Sciatica. Low back, buttock and "shooting" leg pain are all symptoms of a pinched nerve. It sounds like you may have that problem. If the pain is severe and limiting your activity still, the best non-narcotic medications that I have found to work for my patients are antiinflammatories such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen which are over-the-counter medications. Other non-narcotic medications include tramadol (ultram) which requires a prescription and nerve-pain medications such as gabapentin. These are all to be taken for temporary pain relief. This type of pain typically resolves with time. Ask your primary physician about these if the pain is still limiting you. If it is still going on for more than a month an MRI may be helpful to help sort out what is going on and there could be other potential treatments outside of surgery that could benefit you.
Sciatica. A quick and easy tip is do not keep your wallet in your back pocket. Also if you drive alot try a lumbar cushion. At work make sure if you sit at a desk that your chair is fairly firm. I have one of the aeron chairs and they provide great support and allow me to sit without back pain.
Core Exercises. Typically core strengthening exercises are the best to help relieve pressure and forces in the spine. I would try and google some or look them up on youtube to see descriptions. If you can do them yourself, wonderful otherwise ask your doctor to get a referral to a good physical therapist for further assistance.