i havent been to this forum in a while but i thought i'd return to share good news. A year ago I herniated L4 &5 and it progressed to a point that i had to lay flat for any relief after walking or standing for any period of time. I had PT which didnt help. After suffering 6 months, i started googling obsessively out of desperation. What started to turn things around for me was: laying on a heating pad (electric, not moist) for 2 hrs at night while watching tv/reading and getting a foam pad that fit within the curve of my lower back, to prevent it from "flattening". I also lifted NOTHING heavy, no squatting or crouching. If i dropped something, it stayed there!. I did this for months and slowly, VERY slowly ( 5-6 more months?) i recovered. I heard that if the pain lasts 3-6 months that you need shots or surgery, but i was afraid of both. i basically traeted my back with extreme TLC, used naproxen sparingly, and i did eventually heal. I just wanted to return with positive news and to wish you all good luck.