Many people suffer from minor back pain and stiffness, especially as they grow older. Some are stiff and find it difficult to move upon waking in the morning, while others have a sore back only after a long day of work. Back pain can be a distraction, but there are treatments that can alleviate your discomfort and make your day that much more comfortable. Using a heating pad can help your back to relax and loosen up tightened back muscles. Some all-natural heating pads are filled with material such as corn or rice and can be heated up easily in the microwave. The heating pad is then applied to the back at the area of stiffness. Relief will be apparent within about half an hour. Likewise, taking a long, warm bath will loosen up your back and neck, making you feel more relaxed. You can also use over-the-counter medication for a sore or stiff back. Medicines such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be helpful in dealing with minor pain and back stiffness. Just take the medicine according to the directions on the bottle, and you should feel relief within about twenty minutes. Massages are also helpful for a stiff back. A massaging seat cushion can often help to heat up and loosen a tight back through massaging movements. You simply sit on the seat cushion, adjust the settings, and let the massaging mechanism work over your tight muscles until they are more relaxed. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, staying active and regularly exercising can help keep your body nimble and in shape. A healthy body is less prone to stiffness and pain due to inactivity or too much sitting or lying in one position. A sedentary lifestyle can add to back problems, including stiffness. Just as important is maintaining good posture when standing or sitting. Keep a strong core by strengthening your abdominals through exercises such as crunches. Many people with back problems can alleviate them by strengthening their core. Relaxation techniques such as tai chi, yoga, and simple stretching can help you to stay flexible, which is great for not only your back but your entire body. Consider taking up activities that will induce a relaxation response in your body and will lessen your perception of pain and soreness in your body. Many people consider back soreness a fact of life, especially as they age. This isn't always true, and there are many treatments that can help reduce back stiffness. Heat therapy and other the counter medicines can help. Back pain sufferers should try to maintain an active lifestyle, and pursue activities that promote relaxation and strong core muscles. By taking care of themselves, they can enjoy a healthy, comfortable life.