NPR | Forget the gizmos: exercise works best for lower-back pain

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Lower-back pain is very democratic in the people it strikes. “It’s a universal experience. You’d be a really uncommon person never to have had an episode of back pain,” says Chris Maher, a physical therapist turned health researcher at the University of Sydney in Australia. “It’s a common problem across the whole of the globe,” he says, whether it’s North America, sub-Saharan Africa or rural India. Bouts of low-back pain can last between days and years, and frequently hit again. All sorts of gizmos and treatments exist to alleviate the pain, from ergonomic chairs to special shoe inserts and Velcro back belts. According to Maher’s research, those don’t seem to do squat to prevent it. Continue.