Wow, I'd forgotten I'd started this thread! Thanks for the replies. I am doing much better now. I did some physical therapy and those stretches really helped a lot, but the best thing that ever happened to me was that I ignored my plantar fasciitis (really, who cares if my feet hurt when I can't be upright b/c of my back, anyway?) and ended up with a heel spur and excruciating pain in my feet. That has been the best thing for healing my back pain b/c since I couldn't walk/run due to my feet, the only exercise I could do was water aerobics. My friend invited me to a class and it was amazing -- it was in the deep end of the pool, so no standing on my feet, and the water helped me move enough to strengthen some of my core muscles and keep my back in line. I still can't do a lot of the twisting motions they do in the class, but I do everything else and always make sure my hip flexors get stretched. I haven't had much pain since the beginning of the summer, when I started the class.
I have also started taking fish oil 3x/day and I think that is helping quite a bit too. (Not sure how -- lubrication for the joints, maybe? Is it anti-inflammatory too? Whatever it is, it's working!)