Is physical therapy really the best choice for an obiterated l5-s1?

Avoid back surgery. At all costs as it does not guarantee results. If you have weakness, you don't have a choice but if therapy can be attempted first, it should always be done to avoid surgery.

Related Questions

What are best treatment options for l5-s1 slipped disc with numbness and shooting pain in entire leg.

Radiculopathy. Description is consistent with nerve compression in the back, and this could be handled with physical therapy, exercise, even a brief course of oral steroids, and maybe local epidural steroid injection. If disc desiccates and shrinks, could take 6-9 months. If increase in pain, or weakness, and any bladder involvement, surgery would be best. See a spine surgeon and discuss options. Read more...
Multilevel . Physical therapy, nsaids, cessation of tobacco and avoidance of aggravating factors is a start. However, since there is shooting pain in the "entire leg", the disc is likely irritating more than one nerve root (s1, l5, and possibly l4). Lumbar epidural steroid injection may be beneficial. If not readily available, a 7-14 day Prednisone taper can be tried but less effective. Surgery may cure it. Read more...