I've had SEVERE sciatica and lower back pain on the left side for about 3 months now. The first month I forced myself to keep working despite the unbearable pain (which wasn't a good idea) but one morning it was so bad that I just couldn't get out of bed and sure enough I lost my job. It's been 2 months since then and I've been bed ridden for most of the time because of the pain. I finally got an MRI recently after weeks of argueing with the insurance company and trying to find a doctor who can set me up with one and it turns out I have a fairly big disc herniation at L4/L5 that is compressing the sciatic nerve. The orthopedist I saw recommended surgery or an epidural right off the bat which just didn't seem like the correct approach just yet so I spoke to another orthopedist in the same building and he said I can try physical therapy first so that's where i'm at now. Over these past 2 months I've tried stretching (aggravates the pain alot), walking, and have been taking Percocet ( if I didn't take it I'd be in pain 24/7 no matter what position I'm in). I've also been to the hospital 5 times so far.
Anyways, walking seems to help afterwords so I will start forcing myself to get up everyday and walk a mile. I also have an inversion table I will start using twice a day along with a foam roller I will use twice a day as well. What else can I do to heal this herniated disc naturally? I know bedrest for this long is counterproductive so I'll start doing what I said above, but as far as diet, other exercises, and natural remedies what is best to treat this injury? I definitely don't want to go through surgery or get injected with all these medications so what can I do to have the best chances of healing on my own and how long do you think it will take? Thanks