I have a pinched nerve in my back that occasionally flares up and leaves most of my left side aching. When it was really bad, a steroid injection was the only fix.
But I've found some tricks to help avoid another trip to the specialist.
At the risk of sounding even more like an old-lady, I'm absolutely dedicated to Salonpas. They're japanese pain relief patches originally created in 1847. Essentially Ben-Gay on a piece of tape. A couple days of patches plus some exercise and ibuprofin and you're back in business. They're amazing for any kind of ache or pain.