Hi! I have never posted on a forum but I have found a lot of helpful info on this site. I am a healthy, active 35 year old woman who has always led an active lifestyle- running, riding horses, etc. I have had lower back pain issues since I was a kid (I grew up showing horses competitively) but began to have serious issues when I was in law school in 2003 and sitting all the time. I had two nerve blocks , one in 2006 which "fixed" the pain for several years, but it slowly came back, and I had another block in 2012, which pretty much didn't do anything. My MRIs showed a progressively worsening disc protrusion at l4/l5 (or l5/s1- I can't remember for sure!) and finally after my most recent MRI in May of this year, my doc said surgery was a viable option as the more conservative treatment (the blocks, various physical therapy, steroid packs) was not effective and the low back pain and sciatica down my right leg was unbearable. I had a microdiscectomy and laminectomy at l5/s1 on June 3rd for an extruded herniated disc. I am self employed as an attorney, which involves lots of sitting!! My doctor released me to go back to work after two weeks and I am now at about three weeks after surgery. I hurt when I went into the surgery and noticed an immediate relief right after. However, the pain has returned with a vengeance. I am freaked out because sitting is basically impossible and standing after any length of time results in excruciating burning pain down both legs and horrible aching through my hips, with a throbbing pain that is worse than before surgery. I am supposed to start PT tomorrow and plan to ask my therapist these questions too, but I have no idea what to expect I terms of the pain and how long I should be standing or sitting. I have to be back at work, but don't know how to manage the pain. I was In the office today from noon to five and was in so much pain that I had to lay down on the floor of my office. I am almost out of the pain meds the doctor prescribed (Percocet) and taking one of those when I get home and laying on my back is the only thing that gives me relief. I have been lying down this evening and the pain has definitely decreased but the throbbing pain through the front of my right hip is still there. Am I just expecting too much too soon? How long should I be standing or sitting at one time? Is it inflammation that is causing the increased pain? Will it get better? I would welcome any suggestions as to how to handle the return to work/expectations of pain management issue. Should I use heat or ice at the end of the day? I anticipate that perhaps I am expecting recovery to be quicker than it really is (and I think that is a correct assumption after reading some of the forums on this site) or that I am doing too much too soon; however, I am self employed and have to be able to work to pay the bills. Any guidance is much appreciated, and thanks so much!