Let's talk a bit more about Dr. Vijay Vad and his sensible prescription for pain relief: "exercise, yoga, and other alternative strategies." He also mentioned that "flexibility needs to come first."
Flexibility first... but how?
Flexibility is crucial to keeping muscles and joints in healthy working order, however, Dr. Vad emphasized strengthening exercises and has not given any hints as to how to gain that much needed flexibility.
Accidents, injuries, surgeries, over-training at the gym, and over-stretching in yoga class (among other things) can cause muscles to involuntarily contract. If this happens repeatedly muscles learn to stay involuntarily contracted; this is known as Sensory Motor Amnesia (SMA), and it is the cause of most muscular pain.
The advice to get back to exercising and strengthen those muscles that are causing pain is putting the cart before the horse. Tight muscles that cause pain are holding tension; they pull on joints, often pulling one's structure out of alignment. If you have back pain, hip pain, neck, shoulder, hip, or even knee pain, the first and most important thing to do is to learn to relax the muscles that are causing your pain. Then, and only then, should you consider strengthening the muscles.
Hanna Somatic Education is the key
How do you relax your muscles in order to regain flexibility and begin the process of creating a strong, healthy body that is pain-free? Reeducating the muscles and reminding them of their ability to contract, lengthen, and relax is the best alternative. Hanna Somatic Education teaches this method; you actually learn to reset the muscle's length, making them longer, and more flexible, helping to prevent a repeat injury.