Lower-back pain is practically as common as the cold. During any given 3-month period, about one in four Americans are wincing from it. Usually it’s due to muscle pulls and swelling, which presses on nerves. Activity decreases inflammation and swelling, as long as you don’t overdo it. While most lower-back pain improves by itself within a month, who wants to go through a month of wincing?
Swimming and gentle yoga often help, but here’s something that’s simpler and quicker: Put one foot in front of the other. Yep, turns out that our favorite activity — walking — can ease lower-back pain in as little as 7 days. Even if you walk very short distances (picking up the mail, stopping by the neighbor’s house, going to the copier), just doing normal activities helps you recover and feel better faster. Why?