For him, it really was not discomfort as in pain . . . it was more a feeling that the nerve was vibrating. . . more constant irritation and distraction . . . in any case, after a couple of consultations with specialists and a few tests, they sent him for about 12 weeks (I am not really sure) of physiotherapy including something that is called deep tissue massage . . . he was a bit discouraged because the first while, the physio was very "light" and did not seem to have an effect, but then, I guess as the muscle loosened, the physio got progressively more intense . . . in any case he had physio on his back and in about a month he said he started to feel better . . . here in Canada, they are very reluctant to use cortisone unless it is extremely serious, etc. so they start with the least invasive treatments and build up which suited him fine as he wanted to get rid of the root cause and not just the symptom . . .
I know that he finds soaking in a hot tub with Epsom Salts to be very soothing now and I know that he still goes to the physio clinic twice a month, I think, for maintenance (his choice, not on doc's orders as he find the physio to be a preventive treatment --- besides, his health plan covers 90% of the cost) . . . I think the trick is to find a solid physio clinic . . . he goes to one that is affiliated with a sports team here and he swears by them . . . I don't know where you are, but just check and make sure it is a very reputable physio clinic . . . there are some registered massage therapists who also say that they can do physiotherapy (although this is illegal but however they phrase it, they stay on this side of the law) but I find that, in these cases, it is much better to pay the going rate of the credentialed physiotherapist . . . .it won't hurt to ask your doctor especially if you do a lot of sitting or physical work . . .take care, kc