T Nation

Help With Shingles

Bit of advice please…went to the docs this week and have been told i’ve got shingles. When i asked the doc if i could still play sport she said i shouldn’t because it could make it worse.

So i’ve missed a couple of footy games this week and am kind of eager to get back into action, so was wondering has anyone ever had shingles, and how long did it take to go away?

It’s only in a small area on my back. It doesn’t really itch, its just a dull ache and stabbing pains, plus the skin is tingly. I wouldn’t want anyone to smack me in the back, that’s for sure. But i’m not sure how sport would make it worse. I don’t know whether the doc meant the physical contact or the sweating would make it worse.

cheers

[quote]AdamC wrote:
Bit of advice please…went to the docs this week and have been told i’ve got shingles. When i asked the doc if i could still play sport she said i shouldn’t because it could make it worse.

So i’ve missed a couple of footy games this week and am kind of eager to get back into action, so was wondering has anyone ever had shingles, and how long did it take to go away?

It’s only in a small area on my back. It doesn’t really itch, its just a dull ache and stabbing pains, plus the skin is tingly. I wouldn’t want anyone to smack me in the back, that’s for sure. But i’m not sure how sport would make it worse. I don’t know whether the doc meant the physical contact or the sweating would make it worse.

cheers

[/quote]

I have known a couple people that have gotten shingles. It took both a long time to recover (at least a month). My guess is that your doctors biggest worry is you weakening your immune system, which will cause the shingles to spread and you could get pretty sick. High intensity workouts can weaken your immune system substantially for short periods of time.

I had a reeeeeally minor case of shingles about a year and a half ago. I woke up one morning with a red patch about 3 or 4 centimeters in diameter on my right side/ribcage area. It didn’t hurt at all, just looked very freaky, like a cluster of bug bites or something, so I went to the emergency room to get it checked out.

The doctor there diagnosed it as shingles, said that I would be “in a great deal of pain (!)” and prescribed an anti-viral (I think Valtrex) to take for a week. I subsequently had my dermatologist look at it to get a second opinion, and he concurred.

Long story short, over the next few days that spot got slightly sensitive (mild burning sensation when my shirt would rub against it), but nothing unbearable at all. I finished the medication and that was the end of it! No spreading, nothing. I don’t even remember, but maybe a took a week off from working out – nothing major.

You could try taking L-lysine (about 1,000 mg three times per day), as it’s said to help bolster the immune system. Other than that, there’s not much OTC that you can do.

But your doctor DID put you on anti-viral medication, right??? TELL ME he did . . . .

Mine felt like a sun burn. It should follow the nerve path back to the spine. Mine started on the back of the shoulder and spread to my neck and it was done. Stay away from babies and those who haven’t had chicken pox.

My doctor said that no one really knows why you break out. If the pain gets bad enough, score some hydrocodone. Do your best not to scratch them.

Thanks chaps.

Dont worry, she gave me a weeks worth of anti-viral meds which i’ve been taking 3 times a day.

I actually thought it was a mosquito bite at first (i’d gotten a few on holiday in Italy). Then it seemed to get a little bigger, and is similar in appearance to how you described, Damici. It hasn’t changed shape in the last few days and reckon it will clear up.

The tingling feels like sunburn, and the ache on my back feels like when you’ve been hunched over for while but worse. Not unbearable, but certainly not comfortable.

Sounds like it’s probably under control then. Good luck to you.