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Count yourself lucky if you've never groaned about your back. Fact is, the majority of us (80%) will deal with back pain at some point. It's one of the most common reasons for a doctor visit. Deciding how to treat it, though, can be tricky. There's simply no gold standard. "We have a long history of medical interventions that didn't work," says Roger Chou, M.D., a back pain expert at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. But today we know more than ever. Check out the latest ways to avoid and deal with pain—from easy-to-implement prevention moves to the most effective cutting-edge surgical cures.