Straight Line Back Stretching
Some mechanical damage to the vertebrae can be repaired by simple exercise. There is much information available on stretching exercises for the spine. The one that has worked the best for me is among the most simple. It is stretching the spine out, as gently as need be, in a straight line. Never perform this or any other stretch when it causes pain and it is always best to do under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
Stretching is best done when there are sufficient nutrients, especially minerals, and water in the system. This allows them to flow into the spaces between vertebrae when they are being stretched. See The Water Cure and General Maintenance Supplements. If there is much pain, consider using an arthritis combination to provide additional nutrients like glucosamine, chondroitin, and curcumin for repair and pain. If even more action is needed for pain, look into bromelain taken at whatever level is necessary.
For additional, gentle therapy to the back as well as to provide numerous additional health benefits, see Inclined Bed Therapy.
"Straight line stretching" is best done with an overhead bar that can be comfortably grasped. All that is involved is hanging on the bar. One does not need to have the feet off the floor, just bend the knees enough to allow the arms to support some of the weight of the body. It is not necessary to do this standing up, either. It can be done by lying on the floor, or a bed, and "planting" the buttocks and pulling with the arms against a fixture, like a bedpost or door frame. Have someone hold the feet or legs if necessary to prevent movement. Again, do not do this enough to cause pain. Gently stretching for a few minutes each day is sufficient.
If it is not possible due to one's physical condition to use Straight Line Back stretching, some of the same benefits can be had by using Inclined Bed therapy.
As to the causes of back (and shoulder) pain that are not caused by a specific strain or injury: When the pain is in the upper back or shoulders, it is often caused by liver problems. Using two capsules of a strong silymarin combination like Now Double Strength Silymarin per day is enough to often relieve it quickly. if the pain is a little lower, behind or below the shoulder blades it is usually cause by lung infection. Use an antiseptic regimen (like NutriBiotic DefensePlus and Now Oregano Oil Capsules). If the problem is in the lower back, use a supplement with magnesium citrate and The Water Cure.