Sorry to hear about your pain. I had a similar situation that gave me so much pain that I could only take about 10 steps before I had to sit because of pain. Even sitting for too long hurt so I was constantly having to move up and down no matter what I was always in pain. It does not sound to me that you need surgery since some things worked for you even if for a short period of time. In my situation I tried 3 epidurals, lost 50 lbs, excersized and tried every type of medication in the books. I even doubled my doses because of the pain. I ended up having surgery, it was a lamenectamy. I know surgery sounds scary but this is such a minor surgery that you are out of the hospital the next day. This surgery took away all of the pain. However, I gained 50 lbs again and played football. I eventually herniated again and had to have a fusion. Let me tell you I feel no pain after the fusion. I highly recommend eventhough others don't. If the pain gets to be constant you might want to check out a lamenectamy first. I would never have a fusion as the first alternative. This takes too much time to heal from. Take care and good luck. Keep me posted.