I had back surgery for a disc herniation. I thought the goal was to reduce my pain by taking pressure off the nerve root. It's been three months and I still have the same symptoms. What can I do next?

Many studies of patients who had lumbar disc surgery show only a 60 percent success rate. This means that up to 40 percent have continued pain, weakness, and loss of function a year or more after the operation.

An active rehab program is advised for patients with continued symptoms after surgery. The sooner the program is started, the better your chances for improvement. Studies show patients return to work faster and improve function more when an active program is started early.

The best training program still remains unknown. Right now it looks like any kind of exercise seems to help. It may be best to combine a program of strength training with flexibility and stability. A physical therapist can help you match a program to your specific needs.