Sunday, August 1

The fad that sparked a bunion plague in medieval Britain


The fad that sparked a bunion plague in medieval Britain

The fad that sparked a bunion plague in medieval Britain

“Before dead than simple,” said the song. “To be handsome you have to suffer,” many of us say. Fashion is always present and we (almost) all have the desire to look good.

Every time we take care of ourselves more, we do more sports and we are more aware of how we dress, how we comb our hair …

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In the Britain medieval was also made. We are not the first to take care of everything that has to do with our image. But the difference is that now, for the most part, we do not put our health at risk to carry it out.

It is no coincidence that we refer to the history of Great Britain or the medieval times. And it is that, researchers of the University of Cambridge have shown how their predecessors suffered a true epidemic of “hallux valgus”.

This is A plague of bunions!

Around the year 1300 in the middle of the British medieval era, as confirmed by the Cambridge analysis of the skeletal remains found in the city where the university is located, bunions became the norm among the inhabitants of that society.

A condition that subsequently led to a significant increase in the number of fractures, something more serious than bunions.

This increase in “hallux valgus” coincides, curiously, with the time when the famous pointed shoes that we will all have seen in the movies became fashionable in that medieval society.

This minor deformity, as defined by experts, the big toe tilts outward and a bony protrusion forms at its base, on the inside of the foot.

“We investigated the changes that occurred between the high and late medieval period and realized that the increase in hallux valgus over time must have been due to the introduction of these new styles of footwear,” says the Dr. Piers Mitchell from the Department of Archeology at the University of Cambridge.

Analysis of the remains found

The Bone remains found in Cambridge, United Kingdom, they appeared in the center of the city, in plots destined to the burial of wealthy members of that society, in addition to clergymen.

Remains that were found in four different locations within the British urban environment: a charity hospital, the grounds of a former Augustinian convent, a local parish cemetery and a rural cemetery next to a town about six kilometers south of the city of Cambridge.

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This social stratum, due to their dominant position in the economic sphere and being able to dress in fashion, would be more likely to have had juanetes.

Moreover, only 3% of the citizens analyzed who lived in rural environments suffered, due to the signs studied, that minor deformity of “hallux valgus”. On the contrary, almost half of those found in the convent and the parish, 43% specifically, bore the marks of bunions.

To reach this conclusion, the Cambridge researchers analyzed 177 skeletons and concluded that the remains dated between the 14th and 15th centuries had 21% more obvious signs of having suffered from “hallux valgus”.

This conclusion, together with how the style of shoes changed significantly in the 14th century, makes Cambridge researchers understand that it was this circumstance that It caused deformity in the feet of the medieval British.

A situation that was known and known by the society of the time as evidenced by the laws promulgated in 1463 by the king Eduardo IV which limited the length of the tip to less than two inches in London.

An attempt was made to put a stop to the bunion plague, but it was too late.

The study has been published in the scientific journal International Journal of Paleopathology, where the project team After the Plague of the University of Cambridge maintains that these shoes «foalThey were the ones that caused the rise of bunions in medieval Britain.


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