Barb - Yes!!! It's always there to varying degrees. Most of the time it is like you said, a 3 to 4 on the pain scale. But, there are times when it is excrutiating - times where I just want to tear that area of my body off. The pain can be so bad you feel crazy from the pain. You can't think, eat, etc. and feel like you are just going to pass out from the pain. I only get that way a couple of times a month. I do take gabapentin for it and have done well with it. It does help the nerve pain.
I did find that regular massages do help it quite a bit and I have done so much better with the hug since I started getting regular massages.
Also, the area gets swollen too and I use ice packs to help it out. If the area feels too nervy, I don't use heat as that seems to make it worse for me. On those days, a warm shower as opposed to a heating pad or heat pack, helps some (although, the numb spots feel weird in the shower
). But for the most part, I find that ice helps me the most.
I don't take ibuprofen because of my stomach and Tylenol doesn't even touch the pain, even the extra strength. So, the only medications I take for it is the gabapentin, as I mentioned. Also, SalonPas do help some and I always carry a patch with me just in case.
Feel better, Barb.