Over-the-counter pain relief medication: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may help. Keeping physically active: Low-impact exercise, such as swimming or walking, can help with maintaining flexibility and strengthening the muscles that support the spine. Improving posture: Slouching, for example, can make the pain worse. Physical therapy: A physical therapist may suggest specific exercises or massage. Back support: A person may need to choose a chair or mattress that supports their back better. Rest during periods of inflammation: When symptoms are troublesome, try resting for a while.