Abuses in my youth have left me in a lot of pain. Robin McKenzie's Treat Your Own Back helped me more than any doctor.
I was desperately searching for an option other than letting doctors I do not trust operate on my spine. In response, a friend sent me a copy of this book. Spine, neck and lower back expert Robin McKenzie's Treat Your Own Back delivered enough information to let me hold off on the surgery and return to a fairly functional life.
Treat Your Own Back gives a lot of information about why the pain is happening, and what posture can do to alleviate it. Simple exercises that'll help relieve pressure on nerves, and build core strength. Common sense approaches to dealing with back pain, rather than running right for surgery.
Someday I think I'll end up under the knife. I have some good friends who have had wonderful success with it. Until I find I really need it, and I've run out of self-care options, however, I'm going to keep looking for books like this one.
I need to stretch out my hamstrings and lower back, a lot. This $9 PT strap helps.
I ceased being super active and spent much of the last year or so in "avoid backpain" mode. Slowly, I lost more of my range of motion. When I did go and do supremely dumb things like ride a motorcycle 600 miles in 2 days, or nearly strand a VW bus in a not-so-dry Mexican lake bed, I hurt real, real bad for a real long time.
I decided to start doing something about it! Fancy that. Stretching is job one. Refusing to use a pants belt, I got a strap just like the one I used in physical therapy. It helps. Having a dedicated stretching tool right where I'll use it is a good idea in my book.
I will not recommend exercises! I use some my PT/pilates folks gave me a few years ago (before I stopped going and slowly began down the road to atrophy,) as I think you need to find what works for you and won't make things WORSE. Google and YouTube offer a ton of help, if you wanna go it alone.
Next up is a spinning bike for lower-impact-on-the-back cardio that I enjoy.