Ok so found out after returning to the US a few weeks ago that an injury that the NHS told me was nothing is actually several herniated discs. My L2/3, L3/4, and L4/5 are all minor displacements; however, my L5/S1 they said was quite severe(displaced about 1/8cm) and impinges the nerve and tendon for the right leg. I have met with my doctor as well as meeting with a neurosurgeon today. He recommended surgery, but at the moment I will attempt physical therapy even though in the past it has not helped for my knees and shoulders.
I am hoping some one, preferably in this field, can shed some light on the risks and odds etc. The surgeon just rattled off possible risks with out really explaining them and was out of the office before I could even ask what I am allowed to do now in terms of exercises.
What are the statistics on the risks involved? Such as what are the chances of paralysis or nerve damage?
How can physical therapy help?
And what sort of cardio exercises can I do currently? I have heard no running, biking but other than swimming what is safe to do without damaging further? Is yoga? Elliptical machines? What type of strength training is safe?