An examination of the remains of King Richard III has found he suffered from the spine-curving condition known as scoliosis, and he may have undergone some painful treatments in order to straighten it out.
At the time, scoliosis was generally thought to be caused by an imbalance in the body’s humors. “The theory of the humors would mean that this [treatment] would be geared towards Richard’s individual humoral complexion,” Lund wrote in an email. “Given the severity of his scoliosis, it’s likely that treatment would have involved more than the topical application of ointments.”
Some of the short-term scoliosis treatments available during the late medieval period would have been painful, Lund said. For instance, one such treatment, traction, relied on the same principle as the so-called Rack used in torture, she added.
Story: Jeanna Bryner, LiveScience | Photo: University of Leicester