Patient :Can my shingles be related to my neck injury and nerve damage?
I have three swollen discs in my neck (C5-7), tingling in my right hand and foot and occasional shooting pains down my right arm and side. We have tried everything except surgery to relieve the pain and tingling, but have been unsuccessful.
Moving forward, I was diagnosed with shingles last March. I noticed a rash on my neck and painful bumps and blisters on my scalp. I was also very tired and achey. I took the 5 day supply of an antiviral, and the shingles slowly went away.
Now I'm noticing the rash reappear on my neck, and my tingling in my hand/foot has gotten worse. Could the the shingles virus be living on one of my damaged nerves and therefore have gotten released? Or could there be some other connection between the two?
Thank you for your question. The enlarged discs of your cervical spine could be an unrelated illness to your recent shingles outbreak. Cervical interverbral discs can become enlarged and herniate, resulting in compression of branches of cervical spinal cord. this compression would cause sharp radiating pain down the the neck, upper back and arms.
With regards to your shingles outbreak, the varicella zoster virus, which causes chicken pox, remains dormant within areas of the spinal cord until it is reactivated, resulting in Shingles. It is possible that after your treatment of your shingles, you had a sudden reactivation of shingles again. You will need to be reexamined by your doctor and continue treatment of this new shingles outbreak.
AskTheDoctor.com wishes you a speedy recovery.
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