New to THIS pain anyway... any assistance appreciated!

A few days ago when I got out of bed I felt sore in the mid back just to the right of my spine. I hadn't done anything (to my knowledge) to injure it. I had a pimple like bump I had scratched pretty much on my spine (very slightly to the right) where the pain seemed to be originating from. I started to think it was infected but I wasn't feverish, it wasn't red, just a small sore at this point that looked fine.

Over the next 48 hours these additional symptoms have been happening: Feels like a pin is poking me in the sores (I have 2 of them) as well as 2 bumps starting to come up further from my spine. This results in a severe itch feeling. There is also pain that feels like burning at times and a throbbing pain at other times. The pain is strictly on the right of my spine (as well as just over my spine but not at all on/to the left) and goes along what feels like one rib (no wider of an area). A few times it has felt like the pain follows along my rib and around to the front of it. 

I have been in bed for the majority of the time over the past 60 hours. I have a history of spinal troubles stemming from a lower back injury 22 years ago as well as anxiety/stress.

In researching I feel Notalgia Paresthetica (NP) matches my symptoms, however, I seem to be missing the pigmentation issue if it is absolutely required, can always be seen by the naked eye and the sores don't qualify.

Anyway, I am hoping someone who has been down this symptomatic road can lend any ideas as to relief from the pain and/or long term therapy. So far the only time I have found relief is after taking Extra Strength Advil (no relief with just that) and then 2 hours later Ultra Relief Tylenol (2 tablets). This combination seemed to allow for an hour of no symptoms ~ how nice it was! A warm bath did NOT help. Voltaren (topical ASA) has not helped. I have yet to try Robax but am hopeful it may help - need to pick some up. I was also thinking to get out my handy dandy super duper massager and work on my neck since NP indicates the C4-C6 level commonly being the issue and my stress levels have been severe as of late.

Thank you for reading!


  • Robaxecet Extra Strength barely helping. What a let down. I thought for sure since the Ultra Relief Tylenol had helped that adding the muscle relaxer could only make it better! The only thing extra in the Ultra relief Tylenol that the Robaxecet doesn't have (to my knowledge) is the caffiene? :/Guess I'll try the Naproxen next. The Ultra Relief Tylenol can't be as good as it gets!
  • jimandjrjimandjr Dallas TXPosts: 548
    Is a doctor visit in your near future?
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  • paintingthesunppaintingthesun ONPosts: 6
    edited 12/12/2016 - 7:04 PM
    It is. The pain is getting worse and even the Tylenol isn't helping as much. I've yet to find something else that helped at all (except ice but then it seemingly hurt worse afterward). Can't take much more. Haven't been out of the house since it started even though I have much I need to be doing.
  • Shingles. Who knew :/
  • I was about to suggest it maybe being shingles. I haven't had it, but a friend did and said it was excruciating. Hope you feel better soon.
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  • I have just found this and my first thought before scrolling down was Shingles.  I have had it and your description immediately made me return to that pain!

    It tends to be one sided and follows nerve pathways sometimes.  My experience was down the side of my neck and forward but stopped exactly midline on my upper chest area.

    I found Calamine lotion helped to cool it down and discouraged me from itching as much.  Cool showers are better as heat really did cause me extra pain.

    I hope your pain and itching reduces very soon
  • WLLadyWLLady Ontario CanadaPosts: 818
    my first thought was shingles, my second was neurofibromatosis.  glad it's shingles...but not glad it's shingles.  argh!  i had a friend that got that while out on a cruise of all things, and he was miserable, came back, saw his family doctor and they put him on an antiviral medication that helped him a LOT.  might be worth asking your doctor at least knocked it back enough that he didn't have crippling nerve still wasn't fun for him though.  hope it goes away soon!
  • Thank you for the well wishes everyone! It hasn't been fun, that's for sure.

    Back pain started on a Thursday (after a call to Telehealth trying to figure out what might help if it's an infection, a subsequent ambulance call by them thinking I may be having cardiac issues, my refusal to go to emerge as I was pretty certain it was a back issue only but then going to urgent care because they freaked me out, lol), I wasn't diagnosed until a family doctor appointment the following Wednesday. The pain had been getting progressively worse. At that point I was pretty certain I had a herniated lumbar disc and I was shocked when she diagnosed Shingles - that hadn't come to my mind at all for whatever reason. Good thing I'm not the doctor!

    Starting an antiviral 7 days in is likely hit or miss but my doctor went with it anyway. Glad she did because even if it helped a little bit it was worth it. Still have a couple days left to finish the meds. I just hope things keep going in the right direction. Have had to take Gravol to tolerate the T3's and anti-virals so needless to say I've been sleeping a lot. 

    If anyone reads this post in the future and the symptoms sound like yours, get to your doctor asap because the earlier you start the anti-virals the better I've read. Also, don't rely on the way the blisters look in image searches - they can look different and sometimes people don't get them at all. The most common symptom I've read about and can attest to is the needle sensation through the skin. I will make a list of all my symptoms below for reference though. My case didn't stay to the one side but was very mild elsewhere.

    First week:
    General back ache (pulling/burn/ache) one side only (could tell it wasn't on one half of the spine even, that specific), had a lesion that felt infected but wasn't, itchiness increased daily, thin band along rib had some pain seemingly going around to the front infrequently (shooting, aching, bruised feeling), by the end of the week I suspected something nerve related and back pain was intense. A few new bumps had begun further away from spine (they didn't appear blister like for me, more like small cysts that wouldn't come up/heal).
    Second week:
    Intense itchiness (similar to chicken pox itchy feeling - even where there were no lesions sometimes but more so where they were). Shooting nerve pain, especially up through lesions (like needles poking through them). General prickly feeling all over at times (after anti-viral started - for me anyway). Severe back pain - burning/tearing/ripping. Felt like there was a golf ball trying to exit my middle back or like my middle back had 20 pounds dangling from it, always pulling (no visual bump though). Other back issues as a side effect I believe (neck and lower back pain). Small itchy spots in other places on my body (to my knowledge this isn't typical). Dry scaly patch where first few lesions were, quite obvious by day 9 - other drier skin around 'band' less obvious but there. Nausea/vomiting (likely from meds and lack of food). Tired. Dizzy. Tinnitus. Only thing that gave some relief was an ice pack (unsure if that is a good idea or not but it's all that helped me at times). Heat made it worse. Staying still was better than exertion. Pressure was needed during the worst times (induced numbness). General aches and pains (legs, arms, etc.)
    As of today, day 12:
    Still some 'ripping' feeling, pressure in middle back (especially on exertion), a feeling like something is in my back that shouldn't be, some less severe itchiness and prickly sensation in skin that is just slightly bothersome, original lesions scabbed over. Back strain in general. Dry skin in several places especially original patch. Still not convinced I don't have a herniated disk mid back although I know they aren't easy to get. Some new scattered itchy spots but not 100% sure they aren't just stress related.

    I just keep trying to remind myself it can always be worse! I've been warned that the nerve pain can be prolonged but hopefully that won't happen and if it does a medication has been suggested. I will say the hope of the symptoms not being permanent is a HUGE relief compared to what could have been. At the end of all this (or if the pain persists even), I will be doing a general underlying health check just to make sure it was strictly stress induced and not from an undetected illness - stress is the likely cause in my case though.

    Hope this is helpful to someone in the future. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas :smile:" alt=":smile:" height="20" /> 
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