Self-care and treatment can be responsibly done under the consultation of a medical provider. The following are some safe and effective methods, but remember, if your back still hurts after a week of self-treatment, seek medical advice.
Application of heat or ice
Apply heat and/or ice in a way that makes you most comfortable. To relieve initial pain, you may want to apply ice packs wrapped in towels for 10 minutes every two hours for the first one or two days. Then you may apply heat or ice. Always make sure you have a cloth of some type between your skin and the ice, to prevent freezing the skin and frostbite. It is not recommended that you lie on an ice pack. Since back sprains and strains don't usually cause much swelling, some people find moist heat, such as a hot shower, tub bath, wet towels, or hot water bottle, to be more effective than ice. Limit heat to 15-20 minutes every few hours. Too much heat can make you feel drained and tired, rather than relaxed.
Massage helps increase the blood flow to your muscles, improves muscle tone and helps your muscles to relax. Classes are often offered for massage training and there are resources such as books and handouts available to teach proper massage technique.
Pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin can help reduce pain. Be aware that products such as these can cause stomach irritation for some people. Take all medications in the dosages and time schedules recommended on the label.