Picking up things (and kids), sitting all day, having people lean on you—all of these take a toll on your back. You can stay flexible and strong by doing daily exercises like planks
, downward dogs
and bird dogs
. When you notice aches and twinges, though, schedule a massage appointment. A study published last year in the Annals of Internal Medicine
showed that a relaxation-type or Swedish massage is an effective treatment for lower-back pain. Nearly two-thirds of patients who received a weekly massage for 10 weeks said their back pain was significantly improved or gone altogether (only about one-third of the patients receiving medication or physical therapy found similar relief).