Hope you'r feeling better today dear!
I've heard ice is better for a back strain. But every time mine hurts I reach for the heating pad.... so don't mind me... :roll:
Sometimes braces can be helpful for a temporary fix - but little by little the best thing will probably be to start GENTLY (is it appropriate to use caps when you want to be gentle?) start stretching and strengthening.
If you can get your doc to recommend physical therapy, do so. They can help it heal even faster and teach you some good exercises to keep it stronger.
Many very gentle hugs ~
~"I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe." (Dalai Lama)