We know you have low-back pain. A whopping 80 percent of all Americans do at some time or other. And if you're active, your chances of low-back pain are even greater because exercise, especially if you have a desk job, increases the likelihood of aches and pains in your lower lumber. Adding to the injustice is that few traditional treatments cure back pains. Studies show over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen and Tylenol are ineffective, often only temporarily relieving symptoms, while seeing a chiropractor hasn't been shown to provide permanent relief. What to do? Here are five things experts say can prevent and treat low-back pain.
Lift with your hips, not with your knees.
It may seem like rule number one for avoiding back pain: Lift with your knees, not your back. But McGill says this maxim has it all wrong. He says the hips, one of the major movers in your core, are more powerful and can bear the brunt of a load better than your knees. Next time you lug something heavy, "bend down, stiffen your back, and pull your hips through," McGill says. "That's how to lift heavy objects to prevent back strain."
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