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July 15, 1893


JAMA. 1893;XXI(3):98. doi:10.1001/jama.1893.02420550032006

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The wide diffusion of the bicycle as a means of locomotion, and as well an agent of pleasant pastime, has introduced into orthopedic surgery a new factor in the production of spinal curvature. When the wheel came into use, the handles were long and the rider sat upright. The followers of Father Jahn encouraged it, and well informed physicians saw in it a new instrument of physical culture.

The desire for increased speed and record breaking lessened the diameter of the wheel and shortened the handles, so that now you may see on any fine day whole troops of cyclists spinning along with their backs arched over the lever, and as the victim must see where he is going, he raises his chin, and the back of the head approaches the shoulder blades. Thus a double antero-posterior curvature has its foundation laid; constant humping the back could do no less.

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