1. Keep Exercising
Activity is often the best medicine for back pain. “Simple exercises like walking can be very helpful,” Wilmarth says. “It gets people out of a sitting posture and puts the body in a
neutral, upright position.”
But remember to move in moderation, Flippin says. “Stay away from strenuous activities like gardening and avoid whatever motion caused the pain in the first place.”
2. Maintain Good Posture
The pain may have started after a long workout at the gym, but the strain that caused it has probably been building for years. Wilmarth says most people have poor posture when going about their daily activities, putting unnecessary strain on their backs.
“Little things add up,” she says. “You can increase the pressure on your back by 50% simply by leaning over the sink incorrectly to brush your teeth. Keeping the right amount of curvature in the back takes pressure off the nerves and will reduce back pain.”
3. Strengthen Your Core
Most people with chronic back pain would benefit from stronger abdominal muscles.
“The torso is a combination of many muscle groups working together,” Frank B. Wyatt, EdD, professor of exercise physiology at Missouri Western State University, tells WebMD in an email. “If the abdominals are weak, other areas must pick up the slack. When we strengthen the abdominals, it often reduces the strain on the lower back.
4. Improve Flexibility
Too much tension and tightness can cause back pain. “Our goal in increasing flexibility is to put an equal load throughout the body from the feet all the way up to the head,” Davis says. “One good exercise is to sit on the edge of the bed with one leg extended and the other one on the floor. Give your hamstrings a stretch by leaning forward while keeping your back in a neutral position.”