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The Healthy Programmer by Joe Kutner

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Understanding the Anatomy of the Back

Back pain may be on the rise because of our increasingly sedentary lives, but it’s certainly not a new thing. As far back as 1500 BC the Egyptians recorded this kind of pain in their medical literature. It was not until recently, however, that muscles were considered as the source of the problem.

For a long time, the prescription for patients with back pain was bed rest or even surgery. In the worst cases, some doctors even used devices akin to the medieval rack to stretch the spine. But today it is widely accepted that most back pain can be attributed to weak core muscles, and the best cure is exercise.

The reason it took doctors a long time to understand the role of muscles in back pain is that muscular ...

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