A basic distinction is between unbearable pain and aching pain. Neither is fun, but when I have unbearable pain, I go get help. It may take a week or longer to get it resolved. Aching pain is more common now. For that, I start a recovery routine that usually resolves the pain in a day or two. I follow 5 steps to eliminate my back pain. This site explains what I do to keep a healthy spine.

Step 1: Reduce Back Inflammation

First, always, always address the inflammation. Pain is caused when something swells and becomes inflammed. If there is too much inflammation, the pain may become unbearable and difficult to fix. If you can reduce inflammation, a doctor or chiropractor can do more to help. I take herbs and enzymes for inflammation. I make sure I get good nutrition and drink water. A ice pack may also be in store.
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Step 2: Improve Standing and Sitting Posture

Next, I take stock of how my posture is affecting my back. How am I sitting when I watch TV? This is often a culprit. How am I sitting at my desk? It helps to use my back support. How long am I sitting without getting up to stretch? Am I slumping when I stand? Is my neck pulled back and my chin pulled down as it should be? Do I need to wear arch support in my shoes for a few days? Sometimes I use an inversion table to relieve pressure, stretch my body and improve my posture.
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Perfect Posture Program – Improve Your Posture

Step 3: Stretch and Strengthen Muscles

Weak and tense muscles cannot do the job of holding the skeletal body in place while also allowing fluid movement. Muscles may spasm on one side and make the spine to go out of alignment. When muscles are strong and relaxed, the spine stays in alignment. This has been a major discovery for me. I make sure I get good protein (to build muscle), and then I do yoga or free-form dancing to work out the kinks. Certain yoga exercises almost guarantee that I can stop my lower back pain. Dancing is fun exercise and I dance by moving the spine as fluidly as possible. It feels great.
More details about Exercise for Back Pain…
Yoga for back pain: Simple exercises can make a big difference.

Step 4: Reduce Stress to Reduce Pain

During times of extreme stress, my back will often flare up. It is a sign that I must slow down, and calm my overactive mind. This can be done with a bath, laughing, sitting quietly, visualizing relaxation or listening to calming music. I meditate to manage my stress. I learned that you can relax deeper in 20 minutes of meditation than in 8 hours of sleep! That is pretty astounding!
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Step 5: Improve Sleep

Sleep is a time for rest and healing. Sleep does all kinds of good things for the body. My back pain sometimes makes it hard to sleep. So I have become a master of improving the quality and quantity of sleep.
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Step 6: Get Help from Back Specialists

I would never have been able to improve and heal without the help of a number of back pain specialists. It was a learning process to find out who was doing what and what they could do for me. I always call a practitioner to find out what their specialy is, since there are even subcategories of what they do. For example, there are many kinds of physical therapists, massage therapists, and chiropractors. I have started interviewing back pain specialists so you can better understand what the various specialties are and what individual doctors and practitioners are doing.
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Step 7: Self Help for Back Pain

Taking care of my back is an ongoing process, so I am continually learning more about it. I am always interested in anything that can help reduce stress and pain to help keep my spine strong and healthy. I read books about back pain and also use specialized products for back support and pain relief. When my back feels good, I have a much better day, so these things are well worth it to me.
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