, The spine is a complicated thing; one wrong move and you can displace something that will hurt forever. Muscle strains and spasm also cause a lot of back problems, some of which are caused by careless actions or excess stress. Whatever the root of your back issues, one thing is certain: you need relief! Look over the following five ways you can begin addressing your back pain right away.

1. Get fit and stay active. The absolute best thing you can do for spine health (along with the rest of your body) is exercise. Find an activity that you truly enjoy, such as walking or swimming, and make a long-term commitment to it. Aim for at least 30 minutes every day, with stretching and warm-ups before and after. Your circulation and muscle tone will improve, both of which help to avoid back problems.

2. Manage your weight. Well over half the population is overweight, contributing to heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and even cancer, not to mention back pain. The spine wears out over time when the strain of excess weight is too much, so get focused on bringing your weight to within 10 pounds of optimum for your height and age. If you find the process too challenging, join forces with a friend who also needs to drop a few pounds and you can keep each other motivated until you achieve success.

3. Maintain good posture. Spinal health is closely interwoven with proper posture; long term damage can ensue if you slouch regularly or don’t stand straight while walking. Look into one of the many devices that prompt better posture, especially if you sit for long periods of time in front of a computer. You can find pillows and orthopedic cushions that will support your spine and ease away that aching back.

4. Rest well. Sleep is just as important as calcium, protein or vitamin C, but most people don’t live that way. If you wake up tired or find yourself yawning and yearning for a nap during the day, examine the quality of your mattress; make sure it hasn’t worn out in all the wrong places, causing an erosion in the quality of your sleep. Set your space up for sleeping too, with aroma therapy or calming music that can soothe you into a deep and restful night of solid rest.

5. Visit your doctor. At some point, you must consider the possibility that you have sustained some sort of spine or muscle injury that isn’t going to heal on its own. Don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor and see what your options are. Perhaps an anti-inflammatory is all you need, or maybe a change in life style will help your back heal over time. Either way, professional intervention can often prevent further damage and set you on a path to taking better care of your back.

There is simply too much fun waiting for you in life to be inhibited by back pain! Use the advice of this article to help your ailing back and resume a normal and pain-free course in life.