I can certainly relate to all of this. Ihad surgery 18 months ago to fix my L4-L5 disc. It was not successful. As a result, I have nearly constant chronic nerve pain shooting down to my calf. It is most painful in the left buttock. I take Ultram and skelaxin. Lyrica and Celebrex did nothing. Ibuprofen sometimes helps. Ice is my friend. I used to be SOOO active and this is really depressing. I try to wlak , but the pain is too much. All i can do is swim in the summer.