SN instructed in therapies normally used with medicine to help control pain. Heat: Heat helps decrease pain and muscle spasms. Apply heat to the area for 20 to 30 minutes every 2 hours for as many days as directed. Ice: Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel and place it on the area for 15 to 20 minutes every hour as directed. Massage therapy: This may help relax tight muscles and decrease pain. Physical therapy: This teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain.