The main area the discomfort was in was my entire left leg from toes to hip, with the main concentration in the left hamstring and thigh area. I describe it as a burning sensation since it was constant: 24 hours a day, and very steady. I kept a daily pain diary about this during my visits to various doctors during that calendar year. The sensations included burning, hitting the nerve in your funny bone, and that feeling you get when you sleep on a body part for a while and lose sensation, and then get tingling while the sensation returns. They could also be described as as having a muscle rub such as Ben Gay all over the leg and then having a heating pad on top of that, or a small ball of fire inside my left thigh/hamstring area.
I observed that the intensity seemed to spike when I performed vigorous physical exercise such as jogging or swimming. It was like having an electronic ankle bracelet that increased the pain, as though punishing me for exercising. It wasn't life-threatening, but it was lifestyle-hindering.
By September I was feeling desperate. The possible disk herniation sent me in search of a rehabilitation clinic, hoping that physical therapy and traction might help.