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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes numbness in the hands while recovering from shingles?

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Dr. Saddiq Ulabidin

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2011

Answered : 1861 Questions

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Posted on Wed, 23 May 2018 in Brain and Spine
Question: I am recovering from what we thought was shingles. The place on my back is still painful- into the 5th week. My right hand went gradually numb and now stiff and my left hand is now numb. My neurologist appt is two weeks away and this progression is scaring me.
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Answered by Dr. Saddiq Ulabidin 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
May need aggressive antivirals and advanced pain killers

Detailed Answer:
Hi! Welcome to HealthcareMagic. Thanks for sharing your concerns with us. We will try to help you in the best way possible. First of all, it's sad to know what you had been going through lately.

Based on the history you have shared, it does seem like shingles but involving multiple dermatomes or areas or different nerve routes at a time is usually rare. Xrays of the cervical spine with your current symptoms should also be done to look for any signs of vertebral structural compression on nerves leading to numbness etc.

Antivirals like acyclovir if started earlier are shown to be beneficial but the dosage is quite high and I am not sure that you are getting the required dose.

If numbness is increasing other causes of nerve damages should also be considered but if the rash is expanding too, it may need topical antivirals as well as aggressive painkillers like tramadol along with nerve pain suppressants like Carbamazepine etc along with Gabapentin that you are already taking.

If still the pain is not getting controlled, local painkillers patches or nerve blocks may also be needed.

Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Hope to this has answered your query. If you have any more questions please feel free to ask.

Regards.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
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