Thanks for all the comments, emails, and recommendations. Many people have recommended Peter Egoscue's Pain Free book...the good thing is that I have been using Egoscue's methods for many years now for relief from minor back issues.
However, with my current issues the pain has been so bad that I have not been able to perform any of Egoscue's exercises until just a few days ago and even then performing the exercises were rather painful to do.
Today is better though and I can get through all the exercises without any "real" pain and the results are already clearly felt...last night was the first night I spent the entire night in my own bed all night in the past 2-wks (previously I was up every hour or more and spent much time just trying to find some position or pillow wedge that would decrease the pain that the narcotics were not even touching). Typically I have been getting 3-4 hours of sleep a night, but last night I slept at least 6 or 7 hours (whoohoo!)without any pain. And today I have only a very mild ache in my back and left leg plus the numbness in my lower leg feels different for some reason (more tingly than completely numb), which could be a good sign.
I also saw the slicer/dicer today who of course offered surgery and presented with much less enthusiasm when I was questioning him asking about alternative treatments and his opinion on such treatments and comparisons of recovery times. The bad news is that I either way, with surgery or conservative treatments, the recovery time is at least 6-8 week (or more) until I will be able to ride or lift anything significant.
The really bad news is that my employer (TriState Memorial Hospital - ER) will not allow me to return to work without a sign-off from a practitioner that I am able to lift at least 50 lbs. So essentially I am out of a job...hmmm
Anyone know where I can get some light duty work?