Try to keep up with your usual level of daily activity and movement. It can be a brisk 30-minute walk or circling the block with your dog. Aim to get on your feet at least three times a week.
2. Stretch and Strengthen
Strong muscles, especially in your abdominal core, help support your back. Strength and flexibility may help both relieve your pain and prevent it. Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi are just a few of the ways to strengthen your core and the muscles around your hips. One exercise that targets your entire upper and lower back is to lie on your tummy and lift up your legs and arms in the flying position.
3. Keep Good Posture
This helps ease the pressure on your lower back. You can use tape, straps, or stretchy bands to help keep your spine in alignment. Aim to keep your head centered over your pelvis. Don’t slouch your shoulders or crane your chin forward. If you work in front of a screen, rest your arms evenly on the table or desk, and keep your eyes level with the top of the screen. Get up from your chair and stretch and walk regularly.
4. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Shedding extra pounds lightens the load on your lower back. If you need help, ask your doctor for advice on a diet and exercise plan that may work best for you.
5. Quit Smoking
Research suggests that if you smoke, you may be four times more likely than nonsmokers to have degenerative disk disease or other spine problems. Nicotine in cigarettes and other tobacco products can weaken your spinal bones and take away vital nutrients from the spongy disks that cushion your joints. A healthy spine keeps your back flexible and its muscles from getting stiff and sore.
6. Try Ice and Heat
You may have heard that one is better than the other for relief from back pain. The short answer is that the best option is whichever works for you. Usually, ice is best if your back is bothered by swelling or inflammation. A heating pad may be better if you’re trying to relax stiff or tight muscles.
Skin creams, salves, ointments, or patches may help when your back feels stiff, sore, and tense. Many of these products contain ingredients such as menthol, camphor, or lidocaine that can cool, heat, or numb the affected area. Put on creams right where you hurt. Ask someone to apply it if you have trouble reaching the spot.
It’s best to get your vitamins and minerals from foods. But ask your doctor if supplements might help. For example, many people don’t get enough vitamin D, which is important for bone health. That can happen from lack of exposure to sunshine or because your body can’t absorb enough vitamin D from foods. Magnesium deficiency may lead to muscle weakness and cramps. A vivid yellow spice that’s related to ginger, may help calm inflammation. Always talk to your doctor before you take any supplements
9. Throw in the Towel
A rolled-up towel can be a handy tool for back pain relief. Try putting it under your pelvis when you’re lying down. Let your hips relax over the towel and help stretch out the tension in your lower back.