Restrict movement. People with a back condition that requires stability may benefit from a brace or corset at some point. Several types (elasticized, close-fitting undergarments that support the lower hips, lower back and abdomen) typically can be worn under your clothing.

Corsets are adjustable and made of elastic; braces are sturdier and have metal stays. Both are used for the same purposes: to reduce pressure on the discs, small, circular cushions of tissue that act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae (the bones of the spine); provide back and abdominal support; and keep the spine stable while it heals.

Braces are often prescribed for temporary pain relief, especially during times you'll be particularly active or sitting for long periods of time. They are also prescribed as a way to restrict movement of the spine during recovery from a fractured vertebra or some surgeries.

7. Look to Eastern exercises. One of the best things you can do for back pain is move – gently and in moderation. Many people have found a way to do that by looking to newly trendy, but actually ancient forms of movement such as yoga and tai chi.

Some yoga exercises gently stretch and strengthen the muscles in the hips, back and legs; others improve muscle strength in the abdomen, which supports the lower back.

Yoga's breathing exercises, postures and meditation practices, when performed daily, have been shown to improve flexibility and balance, regulate heart rate, lower blood pressure and decrease anxiety, which can worsen back pain.

For people with osteoporosis, in whom a fall could mean a serious and painful fracture, tai chi has an added benefit – improving balance. In a large study sponsored by the National Institute on Aging, seniors who practiced tai chi suffered 25 percent fewer injuries from falls than control groups.

To find out if the Arthritis Foundation's tai chi program is available in your area, contact your local office.