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Herniated disc pain is changing. Is this normal
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Herniated disc pain is changing. Is this normal

A little over a year and a half ago I began having horrendous pain in my upper left back and left arm. After several months I finally had my MRI done, and it showed a herniated disc, c6 and 7. For about the first year the pain was shooting pain down my arm and a sharp localized pain behind my left shoulder blade, and tingling.  Over the past several months my pain has been changing. I am still in as much pain as ever, but it's different. The sharp pain and tingling has slowly lessened, replacing it with a horrible dull ache in my upper spine, left shoulder and arm. It has also moved to the right side of my upper spine also. I had my 1st injection done, ( which hurt more than helped ), and I told the doctor about this and it's traveling to the right side. He didn't say anything about the pain being different, but he said it's just moved to the right side because my muscles working overtime on the right side..... I know that is not it. But also, when this 1st began, the first thing I did was have an X Ray. My doctor said it showed a separation in two of my vertebrates. It's funny, all the doctors I have seen don't seem to pay any attention to this, but all my pain seems to now be skeletal. Has this ever happened to anyone else and is it normal for my nerve pain to be almost gone, but still be in so much "different" pain?
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1461073_tn?1308681148
Hello, No it is not uncommon to be experiencing what you are experiencing,

The dull aching pain you are having is the musculoskelatal pain from the actual herniation of the discs.  The tingling sensation was from nerve pain. The tingling sensation was most likely blocking the dull ache.  The dull ache was always there but just not noticed because the tingling sensation over powered it.  
It sounds as though the actual nerve that was originally causing the pain and tingling sensation has had some of the pressure/pinching removed from it.  This may have been caused by a popping in the vertebra or something you have done adjusting your posture that has caused it.  Possibly shifting your posture to the right side, removing the pressure off the left side nerve, but causing the now right side pain.  

I do have a tendency to agree with your doctor about your right side working overtime, as well.  When you are injured on one side or the other you tend to over compensate by shifting all the load to the other side of your body to try to prevent the pain, which in turn causes the other side to become strained and start hurting as well. You may not even be aware of what you did or how you did it.  This will, however, continue to be the issue until you shift your weight back to the other side, but then you'll most likely pinch off the nerve again and the tingling you first experienced will return.  There is no guarantee the right side will stop hurting it will depend on how much damage has been done due to the over compensation.   Unfortunately, It can be a Vicious Cycle.

Also, I never got much relief from the injections either, and I agree they definitely hurt more than they helped or at least in my case.  The injections usually either work really well for a person, or not at all.  Unfortunately, there is no happy medium of they kind of helped, or they helped a little.   Good Luck and God Bless.    
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1412606_tn?1282885729
Thanks crackerjack for answering my post. That seems logical enough and is probably true about my right side working over time. But it's not just my right side now that hurts. It's directly to the right of my spine, my spine itself, then my whole upper left side and my left arm. The pain is just so intense it seems like there has to be more to it. Do you think it could be the separation in my vertebrates that I was talking about. my whole upper spine feels all wrong. Like the slightest wrong movement and my upper spine is going to crumble. Like I said I know this won't happen, but everything really feels like it's all just out of place or something.
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1461073_tn?1308681148
Hello Jenny, of course it could be possible.  What you have going on with the herniated disc and the vertebrae separation basically prevents your spine from having the cushioning and support that a healthy spine has.  You have an added gap because of the separation making the distance between the good and bad vertebrae even greater.  It can cause pain in areas not related to the injury site called referred pain or like I said last night cause other areas to be over worked to prevent using the affected areas.  

It is no different than if your shocks on your vehicle are worn out, you hit a big pot hole, and the bottom of your vehicle comes slamming down on the ground.  The disc herniation and separation in your back prevents the shock of everything you do from being absorbed and allows your spine and body to receive the full force resulting in pain.  That's why it feels like it's going to crumble. Another example is that It's like rubbing 2 sticks together verses rubbing 2 sticks together with a piece of foam in between them.  If you rub the 2 together without the foam between them long enough they will heat up and will eventually catch fire. (LOL not that your back is going to catch on fire-although I'm sure it feels that way sometimes) but the constant rubbing causes friction, thereby causing the burning, or achy pain you are experiencing.  

I Hope This Helps!  Good Luck Brenda    
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1412606_tn?1282885729
That all makes total sense. The injection, it does work for some people. So if it were to help, do you think it would help with this issue? Everywhere on the net that I look say's things about nerves being helped, but I can't find anything on weather or not it will help issues like this. If anyone has some insight on this please feel free to jump in. The first one hurt so much, I would hate to take a chance with this again and possibly end up in so much pain again when there is no possibility for it to even work for my problem.
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1412606_tn?1282885729
That all makes total sense. The injection, it does work for some people. So if it were to help, do you think it would help with this issue? Everywhere on the net that I look say's things about nerves being helped, but I can't find anything on weather or not it will help issues like this. If anyone has some insight on this please feel free to jump in. The first one hurt so much, I would hate to take a chance with this again and possibly end up in so much pain again when there is no possibility for it to even work for my problem.
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1461073_tn?1308681148
Hi Jenny,
I don't want to say it definitely won't work for you, but since the first one didn't it may not.  It sometimes takes them a week or so to actually help.  How long has it been since you got it?   LOL Yes, they do hurt like heck, don't they?  The epidurals hurt too, they do them in series of 3 each one hurts worse than the 1st. On # 3 I was leaning over the nurse while the doctor did the block.  She was soaking wet by the time he got done from my sweating bullets and tears a rolling.  It wouldn't have been quit so bad had the freaking things helped, but nope not even a little bit.  Good Luck Hun    Brenda
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1412606_tn?1282885729
Hi, sorry it has taken me so long to get back. Christmas has been pretty nuts. Any how, It's been months since my last injection. It never helped. It took about a week for the initial pain from the last injection to go away, but I was still left with my original pain. I have another one coming up in a couple of months. I have to wait a while between injections because trouble finding a driver, and I can't afford a cab, seeing how the hospital is so far away from my home. So I am pretty scared. Some people say the 2nd and 3rd ones are better, but then some say they are worse. I am worried, but I have to try. Thanks for your support and I hope you have found something that helps you manage your pain. It's not fun, and I don't enjoy hearing about so many people on med help in so much pain, but it sure is nice to be able to vent and communicate with people who understand. My husband can see my pain, but I still don't think he fully gets it seeing how I am always doped up. He only see's the extent of it if I miss my pill or accidentally leave the house without my meds. He tries, but I feel so at home and understood here.
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1544544_tn?1293574750
I'm in the same boat that you're in. I have 4 herniated discs in total and a pinched nerve. Some days are better than others right? It sux when I have to be sooo doped up on narcotics most of the time because I dont get to enjoy my life anymore. I'm scheduled to get the injections in the middle of January and I am sooo terrified. Its the first one I'm going to get and from what other people have told my, they hurt. I really dont want to get them because its a waste of time and pain if they dont work, but my lawyer is advising me to get them because it will make my case more valuable. idk! What do ya'll think? Mayb talkin to ya'll will help me cope a little better :)
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