When my back acts up (as it often does) I go for the Ibuprofen and the chiropractor. A massage couldn't hurt either.
When my back completely locks up, sending me into body wrenching spasms, I go for the drugs. I believe that our bodies have the ability to heal. If the body can't relax, it can't heal. The muscle relaxer and anti-inflammatory allow the body to relax and repair itself.