Re: Following up
So glad to hear things are improving for you! Having a history of back trauma, there are probably some things to avoid -- heavy lifting, twisting, bending. I have learned to squat instead of bending over. I also have a bad hip, so it's awkward.
The epidurals may help in two ways: by reducing the chemical inflammation and by physically pushing the disc off the nerve. The chemical inflammation can also irritate nerves. I am guessing that the three-month guideline is how long he expects to regain their normal shape. Of course, some stuff is better off done by someone else (heavy lifting) or by changing your environment (breaking up one heavy item into smaller ones).
A general guideline for increasing your activity level is to create an unpainful baseline and increase by ten percent per week. So, if you can walk for ten minutes this week, then increase to eleven minutes. It is slow, but builds quickly. (I started off swimming 800 yards (20 minutes) and I am now at 3000 yards (60 minutes), with no major flares.)