Each year, low back pain affects millions of people worldwide, and it’s a leading cause of missed days from work. If you find yourself suffering from back pain, you don’t necessarily need medicine to treat it; there are plenty of natural remedies you can try that can yield big relief:

1. Learn how to meditate. Mediation can mean different things to different people, but at its heart, it means learning how to become deeply relaxed so you can release mental and physical stress. Not sure what t do? Search YouTube for demonstration videos.

2. Exercise regularly. Not only does regular exercise help keep your back muscles flexible, it also releases endorphins, natural, “feel-good” chemicals that can help decrease pain and alleviate stress and depression.

3. Connect with others. Hanging out with friends and loved ones can be a great mood-elevator, and it’s also important to find a support group that understands the problems that go hand-in-hand with chronic pain. Try an online group or look for one at a local hospital.

4. Get plenty of sleep. Sleep isn’t just good for your mood – it’s also a time when injured tissues have time to heal. Exercising regularly can help promote the deep sleep your back needs to feel better. Have trouble falling asleep? Try jump-starting your drowsiness with meditating or take a warm bath.

5. Try a massage. Therapeutic massage can reach deeper muscle tissues to help improve circulation, relieve stress and release mood-enhancing endorphins.

6. Apply heat or cold. Heat can help increase circulation of oxygen-rich blood for faster tissue healing while cold helps relieve inflammation. Some conditions can be exacerbated by hot or cold, so be sure to check with your doctor before using either one to treat your back pain.

Back pain can occur for a lot reasons. Before trying any natural remedies for your pain, see your doctor to have your pain evaluated so you don’t wind up making your pain much worse.