There's actually very little to do for shingles. Most "treatment" is steroids at the outset and controlling itch/pain. Shingles in adults is extremely painful. For anyone who doesn't know, shingles can develop in any adult who had chicken pox as a child. The virus reactivates but in painful shingles rather than chicken pox.
It sounds like he developed a type of neuropathy or polyneuropathy from the 'injury' shingles left behind. Whoever he saw is mistaken... there may be no "cure", because neuropathy has no cure, but meds can help.
Have you read info at www.neuropathy.com ?
You need to ask about this pain. There's a HUGE difference between "nerve" pain and other types of muscle pain. Narcotics or antidepressants (given for pain syndromes) will not help nerve pain... but anti-seizure meds can help lessen nerve pain. Neurontin/gabapentin, Trileptal, are just two. Some docs give Lyrica, but it has many side effects. Anti-seizure meds cannot be abruptly stopped--or the person can have a seizure.
ALL meds to control the burning pain have major side effects-- re-read my first posts.
My biggest concern with your description is based on a general understanding of nerve pathways. Cervical level spine innervates the arms to hands and other upper body areas. The lower spine affects the legs to feet. So if you have neuropathy, your description does not fit an injury--- it fits more of a systemic cause-- like Vitamin B12 deficiency, chemotherapy, diabetes.
Neuropathy -- burning, numbness, tingling "pain"-- is NOT caused by skin cancer or liver disease. You're worrying yourself too much. You can make the pain seem worse with focusing on it. You must separate what is anxiety and what is really burning/numbness pain, okay? Anxiety doesn't need these meds (anti-seizure meds).
Neuropathy normally does not "progress" rapidly. It's just there, fairly constant, "unbearable" pain for most people. For non-diabetic persons, sometimes the diagnosis is made only because the anti-seizure meds work. Wait out the month and see what the doc says.
The items described are tests related to aspects of neuropathy; they are not treatments.
The only true "treatment" for neuropathy is to correct the underlying cause. But even correcting the cause does not mean the neuropathy pain will disappear--- most becomes permanent in a very short period of time. Very few meds control neuropathy pain.
Spinal nerve injury is anything that affects the vertebra or spinal nerve root--- like radiculopathy, disk herniation, sprain/strain. It is not feeling achy or still after lying or sitting in one position.
There really is no specific blood test for neuropathy. Each test you listed is for conditions that can possibly create neuropathy-- but, just because those tests are normal doesn't mean much (except you don't have certain conditions that can create neuropathies). For example, 1. no diabetes 2, kidneys working to clear urea 3. same 4 and 5 minerals okay 7 is just a complete blood count, non-specific 8 ESR nl means no inflammation, which is good 9 UA normal, which only says no infection and kidneys working fine.
Really there is no definitive way to diagnose neuropathy.... versus something else, like anxiety, panic reactions, etc. It's good that distraction and not thinking about it helps--- it's either not true neuropathy or simply, distraction lessens the pain.
Not sure why he suggested Cobafisch? Pregabalin is a newer better drug than Gabapentin (Neurontin)-- Pregabalin means lower dose, fewer doses, better pain control. http://www.globalrph.com/pregabalin.htm
Neuropathy can occur anywhere along a nerve, or anywhere a nerve innervates. So, for example, the skin has many nerve endings. Numbness, pain, tingling, burning can occur in one localized spot... or "all over" one area, such as just the toes, just the soles of feet.
If your doc says it is NOT neuropathy, what does he say it IS ?
Your doc is 100% wrong. A NCS and A1C can be normal, but a person can have a Vitamin B12 deficit, or like me, have a spinal nerve injury not shown on tests until much later.
If you soaked in extremely hot water you might have injured some sensory nerves. But otherwise, soaking hands/feet in water won't hurt anyone... or we'd have a ton of people complaining after washing dishes. Whether you dry or don't dry the skin after being wet would have no connection to burning nerve pain.
As far as your palm... If you do NOT "think of it", does the burning stop? Let me give a personal example... My thyroid is a little enlarged. After the test that confirmed this, I swore I had trouble swallowing. Then after about a week, I was into some complicated mind work and forgot about "difficulty swallowing". A few days later I realized I could swallow just fine. Our minds interact with our bodies so intricately...sometimes it can be tough to figure out what is and isn't a true symptom.
The bottom line, whatever it is, you still need to live and do daily tasks/responsibilities. See what you can live with -- or not. Only you can say what is unusual for your body... and what you can tolerate. If these pain areas continue, press your doc to investigate more. Just because a doc says yes or no doesn't mean the doc is right... and most docs really don't comprehend "nerve pain".
Nerve conduction testing depends on where along the nerve they tested. For example, if your problem is at Lumbar 3 spinal root, the EMG should be done at the spine. As a further example, the peroneal nerve originates from L-1, L-2, L3, L-4, L5, S-I and leads into the sciatic nerve. The peroneal innervates the groin/privates, and the sciatic nerve goes into the buttock and thigh. So while an EMG shows impulses in the nerve---it is only in the nerve they are testing AND it may not pick up "the problem" when the test is conducted furthest away from the "problem".
PLUS, nerve conduction studies are helpful as guides only. My spinal EMG caused severe pain at L-4/L-5 BUT the doc said it was "MILD radiculopathy" --- The whole time, the cushioning between veterbra were leaking (herniating) and that led to complete herniation and spinal cord compression... with neuropathy and tremors! So, EMG does not give a complete picture... neither does MRI.
Make sure you read about GI causes of neuropathy, since you said you went on a 20-day starvation. But also think back... did you have ANY incident near then that you lifted too much, twisted the wrong way, sprained/strained your back or joints (hip, knee, ankle)?
Were you on meds then? Look at side effects for each one. They are all on the Internet. Also look specifically for Name of Med neuropathy, to see if others report some similar complaint. Most US Drugs are NOT rigorously tested in the USA--- they accept the fact the drug has been in use 5-10 years overseas "without side effects". But when brought into the US, millions more people are prescribed the med, and side effects start to be reported in the thousands to millions. A good example is Ultram--in the US marketed as a non-addictive pain reliever (by script). But for many US citizens, the drug caused a desire to "take more"--even when the person had no pain. So, do check out all your meds.
The normal A1C just points even more to an injury, a GI connection, a Vit B deficiency, or a med connection. However, many people develop neuropathy 7-10 years before they begin to have high A1Cs OR high daily blood glucose levels. So you should get re-checked every year for that.
Again, I suggest you really push your doc to discuss neuropathy. The nerve pain is not in your head (not emotional, psychological). Even if they can't find a cause (idiopathic neuropathy), you should not be left to suffer the worst pain you get.
I forgot to mention, Lidocaine HCL 3% by script may help some. I don't know price. If you use Lidocaine, stop at a medical supply store and pick up a box of vinyl disposable medical gloves so you keep the med off your hands/face/eyes. And, a podiatrist (foot doc) might be more knowledgeable about neuropathy than general physicians.
What you describe is neuropathy. There are numerous causes of neuropathy. The most common cause for persons with diabetes is diabetic neuropathy. The most common cause for persons without diabetes is muscle/joint injury. Even a twist of a knee, for example, can cause neuropathy. Vitamin B deficiencies are thought to cause it also. See the long list of causes at:
The best outcome is to find the cause and correct it. However, physicians don't think of neuropathy and diagnosis is often delayed. Plus, some aren't that easy to 'cure'. Unfortunately for the millions who have neuropathy, there is no precisely known cause and no cure.
There are meds, but these are anti-seizure meds. They turn down the sensations or block them. However, once you go on these meds, it's pretty much lifetime. You can't stop the med whenever you want or you could have a seizure. Also there are only a few med types and ALL have side effects. Neurotin (Gabapentin) is the oldest drug and least expensive but CAN make people sleepy. It can be taken up to 2000-2400 mg a day--but who wants to take 8-12 capsules a day? Trileptal is another, but can cause pounding heart beat during the hour before and after a dose, but it is only 1 cap twice a day usually. Lyrica is an anti-depressant that can lessen the pain, but many anti-depressants can increase suicidal ideation and Lyrica can cause panic reactions.
Neuropathy is strange, weird, and NO two cases match totally. Muscle movement (like walking) can decrease it while walking, but activity can worsen the pain when activity stops. In other words, we must strive to remain active--- BUT you only will need to strike a balance between how much activity and how much to avoid activity. And no one can keep moving just to keep pain away-- quite a quandary! One person might get temporary relief while others cannot with::: - wearing shoes (or not) - diabetic, seamless socks (or not) - wrapping the area snugly in a bedsheet (or not) - lukewarm water soaks 10 minutes (or not) ----- There is NO one thing that helps everyone.
I'm very sorry this happened to you at 23 years old. The very best things you can do now are: -- Get your doctor to discuss neuropathy -- Ask about Vitamin B supplements --- Eat a well-balanced diet --- Ask Dr to review your meds for CNS/peripheral nerve side effects --- Ask for an A1C test to rule out diabetes. A1C shows last 3 months. -- Ask for a spinal MRI just to rule out any spinal disk causes. -- balance activity and rest -- Experiment with different fabrics and surfaces. When sitting, lightly rub your feet against a soft sheet, rough towel, or whatever feels best--- that will "distract" the nerve endings with some sensation without having to walk. -- Identify what helps most at night so you can sleep. -- READ and research meds... KNOW the side effects of any meds you take. -- Use caution with hot / warm water... You may develop temp changes--- cool might feel burning hot.. or you might not realize water is too hot and burn your feet. -- Always wear shoes when outside... protect your feet, example, hot pavement.
Experiment with TEPID feet soaks 10 minutes. Start with COOL water, ADD a little warm water every 3-4 minutes.
Make SURE you inspect your feet for cracks, sores, etc. You may not feel injuries, like a simple blister.
I have lived with neuropathy for 15 years. I won't lie--- it's not fun. But.... I can "live with it"--- what else can I do, you know. The only days I cry is when my back pain (the cause of my neuropathy) is severe, like after I walk more than I can do. Or, when just bath water "hurts". I can't even have the wind or a fan blow against my legs...it's so painful. But most days, Trileptal helps control the pain and I get through another day.
Do what helps, James. Don't expect Docs to understand your pain-- teach them. Be your own advocate. Don't give up. Remember, MILLIONS of people dealing with similar pain.
Before I answer this, I want to state I have neuropathy-- a pain condition that can cause anything from numbness to exquisite pain. So I know how 'nerves' can behave weirdly. But I'm female, so I must rely on things I read both generally and in the medical field as a nurse.
Here are some questions to consider. You don't state what your doctor's opinions have been. If the TENS was prescribed for this condition, exactly what is the doctor's theory? Or was TENS given for something else?
Almost all innervation including to skin and muscle begins in the CNS--brain and spinal cord. A low back injury (or birth defect) could disrupt nerve impulses, but I'd think you'd have a different pattern of symptoms, not just centered in the penis. For example, the peroneal nerve which feeds the sciatic nerve comes from Lumbar and Sacral Levels and wraps around the hip to the 'privates' and into the buttock (one nerve on each side of the body). You don't mention a spinal MRI so I assume you've never reported back pain.
Like women, the sensations men experience can differ widely. The glans/penis head is the most sensitive, with the shaft anywhere from no-very little sensation, to higher sensation-- so there is a wide range of "normal".
Most men report penile stimulation in the vagina has more to do with pressure and friction... for women, it is the same. But that has nothing to do with 'size' or 'tightness' of the vagina, though it may be enhanced in women who maintain good muscle tone. So in this respect, are you possibly expecting much more from vaginal-penile contact than is usually found?
Orgasm is a complex function between brain and sexual organs. 'Stimulation' is also a complex combination of many factors. For example, many women don't orgasm or have times when TNT couldn't 'get them off'... some women worry when they almost need 'above/beyond' normal stimulation to get excited. I suspect men can experience similar zero excitement.
You don't say if you've ever been super turned on with just seeing a hot girl... like when you see a stranger who really gets your motor running? Most men are visual creatures-- seeing or thinking of images can excite. (One reason men like porn more than women.)
You also don't say whether you've been madly in love in a high trust/love relationship.
You might also want to consider this--- How much stimulation do you expect (think) is needed to get an erection? When women routinely use a vibrator, nerve endings begin to expect that high intensity all the time. When you use a TENS anywhere on the penis, you are almost 'training' the skin and muscle receptors to only respond to HIGH intensity stimulation. NO hand, no woman, can EVER compete with that intensity. Plus, you train your body to ignore lower sensations.
Most nurses and sex therapists would likely suggest you practice re-training the skin/muscles to react to lower sensations. I don't mean to be graphic, but a man can become erect with just friction in pants or the light touch of fingers/fingernails against the skin. Just like experts tell women, when was the last time you 'made love' to yourself---meaning, lightly touching yourself, enticing yourself, truly 'pleasuring' yourself-- slowly, precisely, but with an experimental attitude "what happens if I?" like a new lover would do with you? If you are used to harder touch, rougher or more vigorous actions, why don't you take a half hour to just touch--- but not focus on whether you orgasm or not. Just focus on skin-on-skin touch-- how your hands/touch excite you. You may "feel nothing" the first few times. But your body may surprise you and really "turn on" to the lighter touch.
You might practice imagining sensations--- not focusing on doing "anything to experience sexual pleasure"-- but imagining, picturing, each moment of touch -- as if the lightest of touch IS already pleasurable.
This post may be disappointing, that I don't have a big answer to your concern.
Anti-inflammatory medications have drying effects for mucous membranes. This effect would be worsened in dry heat or dry air conditioning. Dryness of the mouth, throat, and nose can cause tongue dryness and "fuzziness". Make sure with any anti-inflammatory med that you drink extra water. Biotene Mouthwash /Rinse can also relieve dry mouth.
As a precaution, you should mention the symptoms to your prescribing doctor and the chiropractor, so they can rule out any other problems that might be causing this.
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