Alert
Close

Take AARP’s Smart Driver course and you could save money on your car insurance. Learn more

HIGHLIGHTS

Close

AUTO BUYING PROGRAM

AARP Auto Buying Program

Download the ipad App

AARP-iPad-ePub-app

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP BOOKS

Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

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

Webinars

Learn From the Experts

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

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.

 

Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

share your thoughts

What does the health care law mean to you? Your story is important. We read and learn from every story and it helps us in our educational efforts. We may even use your comments (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

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

Processing

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.

Woman trying on glasses in optometrists shop

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

Prescription medication spilling out of bottle

Members get a free Rx card from AARP® Prescription Discounts provided by Catamaran.

AngiesList

Members can save 25% to 45% on their Angie's List membership.

Caregiving walking

Caregiving can be a lonely journey, but AARP offers resources that can help.