When you have back pain, it can take over your life. Whatever it was that put your back out of whack, all you want now is relief from the pain…and the idea of strong pain drugs, or even surgery, looks mighty tempting.

Hold on! Painkillers, especially narcotics, have dangerous side effects…and the drugs won’t cure the cause of your back pain. And while an operation might help, very often it makes the pain worse—but you won’t know that until it’s too late.

Good news: There are many nondrug, nonsurgical treatments that banish back pain safely. Examples: Special exercises, stretches and yoga poses that make pain disappear, often in as little as seven minutes a day…easy forms of self-massage that literally roll aches away…an East Asian healing technique you’ve probably never heard of (no needles needed!)…a fix for a toe problem that resolves back issues, too…and much more. Bonus: How to tell if surgery will help or make matters worse. Explore our Bottom Line Guide to Drug-Free Back Pain Relief

The Right Moves…Stretches and Exercises

Simple Stretches that Make Back Pain Disappear

Exercises That Get Rid of Back Pain In Just 7 Minutes

3 Exercises That Can Realign Your Body and Ease Low-Back Pain

7 Ways to Heal—and Prevent—Back Pain

Banish Back Pain with Seven Easy Yoga Poses

Foam Roller Massage Roll Away Your Aches and Pains

Exercise Can Work Better Than Drugs for Stroke, Depression, Pain and More

Why You Shouldn’t Have an MRI and Other Bad Back Treatments

Touch That Heals…and More

Myotherapy: Drug-Free Help for Shoulder, Back and Hip Pain

Stop Chronic Back Pain Without Surgery

Gua Sha: Hands-On Therapy for Muscle and Joint Pain

DIY Tricks to “Untie” a Knot In Your Back

Fractures, Scoliosis, Surgery…

Vertebral Fractures: You May Have a Broken Back and Not Know It

A Surprising Cause of Back Pain

Will Surgery Help Your Back Pain—Or Make It Worse? How to Tell