Sorry to hear about your back Bryan. I understand what you are going through.
Approx. 5 years ago I started getting a nagging pain in my left leg. I thought I had hurt my hip. It got worse over time, but I still went on. One night at work my left foot started going numb. The next morning my lower back was on fire. I went to the DR and got X-rays. That same day they sent me in to see a specialist. I got there and they did an MRI on me. The specialist looked at the MRI and told us that surgery was to be the next day. I had a piece of bone fragment that was pressing against my spinal cord and siatic nerve. They said that one slip and I could be paralyzed. There was a 50/50 chance that I could be paralyzed from the surgery as well. I was hard headed and told them that I would have the surgery within a few weeks as soon as I got some hunting time in. I figured if I had a 50/50 chance of being paralyzed I was going to finish of with a hunting trip.
A month later I got to where I could barely walk. I went in for the surgery. Everything went great. 8 months later I went back to work. The very same night I went to work they brought in a truck that had 5 skids of weights on it. I could have used a lift to take the skids out, but one of the pallets had broken down and weights were scattered on the floor in the way. I started putting the weights on a good pallet. I got half of the spilled load done and my back went out on me. They had to carry me out of the building.
I then had three more surgeries that never took.
The last surgery I had was a spinal fusion. That was February of 2006. So far it has relieved the pain in my left leg, the numbness is gone and I can move around fairly well. I can't do much of anything. I can't sit or stand for long periods of time and now even laying flat on my back (which is what relieved my pain the most before) is uncomfortable. I can also tell when I do too much. At least I can walk though.
I had to wear the back brace close to 8 months and I couldn't stand it.
Hopefully your back will get better. I will say a prayer for you.