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Reviving an old article about lifting and back pain 

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

This is from an old article about lifting and low back pain, which I’ve recently lifted out of obscurity and into the light:

I think that training people to lift “properly” probably doesn’t work because backs are actually tough as good boots, and what makes backs hurt (or get injured) isn’t influenced all that much — if at all — by how you lift things. The conventional wisdom is based on an assumption of a fragility that just doesn’t exist in the back, so it’s not too surprising that the training doesn’t make much difference: there’s no vulnerability to avoid. And that’s not the only bogus assumption in this mess.

I stumbled on this while wandering around my digital basement. I hadn’t touched the article since its original publication in early February eight years ago, and it was little more than a rough draft I forgot to follow-up on. So it was in poor shape, emaciated and confused. Google shunned it, sending only about one or two visitors per week for all those years. There wasn’t even a link to it anywhere else on

But it was worth reviving. I put several hours into it back in October, and Google almost immediately noticed and started sending people to it. So I did some more. And now it’s really looking quite respectable. And it has some interesting points to make.

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