BACK PAIN? USE HEAT AND COLD
Heat and cold are effective ways to get relief from back pain. Ice packs are most beneficial when you use them directly after an injury, such as a strain. Applying an ice pack wrapped in a towel directly to the back can reduce inflammation.
Cold may also provide a numbing effect for sudden, intense back pain. A person can use cold packs designed for pain relief, or in a pinch, use a bag of ice or frozen vegetables covered with a cloth to protect the skin from frostbite. It is best not to apply ice for more than 20 minutes at a time.
A heating pad can also relieve stiff or achy muscles. Be sure to read and follow the instructions on any heating pad and test the temperature carefully to ensure it is not too hot.
If a heating pad is unavailable, you can use a hot water bottle or heat a cloth bag of uncooked rice in the microwave, but take care not to burn the skin with ice or heat.