Having a healthy shape to your spine is very important to your health. The shape of your spine is formed in the womb and it should stay with you for life, unfortunately many of us develop problems as we go through life and these can be seen if one is to analyse the spine. Therefore, it is vitally important that we define what a healthy spine should be like.

Rudimentary models existed as early as the beginning of the 19th century, they were not very accurate at that time but some basic principles were already recognised. Later, aircraft engineers began the work of defining a healthy spine in the 1950’s. They were spurned by the question of why some pilots would sustain spinal injuries when they were ejected from a plane and why some would not. The answer they found was lying in the shape of the spine. The models they produced were better but still not very accurate either.

In 1979 Dr Donald Harrison proposed his first model, looking back we can see that although he got closer to an ideal spine than his predecessors, he still had a lot of work to do. Since this early work of defining the four basic curves of the spine Dr Donald Harrison continued exploring his interest in this area. His passion rubbed off on his son, and the current “state of the art” model for the spine was defined largely by the work of his son Dr Deed Harrison. It took them both approximately 30 years to arrive at the model we have today.

Today, thanks to Dr Deed Harrison we have an extremely accurate model which can be modified mathematically according to individual’s morphology.

John Ryle

Author John Ryle

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