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How long does the pain from shingles normally last?

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How long does the pain from shingles normally last?
  • 2 weeks to 4 months and the pain can be unbearable! I thought I had messed up my shoulder bad! It first started on my shoulder and felt like a bruise, then just a tiny quarter size rash appeared, after about a week I could barely use my arm so I went to the Dr. and she said it was shingles. I was so relieved that that my shoulder rotary cuff was not messed up and no surgery was needed! But the pain is real, my Dr. put me on Valtrex and Lortab, it still took almost a week for the pain to subside where I could actually use my arm again. It was almost impossible to get any sleep. It has been 2 weeks since it started and there is still some pain and throbbing but it is so much better now, so there is hope, just hang in there!
  • My husband has recently had shingles this is his 5th week of pain. He has gone back to work but is still in agony. His rash is clearing up, but the pain for him is tremendous. The doctor has prescribed him Co-codamol but it seems to be doing very little. His employees at work say that the pain should only last a week and they are giving him a hard time about it, which is making him very run down and tired. He is getting no sleep at night and can't settle.
  • I have shingles and I suggest that your husband go back to his Doctor for stronger pain meds. I am on Morphine patches for the pain and its been 5 weeks for me now. The rash is almost gone, but the pain hasn't. My Doctor says the pain is Postherpetic Neurqalgia. And one of the most difficult pains to control. Remember to be very determined when talking to Doctor, don't let him just shrug off the pain.
  • As below and in other answers, the rash will clear up in two to three weeks, but the pain is intense, and can go on for much longer. In my case, a friend said that it is an illness that can start when a person is run down, and a bit exhausted. After three weeks I took her advice, and started eating lots of rich nutritious food, mince pies (it was before Christmas), chocolate cheese cakes, frittatas, etc. I even nearly tried her remedy of Guinness with condensed milk. I would say that I started to feel better for the first time after that.
  • I have had shingles for about four weeks. The pain started deep in my ribs, several ribs still feel bruised. It was initially diagnosed as a muscle strain, so it was too late to benefit from the anitiviral. The rash is minimal, just two patches, one on the shoulder blade, the other just under my left breast. The rash never oozed, looked more like insect or spider bites. I take prednisone, neurontin and Tylenol with codeine. I read that it's important to take extra vitamin C, so I use a packet of Emeren -C every day. I tried the lidoderm patch but it irritated my skin. I try to dress in light layers of cotton clothing, by day's end nothing is comfortable. I guess that I am having a milder form of shingles pain, I have been able to go to school (I'm a teacher) and with Valium I do get sleep at night. My husband rubs my back every night, and it's the only thing that really comforts me. He uses a light touch, especially on the left side where the rash and pain are, but it seems that the light movement of his hand, which warms as he massages, really helps. The last few days, I seem to have more energy and more tolerance for the pain.
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