Starting in my 20's, my back would go out after a tiny movement like turning too quickly or picking up a pen. The pain was so intense I sometimes had to crawl from the bed to the door and could not bend down to tie my shoes for days. It took weeks to recover.
I knew people who had surgery for this kind of pain but also saw the pain return for them. Surgery seemed like a poorly proven, expensive and dangerous option. A professor of mine at UC Davis who had the same kind of back pain and the same lack of interest in surgery said he found that whether he laid in bed for weeks or just kept teaching, the pain went away in the same amount of time. But how to heal faster?
I found a good chiropractor who was able to heal my pain. When my back went out I would go to her as soon as possible. She would put 7 minutes cold (gel pack), 7 minutes moist heat (moist heating pads are available at drugstores) and 7 minutes cold again. My back pain would go away by the next day instead of weeks. Her explanation was that the heat (it has to be moist to prevent damage) and cold for that specific duration was the safe amount of time to promote healing by the cold pushing the blood out of the muscles, the heat drawing it back in and then out again with the cold. In my case, my tense muscles (mostly from stress) would pull my spine out of alignment, so she would also adjust my spine over time.
This 7-7-7 formula has worked for friends I have shared it with as well. It seemed miraculous after the pain that had been endured for days or weeks before.
Later, a partner of mine shared a book: John Sarno's "Healing Back Pain - the Mind Body Connection" (http://amzn.to/1sdVFn5) which also helped greatly with understanding and eventually preventing this kind of back pain from happening again (it has been over a decade).
I have moved and think my chiropractor has retired, but hopefully there will be recommendations for other good ones near you here.