They start with a saline IV drip. From there, the get you on the table and when ready, most usually give a ned called versed. It is used to help you forget the pain and procedure. It is quite good. Not really euphoric, but you won't feel a thing.
Then on the table, the will start with lidocaine, do the procedure, many docs will add some type of epidural steroid to help with any inflammation, and also will inject some antibiotics.
You should be feeling no pain at all until the lidocaine weras off in a few hours. Then you'll feel sore. How much depends on what the condition of you back was previous to the nucleo, and how much he did (mulitple levels, etc..)
Usually the docs then give the patient an Rx for Percocet or Vicoden.
First teo weeks are mostly rest in bed or recliner, then slow walking each week adding minutes to the weekly walk. At 8-10 weeks, PT can begin. Aqua therapy is definitely the best. Later on real PT can begin.
Then hopefully your completely cured and can run in the NYC marathon