Shingles Support Group

Herpes zoster, colloquially known as shingles, is the reactivation of varicella zoster virus, leading to a crop of painful blisters over the area of a dermatome. It occurs very rarely in children and adults, but its incidence is high in the elderly (over 60), as well as in any age group of immunocompromised patients.

1 Online
1 Online

how common is leg shingles??

Everyone I've talked to has known someone who has had shingles or had them themselves. I've got shingles on my right buttock and down the entire front of my right leg. The pain has been very intense especially on my entire thigh. I'm just wondering how common is leg shingles and will I ever stop walking aroung looking like "Chester" from the show Gunsmoke??? I've had shingles since July 3rd and took 4000mg of Zorifax a day for 7 days and now am taking Lyrica, 2x a day. It gets kinda discouraging cause I try to be upbeat and positive about all of this and keep thinking it's going to get better and just when you think you are getting better.....BAMMMM, there's that jabbing and stabbing pain shooting though. It certainly is an inconvenience, isn't it?

Replies

deleted_user
deleted_user

Hi, I am not sure of the exact statistics re: leg shingles. By far the most common presentation is on the trunk or thorax. Far less common are presentations in the cranial, cervical, lumbar, and sacral dermatomes. Yours sounds like a lumbar presentation. If you search on the Net, you can get the exact percentages. My presentation is cervical C3-4-5. Yes, it is so frustrating. Just when you think you are on the mend, you get that stabbing, jarring pain to remind you that the shingles is there. I find when I get too tired is when I get the pain now. I was diagnosed Nov. 7/06 and was off work until April 9/07. I still have decreased sensation, numbness, and pain to the affected area. There is one particular spot just above my collarbone where I get stabbing pain that takes my breath away. Lately I have been getting increased pain in my arm -- burning, piercing. So I guess this is what happens with shingles. It is very unpredictable and difficult to treat effectively, and I think doctors and other health care professionals have a lot more to learn about it. I wish you well and I will not say a speedy recovery because that just doesn't happen with shingles. It is very gradual with one step forward two steps back at times. I pray that you find some inner source of strength to help you meet the challenges you are dealing with.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hi! My mom got shingles last summer,down her leg.She now has developed drop foot,they have her on neurontin & ultram.has shooting pain in leg & toes.She has to wear a brace to walk at all.She hates it!!I can't get her on the net,so I'm trying to get some info for her.Anyone has any suggestions please let me know! Thanks!! Julia
deleted_user
deleted_user

The thoracic (mid back) and lumbar (low back) dermatomes are the most common sites for outbreaks..then the face/forehead...the leg is an uncommon site but it does happen
Dr O.
deleted_user
deleted_user

plums:
INCONVENIENCE, yes, big time! DISCOURAGING, yes, big time! In my case, I only had ONE itchy spot on my left leg, all the rest was on my left mid-section and upper abdomen. It was very incapacitating!

Shingles attack the LEFT side more than not, so I think you are exceptional, lol, if that's any comfort. And think of all the patience you're having to develop in your character. :) Keep looking on the bright side. It will get better!
deleted_user
deleted_user

My goodness, my Shingles were on the front of my stomach, my right side and in the middle of my lower back.......I could hardly sleep in any position at all, don't know how I got any sleep, but I did a little for the month that it ravished my body. My doctor gave me Acyclovir - 800 mg. 3 pills 3 x per day for 30 days.

Good luck, my heart goes out to you - so hang in there!
deleted_user
deleted_user

i just turned 35 and had my first breakout at 30 when i had meningitis...i am now on my 5th breakout 4 times on my leg (thigh) once on the buttocks ...dr's don't seem to give me a whole lot of info other than i am too young for this ... very frustrating and painful...
JoanMack
JoanMack

i am a 62 year old female who was born with dislocation of my right hip. my shingles began on my tail bone and in my groin and right side. the only pain medication I have been given is lyrica. Since I am also allergic or hypersensitive to medicine 150 mgs of lyrica just about put me on the floor. Talked about confused, I am just plain STUPID from the stuff. Yes...doctors seem to know almost nothing about this bad and horrible problem. My heart goes out to all the sufferers here...good vibs and good prayers for all.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Has anyone mentioned there is a Shingles Vaccine out now?
I got mine last fall. It will not prevent Shingles, but is suppose to make it less severe when it is contracted. Since I don't want a repeat of what I experienced, I was quick to get the shot. My arm stayed sore a long time for some reason. ?? Anyway, I'm not sorry for taking the precaution.
JoanMack
JoanMack

hi zingo...I was going to get the shot but my allergist is following me on this and says my antibodies are still very high. saw the neurologist yesterday and he gave me a script for 25 mg since I am SUPERSENSITIVE to medicine. He does want me to keep it under control with the lyrica and I agree since the pain is worst than being "dumb". My podiatrist suggested I take it at night which he also agreed with. He also said I can drink coffee to keep mentally alert...which is a very good thing. I know for me this is a very wierd problem and I wish everybody the best of luck and love, prayers, good vibs to all.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Plums,
I was just diagnosed with Shingles on Friday. The rash started last Tues, but the pain started over a week ago. I thought I was the only one with the rash on my leg. Most people seem to get it on their trunks it seems. Mine is mostly on my inner right thigh although it did spread down to my ankle. I'm on Valtrex and Prednisone and Vicoden for the pain. I've been reading online about PHN and it's kind of scary. I feel much better since starting the Prednisone. Wondering how long it will be until this ugly rash goes away. I'm trying to keep a positive attitude too.
linoblockartist
linoblockartist

Gottabelieve....my heart goes out to you at this stage...it's a hard time. As you see from this discussion board, everyone experiences this illness quite differently. One thing is for sure though, the first couple of weeks are horrible, but it gets better. You are doing all the right things and are taking the medicines you need to. Try some cold packs too...they really helped me. I had shingles in January of this year on the left side of my face, up across one eye and into my hair line. While it was at it's worst, I had headaches that you wouldn't believe,my teeth hurt and I had swollen lymph nodes. I tell you all this just so you know that there may be some other weird reactions in the same general area. PHN is strange and varied, so try not to scare yourself reading about it online (and not everyone develops it). Right now, just be good to yourself, take it easy, and eat lots of ice cream (ok that last one isn't necessary....but having shingles is a good excuse. :) Take care!
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hi Gottabelieve,

This is my second time around w/the shingles. First time at age 19 (had them on my upper right thigh and across the area of abdomen where the top of underwear would be). Back then, some sort of lotion was prescribed, I imagine that is all they had to offer.

This time, I am 57 and shingles on the right side, a bit below the navel (about two nickel coin sizes) and one dime coin size on back hip bone (right side).

The ice really did help (and I sometimes will ice the back area) the first week or two. Your rash seems to be in an awkward position to keep ice on it. You could try a couple bags of frozen vegetables (peas work nice...) as the bags will conform to fit around the area. After the peas thaw out, throw them back in the freezer to freeze again and keep re-using. Make sure you somehow mark those bags, so you don't cook them, as they've been thawed and refrozen over and over.

Also, if you can stand it (doesn't cause more discomfort), cool baths helped me, followed by a semi-cool shower when I would gently wash the affected areas w/a mild soap, then an even cooler rinse.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Linoblockartist and katerose...thanks for your replies. I appreciate your support. The funny thing is the rash isn't really bothering me too much lately. I just feel so achey and tired, especially the last couple days. I'm so emotional too. Is that the medicine? Until this happened I was walking 2 miles a day and very active. I am only 59, but I feel like I'm 90. My heart goes out to you, linoblock, for having it on your face. That must be so much worse.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Gottabelieve,

You are welcome. I think we feel icky and tired because this is a type of virus in the body. Like the feeling of a flu virus, run down feeling.

For me, the same..the rash didn't bother me much..a bit itchy, picking feeling, it was underneath the hip spot that hurt the most..and really hurt!

At times, I feel really really tired. As in one hour tired, next hour ok etc.. Do you ache in the area of your rash? That is where I ache/jab the most at times. I took acylovir (sp), which is similar to valtrex and when I was taking that drug (for 7 days), it made me REALLY tired.

I agree...Linoblock, on the face/eyes must be the worst and another lady here she has it on her hands, must be so disabling to try and function.