I've not had a lot of back trouble, but whenever there have been aches, I've always thought the heating pad worked best. NOT! Cold constricts blood vessels, relieving pain far better and helping you heal faster than heat, according to Dr. RIchard Guyer at the Texas Back Institute. Place an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas (or whatever) over the spot for 20 minutes on, then 20 minutes off.
May 9 issue of Woman's World magazine.