principles with Hippocrates for their management, while his studies influenced medical practice on spinal deformities for more than 1500 years.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Orthopaedic Department, "Thriasio" General Hospital, Magoula, Attica, Greece. eliasvasiliadis@yahoo.gr

ABSTRACT
Little is known about the history of spinal deformities in ancient Greece. The present study summarizes what we know today for diagnosis and management of spinal deformities in ancient Greece, mainly from the medical treatises of Hippocrates and Galen. Hippocrates, through accurate observation and logical reasoning was led to accurate conclusions firstly for the structure of the spine and secondly for its diseases. He introduced the terms kyphosis and scoliosis and wrote in depth about diagnosis and treatment of kyphosis and less about scoliosis. The innovation of the board, the application of axial traction and even the principle of trans-abdominal correction for correction of spinal deformities have their origin in Hippocrates. Galen, who lived nearly five centuries later impressively described scoliosis, lordosis and kyphosis, provided aetiologic implications and used the same principles with Hippocrates for their management, while his studies influenced medical practice on spinal deformities for more than 1500 years.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus