Location of Injury: Lower Back
Likely cause: "Lower-back pain can result from lifting heavy objects or simply twisting at an odd angle, but often the cause is unknown," says Stanley A. Herring, M.D., medical director of spine care at the University of Washington in Seattle.
What to avoid: Heavy lifting, high-impact activities like running, and yoga and Pilates moves that involve bending forward and twisting. All may increase pressure on the shock-absorbing disks of the spine. You might also want to steer clear of tennis and golf.
What you can do: Walk. Biking (don't slouch) and swimming are also good.
What would make it better: Strengthening muscles in your abdomen, hips, and pelvis will help support the lower back. Try crunches and back-extension exercises. Even though rest might seem like the best course, keep moving. "Inactivity won't help you get better faster," Herring says, "and you may lose strength and flexibility."