General strengthening exercises would help, massage is great and a muscle relaxer would help. Heat, including the thermoguard type patches and salon pas patches help. Perhaps your doctor could refer you for physical therapy. I'd check with him before doing any exercises anyway.
I suspect that your doctor diagnosed you with degenerative disc disease. People have wildly varying degrees of symptoms with this, from no pain or symptoms at all, to severe pain and other symptoms. It all depends on the individual. I suggest you look into doing physical therapy, at least a couple sessions, so they can teach you specific back exercises that specifically help your spine. Also, you can try going to a chiropractor for physical manipulation of the spine, for spinal decompression, and/or therapeutic massage. Of course, just like anything else, you'll want to discuss these options with your primary care physician, and/or the doctor who diagnosed this. And you might have to discuss this with your doctor anyway, if your health insurance (if you have it) requires referral from your PCP to see a specialist.
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