I went to a Dermatologist with what I thought was just a rash from working the the garden. He said because the rash followed a nerve in my forearm, he felt it was due to a pinched nerve in my neck. He sent me to an orthopedic doctor who ordered an MRI. The MRI showed a pinched nerve in my neck and the orthopedic doctor suggested I get an Epedural needle in my back. I asked if I could go to a chiropractor and/or an accupuncturist first, and he said it was okay with him. I went to both without much relief. Another doctor I knew said I should be going to a neurologist and not an orthopedic doctor. I went to a neurologist with my MRI in hand, and the neurologist said that the pinched nerve in my neck was not enough to cause the rash and pain I had on my left forearm. He felt it must be Shingles, although he said this was not his field. He said he would make a call and find out the correct medication for this problem and prescribe it if I wanted. I agreed for him to treat it as Shingles. He prescribed the Lidoderm Patch for the pain on my arm to be work 12 hrs., and Acyclovir (200 mg.) pills to take four, five times a day. My rash is almost gone, but the pain is still in my arm. I feels like an ache in the muscles of my arm on the inside of my elbow and all through the muscles. Sometimes I wake up screaming with pain when I twist my arm a different way in my sleep. How long will this go on, and do you feel it is Shingles? Thanks.
The pain from the shingles can really persist for a long time even in the disappearance of the rash. This can be controlled with pain to address neuropathy such as gabapentin or pregabalin, along with the standard pain medications. Another important disease to look at is a fungal infection called Sporothrix. This is a soil-borne fungus which occurs in farmers or cultivators of the soil. This would usually present in the arm in contact with the soil and follows usually a straight line. This can be treated with antifungals.
I suggest you discuss with your doctors about these options and hoping for your full recovery.
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