Dips will not generally stretch a nerve root but can cause a recurrent herniation in rare cases, especially with rotation.
Your pain in the buttocks and leg is radiculopathic pain. Pain that has reduced from a 10 to a 7 is not a sign that the nerve is recovering well. The loss of “explosive pain” when rising from a chair generally means the root is not “getting caught” by a disc herniation that is narrowing the lateral recess. Nonetheless, a recurrent herniation could still be in the differential.
Do not take Advil with a steroid pack as this can cause gastric irritation. Finish the pack and then you can start Advil (if you can tolerate a NSAID).
If you do have a reherniation, this does not automatically lead to surgery. As long as there is no motor weakness, the general rules of radiculopathy caused by a herniation hold. That is, 2-3 months of PT along with an epidural or two, home exercises and medications. Also, activity restriction so there is no pain generated is part of this algorithm.
If the pain is too significant or activity restriction is too limiting, surgery needs to be considered if a recurrent herniation is noted.
Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.