Help pack a million meals for struggling seniors on 9-11. Volunteer today


AARP Staying Sharp: Keep Your Brain Healthy


The tablet with free 24/7 customer support. Learn More


Military and Veterans Discount



AARP Games - Play Now!


Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.


Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

Get expert advice on planning for your own or a relative’s future care needs.

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.



Heart Disease


Most Popular


13 Ways to Beat Back Pain

Check out these low-cost, drug-free remedies

  • Soften your floors. To reduce stress on your spine, put anti-stress or anti-fatigue mats, typically made of one-half inch layers of vinyl or rubber, wherever you stand for long periods, like in the kitchen or where you dress, suggests Silver. You can find anti-stress mats on the Internet or in big box stores.

  • Ice up. "When you have pain that's just started from the muscle, ice is generally more effective than heat," says Marcus. "Leave the ice, wrapped in a light cloth, on the painful spot for three to five minutes. Once it's numb, take the ice off and move." Ice makes the nerves fire less, reducing pain and allowing the painful muscle to move more easily.

  • Skip bed rest. "Every day in bed, you lose one to three percent of muscle strength," says Marcus. "That makes you weak and stiff. Maintaining your activity is the best thing for back pain." Skip the back brace as well — or use it only infrequently for an hour at a stretch. It too weakens muscles.

  • Flick the cigarettes. "One of the major reasons for back pain is diminished oxygen to the muscle, normally caused by lack of blood flow," Marcus says. Because smoking constricts the blood vessels, it reduces the flow of blood — and oxygen — and increases pain.

  • Shift positions. Whether you're lying, sitting or standing, shift positions often, says Silver: "Don't stay one way. Move around and listen to the voice of your body telling you when it's comfortable."

Dorothy Foltz-Gray is a freelance writer who lives in North Carolina. 

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Walgreens 1 discount membership aarp

Members can earn 50 points per $1 spent on select health & wellness products at Walgreens.

member benefit aarp hear usa

Members save 15% on easy listening devices and more at the HearUSA Hearing Shop.

Eye Med 4 Membership Benefit AARP Discount

Members save up to 60% on eye exams and 30% on glasses at Target Optical.

Membership Benefits Discounts Email Genius

Brain boost? Get AARP email for access to memory exercises & more that help you focus.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points