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Nancy T
11-01-2012, 12:39 AM
Has anyone had shingles on their back?

I'm wondering if scoliosis and/or spine arthritis and/or nerve damage has any effect on the outbreak and duration of shingles.

I'm a month into a shingles outbreak on my right lower back, and the rash hasn't even started going away--in fact, it kept spreading UP MY SPINE until recently (at least I hope it's done spreading). It's not supposed to last that long. Fortunately it only itches, isn't painful.

It started out as an elongated oval rash on the small of my back (preceded by a couple weeks itching and numbness, which I didn't worry about because I've had many periods of itching/numbness there over many years).

Within three weeks the rash had more than doubled in size and is now about the shape of a right triangle, with the vertical line against my spine. Shingles is not usually supposed to spread to adjacent dermatomes, but I'm pretty sure mine has!

I took pictures during the past few weeks, and it's funny--in the non-flash pictures, in which the underlying redness shows up well, you can clearly see how the rash curves convex to the right, like my lumbar curve!!

Any experiences with shingles out there?

Nancy T.

loves to skate
11-02-2012, 01:47 PM
Nancy,
You didn't say if you are being treated for the Shingles. Did you get a Shingles shot? I had a bout of Shingles this spring around my eye, but because I had gotten a Shingles vaccination five or so years ago, I had a really mild case and was treated immediately with anti viral medication. My rash lasted two weeks max. I really don't believe there is a connection between scoliosis and shingles since shingles is very prevalent among the general population. The only connection that I know of is that any stressful situation can bring out the Shingles, including surgery of any kind. I hope you don't end up with any residual effects.
Sally

susancook
11-22-2012, 10:17 PM
Has anyone had shingles on their back?

I'm wondering if scoliosis and/or spine arthritis and/or nerve damage has any effect on the outbreak and duration of shingles.

I'm a month into a shingles outbreak on my right lower back, and the rash hasn't even started going away--in fact, it kept spreading UP MY SPINE until recently (at least I hope it's done spreading). It's not supposed to last that long. Fortunately it only itches, isn't painful.

It started out as an elongated oval rash on the small of my back (preceded by a couple weeks itching and numbness, which I didn't worry about because I've had many periods of itching/numbness there over many years).

Within three weeks the rash had more than doubled in size and is now about the shape of a right triangle, with the vertical line against my spine. Shingles is not usually supposed to spread to adjacent dermatomes, but I'm pretty sure mine has!

I took pictures during the past few weeks, and it's funny--in the non-flash pictures, in which the underlying redness shows up well, you can clearly see how the rash curves convex to the right, like my lumbar curve!!

Any experiences with shingles out there?

Nancy T.

Nancy, I have had shingles on my trigeminal nerve. I caught it very early, so no residual problem. Then I had the Shingles vaccine and had a very mild outbreak about a year later. What medicines are you taking?

I noticed that you are from Oregon. I tried to send you a private message but your name does not link up to send a PM. Pls send me a PM and let me know where you live and who your surgeon was. Thanks, Susan [I live in WA state about 45 min N of PDX]

Nancy T
12-03-2012, 09:51 PM
Hi folks--sorry I took so long to answer--my forum account got locked somehow when I updated my e-mail, and I only now got re-authorized to post!

Sally: Glad your shingles case turned out mild. No, I never had a shingles shot. Actually, when I finally went to the doctor in mid-November (because the rash was not improving) she said it was not shingles because it didn't have vesicles (fluid-filled blisters)--just bumps on a red background. Even though when I'd e-mailed her previously, she said there was nothing besides shingles that could cause a rash just on one side of your spine! Anyway, she gave me some steroid cream which finally cleared up the rash (or else, if it really was shingles, it coincidentally had run its course).

I still have a hard time believing it wasn't shingles. It was so clearly just on ONE side of my spine, and I had no contact with new substances that might have caused dermatitis (which was her diagnosis). Also it had been itching and numb for a couple weeks before the rash broke out, which is typical for shingles. But, whatever...

I did not think there was an actual connection between shingles and scoliosis, only that I wondered if anyone else had the experience of a visible "curved" area in the rash.

Susan: I didn't take any medicines during the 6-7 weeks the rash lasted before I saw the doctor. By the time it had occurred to me it might be shingles (in early October), it was already past 3 days. I did e-mail her at that time, and she said it was too late to get the antiviral. She said that having shingles actually boosts your immunity against another attack. I could get the vaccine if I wanted, but insurance won't pay for it until you're 60 (I am 55).

I'm surprised you had a second outbreak, because I don't think that's too common. But I guess it does happen.

Susan, I live in SE Portland. I don't have a surgeon. I saw Dr. Timothy Keenen several years ago just to get a read on my scoliosis (which hadn't been looked at since age 13 or 14) and to ask him if it could be causing my longtime unexplained paresthesias, Lhermitte's, and walking trouble. He said no. End of story! I had a second x-ray 2-3 years later and he said it was not significantly changed, so I don't need any follow-up re the scoliosis since it is not (according to him) the cause of my problems.

Thanks again for the replies!

Nancy

jrnyc
12-04-2012, 06:28 PM
hi Nancy
i just sent you a PM...

jess...& Sparky

loves to skate
12-05-2012, 01:03 PM
Nancy, Was the rash painful or just itchy? If it was painful, it probably was the shingles, but usually there is some blistering. I probably only had about five or six blisters around my eye when I had the shingles.
Sally

Nancy T
12-06-2012, 09:22 PM
Sally--it was not painful except occasional little stabs--but it was itchy. Before the rash broke out it was both itchy and numb in that area.

(Also I should re-read my posts... I guess in my original post I WAS asking if there was any connection between scoliosis and the likely outbreak and duration of shingles... maybe I was thinking of scoliosis-compromised nerves maybe being more suspectible to outbreak of shingles or something, but I'm sure that's not the case; just random thoughts!)

Thanks again everyone!