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Whether your back pain is excruciating or merely annoying, you probably won't feel like doing much. But don't take it easy for more than a day or two. Doing so can prolong and worsen pain. Instead, take a prescription or over-the-counter pain reliever (acetaminophen or ibuprofen) and start moving, says Daniel J. Mazanec, M.D., associate director of the Center for Spine Health at the Cleveland Clinic. "Low-impact activities, like walking or swimming, boost blood flow to your back muscles and help loosen them up."