neck weights are a good option. Sorry about your back bro. If it helps give you hope I had a bulging L5 S1 that eventually went to a full herniation. I lived with that extreme pain for 8 years and didn't dive most of it because i was terrified of surgery. I finally had an endoscopic discectomy when i couldn't even work anymore and was essentially bedridden. It was a brutal recovery but I came out on the other side recovered. Now I dive in in california with 13 lbs on my back hiking up and down steep as cliffs carrying 50 lbs of diving gear/fish. haven't had back pain in years. there's hope.