PHN--back pain PLEASE any suggestions?

Posted , 4 users are following.

I'm in the US, it's 1:00 in the morning and I'm 3 weeks into shingles that wasn't caught early enough. I'm just starting Neurontin (gabapentin) but it's only been 2 days and the pain is unbearable. I found this forum several days ago. I'm pacing the floor, trying to distract myself. Like MSM81, I thought that pain was muscle strain or something else. Tonight, it's the worst it's ever been. I'm using aceteminophin, lidocaine ointment and a prescription NSAID i've been on for years. The Neurontin seemed to start to relieve the sympmtoms a bit today but I didn't realize (bad drug info on the packaging) that an antacid should NOT be taken within 2 hours of taking the drug, so it negated it's effects. I'm just trying to thanks you for this info and see if anyone has any other tips for dealing with the pain. I've taken showers, which "confuses" the pain singnals and relaxes my miid-back, but obviously that can be done on a limited basis. Any advice!! Please? I also posted this as a reply to someone else's post, then I saw the "start your own". Sorry, I['m exhausted and in pain and didn't see this.

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    I am so sorry for your pain. I had the same excruciating back pain with my first episode. It was miserable, and nothing seemed to relieve the pain. Once I was diagnosed and started the antivirals I started feeling some relief. If you are not, you should ask to try a different antiviral. Most people say the Famliver (sp ?) works the best.
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    • Posted

      Unfortunately I was way past the 72 hour window. I think there were two situations, the first symptom of chest pain and almost non-existent rash. I had one bad day with that, but then fine for 10 days. Then when I started to feel worse I went to the doctor.  We hadon a 3 week trip, so it was when I came home that I started to think shingles. But it was inconclusive. Four days later I got a new, classic small patch on the front and increasing pain, so now it's 3 weeks past the initial symptoms. I called the doctor and now I am doubling the Gabapentin now (and having blurred vision and shakiness, of course! On only 200 mg.

      Thanks Michelle.

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  • Posted

    Hi

    Shingles are awful!!!

    The lidocaine...in patch form? If cream, try covering with plastic wrap.

    I find cold helpful, so you might try cold packs.

    If you are in USA you can purchase a TENS, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, unit at the pharmacy...locate the electrodes on the nerve root where it exits the spinal cord. Adjust the stimulation to the lowest effective setting.

    kind regards

    judith

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    • Posted

      Hi noname-I'm still in the acute stage, too early for a TENS unit, but I'd consider that in the future. I used the patches (OTC, 1/10th the cost 4% vs 5% lidocaine) but they only give 12 hours of relief as you can only wear them 12 hours on/12 hours off so I switched to the creme. Despite losing effectivenss more quickly, I can apply it about every 6-7 hours round the clock. I tried heat yesterday, which felt good and relaxing but I think I'll switch to cold today, which may decrease the inflammation better.

      The good news is I slept thru the night! We increased the Gab. yesterday so that's probably one of the reasons. I hope as we continue increasing general healing and the meds will clear this up. The treatment's only been going on a for a few days, but this did start 3 weeks ago.

       

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    • Posted

      I so know...I hate shingles...5 times I hate shingles...I even hate the name, shingles....it's sooo negative...how about, daisies

      Hooray for sleep. good sleep will speed healing...typically, one more week...

      hugs

      judith

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  • Posted

    For anyone seeking help for back pain from shingles, here are some suggestions.

    Now that it's a few days later, I've learned a few things I want to pass on. My shingles are at about the Thoracic 5--7 level, in layman's terms, below your breast, about where the band of your bra goes. So as mentioned I'm carefully juggling meds and cremes 24/7. But I finally (duh) figured out to limit my movement with my arms, to decrease the irritation to the spine/nerves. If you have an injury, the pain prevents you from over-doing it. However, this is different. It's almost like a delayed reaction. After twisting, lifting etc. it may be 30-90 seconds before I feel increased discomfort, odd. Between the pain, fatigue and brain fog, that only occurred to me yesterday. So, much less upper-body activity today, keep on schedule with meds, try and distract with other activities (pacing, when it's at its worse) movies, Posting on Line wink. Plan gentle, relaxing showers around the time to add cream, which gives a longer pain-free timeframe. Deep breathing, picturing favorite places (I've never done mediation, so this is the best I can offer) Accept that there's only so much I can do to control or manage this and accept I can get thru this minute by minute, day by day.

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  • Posted

    I also should have added for women, feel free to ditch the bra. You may already feel like you've got a steel band around your chest, who needs one more! Plus, you don't want to add more irritation to the variceles.

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  • Posted

    Hi babs like you I am 3 weeks into having shingles I was one of the lucky ones and got anti viral tabs but pain still there not as bad as before the spots appeared I have it along my collar bone but had pain in my ribs above waistline last night no spots though. I hope your pain subsides soon bless you.
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  • Posted

    Hi babs like you I am 3 weeks into having shingles I was one of the lucky ones and got anti viral tabs but pain still there not as bad as before the spots appeared I have it along my collar bone but had pain in my ribs above waistline last night no spots though. I hope your pain subsides soon bless you.
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    • Posted

      I meant to say you try meditation although my pain not as bad as yours this seems to work for me sometimes its mind over matter I think hope your feeling better.
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