I had a microdiscectomy of L3L4 after several bouts of sciatica and then severe front leg pain this winter. I had tried all sorts of therapies such as Chiropractic, Pilates, Yoga, stretching, massage, but they only bought me time to wait for a convenient surgery date.
The results were instant! Both of the above were relieved after the surgery and though there was some muscle pain and stiffness it was so much less than the previous pain that two days after surgery I needed no pain meds at all, even to sleep.
My instructions post-op were simple; Walk! Starting the day after surgery I walked around the house frequently and avoided sitting straight up for long - it was very uncomfortable anyway. A recliner worked best for me - chose something that goes back well and has good support for the low back, or add cushions to make it comfortable.
From there I walked a little bit each day and have gradually increased the distance. At frist just walking to the end of the block and back was plenty, but now, 2 weeks post-op I can easily walk 2 miles, and I take several shorted walks as well, My surgeon says to build up to 5 miles gradually. On occasion I will still have some muscle discomfort or random twinges, but minor and nothing lasts long enough to need even Advil.
He said that walking is the best therapy and will help the healing. With the results I have had, I have to agree.
Full range of sporting activities is 2-3 months away, but my herniation was severe and had ruptured.
So walk, take it gradually and listen to your body, if you feel a twinge, back off and don't be too proud to ask for help!