Two years ago, I started having lower back pain (a lot). I had an MRI done and found that I have 3 herniated disks. Although I am told they are not bulging badly. (Did I mention that I am a mail carrier?) I have had nothing but pain and suffering every few months. I have been told I need to strenghthen my back and stomach muscles so I have tried doing that. I have received 4 epidurals in the past year a half. (Two worked, two didn't). I've had one Facet injection too (That worked for awhile). While I have no pain down my legs or any numbness of any kind, I have a lot of back pain, pinching, burning, and swelling. I do not want to end up having a fusion that the doctors cannot guarantee will make me feel better anyway. Please can anyone out there have any other suggestions for me? I think 5 injections in less than two years is too much to have. Will extensive exercise take away this terrible swelling feeling? Sometimes I feel fine and then all of a sudden I get an overwhelming swelling and pain feeling that takes days, sometimes weeks to go away. My work is affected and so is my life. I am 39 and appreciate anyones help!