I know how you feel. I've had a herniated disk (L4/L5) since 2011. Why do you think I call myself "painBody" ?
Because I have a rubbery thing between my vertebrae, that keeps pinching a nerve and producing a lot of chronic pain
in my body
Have you noticed that staying in the same position for long (standing, sitting, etc) produces soreness and pain that becomes sharp/acute when you finally change positions ?
I'll tell you what I've tried - PT, Chiropractors, injections of analgesics (forget the name ... Cortisone !), rest, invasive surgery (diskectomy ... spelling ?) in which they shaved off the excess fluid from the bulging disk, all kinds of painkillers. And, the short version is ... nothing worked long-term. But, that may be because I continued to subject my back to heavy loads (lifting at the gym).
If you have them inject Cortisone into your back, it may numb the pain (for a few weeks, at most), provided they shoot it into exactly the right spot. They missed twice with me, and got it right the third time. I was pain free for a few weeks, and then, it was like, "Oh, back to normal now
They say that, with enough rest, herniated disks can heal. I don't know if this is true. I think this is something that you'll probably need to live with, like I do.
One huge lesson I learned from all this is to keep my spine neutral
at all times, but esp. when lifting loads (boxes or whatever). This is the most important thing to minimize pain and further injury. What does this mean in simple words ? When you bend down to pick up a gallon of milk from the fridge, don't bend your back ... squat ! When you drop something on the floor, and want to pick it up, don't bend your back; squat ! i.e. keep your spine neutral !
Whenever you're lifting something, engage your ab muscles (suck your stomach in as if you're trying to avoid passing gas, but continue breathing normally). If you go to PT, they'll show you how. Just Google "neutral spine". If you do PT, they'll tell you all about it and recommend exercises to strengthen your core - i.e. any muscles that help support the spine, of which your abdominal muscles are just one kind.
I.e. There is a reason why mother nature gave your spine a natural curvature. Don't argue with her or try to defy her !
Plus, if you feel soreness after staying in the same position for hours, make sure to get up and move every once in a while. Walking is great for this.
I'll add something when I remember something I've missed (I'm sure I've missed a lot).
Bottom line: This is going to be a lifestyle change. No quick fixes or cures that I know of. But, it is entirely manageable. Just don't rely on the medical profession to do anything
for you (unless your luck is way better than mine). Recovery is going to be largely dependent on you.
I even went back to lifting after a year of rest post-surgery, and would never have stopped lifting (barring the total downfall).