IMAGINE you’ve been given the task of stacking 26 porcelain coffee cups, one on top of the other, with a saucer in between each. Next, you have to place a 10-pound fish bowl on top of the stack. You aren’t done yet! You then drop two very curious and energetic fish into the bowl.

How long do you think the cups stay balanced before it all comes crashing down?

This is your spine at work, every day. Those cups are your vertebrae, and within your vertebrae are delicate wires responsible for transferring your brain’s signals to your muscles, resulting in movement (the fish, as you might’ve guessed, create motion like your head). It’s all a miraculous, precarious, and critical state of balance. And the curve of your lower spine is the most important shape keeping that stack of cups from tumbling down. Move one cup out of place and you’ve got fish on the floor gasping for air. Painful, isn’t it? (Dr. Bruce Latimer, a survivor of back surgery, paints a similar picture in Science article: Human Evolution: Gain came from pain) 

Now, that’s not to say the spine’s poorly designed, it has done it’s best working with what it’s had at hand. That lower curve is the most recent evolutionary upgrade in a long line of natural and responsive adaptations. But our modern world moves much faster than these adaptations can take place.

So, in a sense, we’ve outpaced evolution.

Progressing to the Breaking Point

This quickened pace has created a “breaking point” for the spine. Research shows even with taking great care of your back, your spine is reliably durable until your 40s or 50s. After that, there are no guarantees—for most of us, we’re pretty much on “damage control”.

As this daily pace gets even faster, we are accelerating the spine’s deterioration. That breaking point, traditionally expected in our 40s and 50s, appears to be creeping closer to our 30s, as indicated by our own research and observations. As humans, we’re wearing down our spines into early retirement, causing decades of unnecessary pain and restricted movement.

The Dorsum Focus

This is our purpose in creating Dorsum: to dive deep in understanding the human spine. To give you the power to delay this breaking point and keep you pain free to enjoy doing the things you love. The products we create will focus on the spine, committed to our mission to liberate humankind from back pain.

Although the world has outpaced the spine’s natural evolution, we can use our collective knowledge to postpone this growing problem.

Through our blog, we’ll share research and stories from those who use their back the most. In essence, we’ll let the spine speak for itself.

A Call to Arms (and Backs)

We’re working against time, and we can’t do it alone. This is a human problem and it requires a global conversation. We need each other to take action, we need help from you.

So don’t just enjoy the blog—participate! Your voice is more important than ours. Your feedback and experience allows us to better understand your needs and pain-points. Tell us what we’re doing right and, most importantly, tell us where we need to improve.

You only get one spine. At Dorsum, we believe in living free of pain. We aim to postpone this breaking point, or even eliminate it altogether. But we need your help to do it before the problem creeps even closer.

Up Next

Next, we explore the evolution of our spine, the causes of adaptation, and vulnerabilities that have arose during the process.

Read: Evolution is not a straight line
Spine on Black by Konrad Wojcik



At Dorsum, we aim to free the world from back pain. This introduction to the brand outlines back pain in terms we can all understand.



To understand back pain, one must understand the complexity of our spinal evolution and how we got to where we are today.



Advancements in civilization introduced new demands and stresses on the human spine. Agriculture introduced new challenges, and with them came pain.