I had a herniated disk, which turned into a torn disk at L5. The result was sheer pain, drop foot and my mobility was severly restricted. I opted for the diskectomy (which was a painful) because I could not stand up straight and my leg was numb from the knee down. That was in 93. I would do it again if I had to. I still experience periodic bouts of back pain, usually 1-3 times a year, lasting a week or so each time, but the rest of the time my back is ok and I can lead a fairly normal lifestyle. I recently have gone through a very bad period with my back, worried that I may require surgery again. But even if I do, well it has been almost 10 years so I guess that I am doing well considering the condition that my back is in. I see a chiropractor regularly, take supplements, eat properly, get lots of sleep and keep my stress level down as much as I can. I just started taking a tincture from the health Food store which has valarian root, passion flower, chamomile, catnip & hops, and I have to recommend it for muscle spasms and inflammation. Other things that I find helpful is hot epsom salt baths, heat packs, aromatherapy (lavendar or eucalyptus), as well as relaxation music with nature sounds. Please feel free to email me if you like. Good luck.