There are anti inflammatory medicines that may be of help and also certain muscle relaxers, such as skelaktin, that have less drowsy side effects compared to other relaxants. You could do both at the same time with your physicians guidance.
Getting a good chair where you are studying and practicing good posture while doing it can help tremendously.
If you are able to do abdominal strengthening exercises, such as crunches, without risk of seriously hurting your back (ask your physician) they could be of major benefit for you. Your abs help to support your back and ab weakness has alway lead to a high percent of back pain and discomfort.
I disagree with the ice therapy as the only consideration. A great way to help certain types and places of pain is to first use ice for 20 minutes (it will push the blood out of that area where your blood vessels are located) Then directly after the ice is removed, place heat on the area for 20 minutes (it will bring the blood back quickly to that area and will quickly open your blood vessels up very wide, which is the key, compared to before the time when you began. The vessels will receive the heat much more effectively that way.
You're a student and good sleep patterns will, without a doubt, always lessen pain. (Did you know that? It's not a very well known fact yet so true.)
If you can't afford the time or money to join a gym with some initial trainer guidance, which is usually offered at no charge the first time, you could go on a guest pass for a week or so and ask for a trainer to show you stretching and some light toning for body parts. There are so many exercises that you can find by googling, so you shouldn't even have to go to the gym.
It all boils down to how severe your back is injured and exactly what is causing the pain. I would recommend a reputable spine center (ask other students for a referral or get a referral from your family physician, if you have one at school)
I just had a friend have back surgery on Tuesday this week and she was better right after surgery! Her sciatica pain stopped and other underlying more back pain has improved. She said she feels 90% better! It was an outpatient procedure, easy. She had a cyst on her spine and they got rid of it by bursting it.
Always do the least invasive first. You don't have to go to everyone you can think of, because that would be very expensive. Try some accupuncture, accupressure, etc..
Last, but not least ... try TaiChi!! It's fantastic!