Almost everybody suffers from a bout with back pain at some point in their lives, but for some people it is daily fact of life. Millions of Americans spend their lives coping with back pain and the quest for relief often sends them to traditional medical practitioners who may view prescription drugs or even surgery as the first choices for treatment.

Fortunately there are alternatives to prescription drugs and surgery. Here are some simple tips to treat back pain naturally and safely:

WALK IT AWAY: A daily walk strengthens stretched out ligaments in the lower back and reduces them to their normal position. Ligaments are stretchy bands of tissue that hold one bone to another to help keep the joints stable and strong. Invest in a pair of good walking shoes and get moving.

DON’T HEAD TO BED: Although some holistic health practitioners might recommend bed rest for a few hours after an acute injury, too much time in bed can worsen back pain. It’s been shown that lying in bed for prolonged periods of time can cause lower back ligaments to slacken, which impedes their ability to keep joints in place.

Related: The Incredible Benefits of Nordic Walking

MONITOR YOUR MOVEMENTS: When you are suffering from lower back pain you should avoid movements that displace the sacroiliac joint. Don’t bend over from the waist or do sit-ups with your knees straight. Be mindful of motions that stress lower back muscles.

HOLD BACK ON THE HEAT: You should never use heat immediately after suffering from back strain or other injuries. Heat expands ligaments which can create instability. Ice reduces inflammation and swelling which gets to the root of back pain. Ice also numbs sore tissues which is very soothing.

Back pain, like many other chronic conditions, is often the result of bad habits that are developed over the years. Poor posture, lack of exercise, poor nutrition and unresolved stress can cause or aggravate back pain. Make lifestyle choices that support your overall health and your back will thank you for it.