I also had the surgery 2 years ago (total success, I'm stronger now than I was before). My chiro actually refused to do any adjusting until I'd had the surgery and recovered (of course I was waaaay beyond bulging at that point). She recommended seeing someone about traction (which I didn't do because by then I'd already had 5 med professionals tell me I needed surgery).
I also did extensive PT, and the therapist gave me some exercises to do at home - mostly based on yoga and pilates, with support (I wouldn't try any of those without guidance though).
All the doctors I saw said swimming would be ideal, and running would be the worst thing.