Hi! I am a 44 year old female. I have no huge health issues. I take Valtrex (as needed) for cold sores, and Axert and LorTab (as needed) for migraines. Some background: On-and-off for about 10 years, I get a burning sensation on my face (right side only). It feels like a bad sunburn first, then pain. The pain goes to my nose, ear and gums to where my teeth start to feel loose. It is always on the right side. After 3 days of this I end up with a cold sore. I told my Doctor after a few episodes, not sure what was going on. She told me, “Well, at least you know when you are getting a cold sore.” Well, not really the answer I wanted, but I went with it. Since I take Valtrex for my cold sores, I found that if I take it when my face starts hurting, the sore doesn’t show-up.
Not sure if this is even related, but 2 years ago, I had a burning sensation on my left side from the bottom of my rib/lower back (right below the rib cage). It burned so much it almost tickled at times, they did an ultra-sound and nothing. After a few weeks, it did go away slowly.
Just an added note, I also started having migraines around 10-11 years ago. My Nuerologist of 4 years did a MRI and all was normal.
My current issue started about 2.5 months ago. I started getting a pain on my front left side, below my rib cage. The pain seemed worse while sitting down, but wasn’t intense, so I ignored it for a while. 4 weeks ago my pain seemed to grow into a burning sensation and became really painful to touch or move. The burning sensation spread up my chest, around my side and up my back (all on the left side). You couldn’t touch me, and cold air killed me. No rash, just the burning and the pain (sharp at worse phase). (Side Note: 1 week into the burning episode, the weather was cold and windy, so I started taking Valtrex, for fear of a cold sore). The pain was so bad I couldn’t sleep and was in constant pain, so I ended up at the ER (my Doctor was in the middle of a move). I explained my pain, they did a urine test, blood work, and gave me a GI cocktail. Later, they asked me if the cocktail helped, and I said “no.” As I told them before, the pain is the same no matter what I eat. I had no reflux, vomiting, gas or diarrhea. They said all my result were normal, and sent me home with a stomach medicine-frustrating, yes. I waited yet another week in pain to see my Doctor. She had an xray done and an EKG, those too were normal. She thought it might be shingles, but no sign of sores. Unless, unknowingly the Valtrex I was taking treated them. Sorry for the book, but this has been frustrating. The pain has slowly subsided after a month of intense pain, my ribs are still tender, but lots better. If anyone has any direction or ideas, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance!
I have had the same pain that you have talked about. I am 20 and I have anxiety and panic attacks a little about myself and I am on just now back on my zoloft. Anyways it started out as a pain in the left side of my rib cage then it moved up and around a little on front and back in one area. I feels like at times like a bad sunburn. I went to the ER 2 weeks ago I thought I might had appendicitis the bottom right side of my belly was killing me I kept putting it off then finally went. They did xray and said i was slightly constipated sent me home and told me to take a stool softner. After I did this it started with the pain in the rib and now a burning feeling under the skin.
This burning sensation with a particular distribution pattern over the chest,back and the face may be nerve related.In the presence of cold sores, one may indeed think of a viral cause that has affected the nerves. Neuralgia or nerve pain usually presents with a burning or tingling sensation. Its pattern of distribution based on what you have posted and the fact that this was aggravated by lightly touching the area may be suggestive of the diagnosis.
At this point,there seems to be no need for further evaluation or intervention .Viral infections usually require symptomatic management. Drink plenty of water everyday and get adequate sleep.Your condition has improved and this should offer some relief.
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