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Herpes outbreaks/Sciatic nerve damage


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Here is a little thought that hit me recently:

Can my lifelong back problems/sciatic nerve problems cause me to have herpes outbreaks???

A little back story here: from the time I was a teen I had back problems in my lower lumbar. Could be due to the fact that I was the initial "extreme sport" girl (although we didn't call it that in the late 80s early 90s) and surfing/snowboarding/horseback riding/motorcylce riding caused me these back problems. It could be congenitive. (I won't get into the details of my back pains...just know that it has been around a very long time and is exceedingly painful. )

Occasionally I do something or I do absolutely nothing and my sciatic nerve gets pinched and it FLOORS me. This happened recently. Friday night, I lost feeling in both my legs...then I had shooting pain down my legs. Couldn't walk, couldn't sit....yeah...that was FUN.

So, I did the ice/heat thing, did my little stretches and things I was taught by my physical therapist to do, and while the pain has subsided, there is some stiffness.

Well, in the midst of all this pain, I began to feel a tingling and heaviness in my vulva/labia region. Thought...uh oh....outbreak coming on. nothing nothing...until YESTERDAY. Little itchy sore on the labia. So I am bummed out about that, put some choraphor on it, it is almost gone today, BUT, methinks another itchy sore popped up in the same area. I will treat it the same, but it really got me thinking.....

We all know that HSV2 lives in the spine. The lower part of the spine, correct?? Doesn't it seem entirely feasible that if the nerves in the spine are being affected and pinched that it could actually wake up the virus and cause an outbreak?!?!?! I mean, when I sit and think about it, it doesn't sound that crazy to me. I began looking back over the past few month and when I have had outbreaks..... December, I had an outbreak, but I had my back out of whack and started a new job.

About 2 1/2 or 3 months ago, my back was acting up and I had a very mild outbreak. (was gone in a day.....at least the sores were.)

This weekend, had the most horrific back pain/spasms ever....and gee whiz, here is another outbreak.

When I was pregnant, I KNOW my insane hormonal influxes affected my outbreaks, but I also wonder if the stress on the back from carrying baby also contributed to my outbreaks (I had the WORST outbreaks ever while pregnant.)

I mean, I might sound crazy, but it just make logical SENSE. Oh, I am sure STRESSING about the pain I was in friday night didn't help, but ultimately, the type of back problem I have, the location.....It can't just be coincidental.

I know many people talk about pain in their legs and back as well right before an outbreak....so it also made me think, well, maybe the herpes virus is aggravating my already screwed up sciatic nerve/back!!! Although I think it is the former, it could very possibly be THIS scenario too.

Which comes first, the chicken or the egg, right?

Man, sometimes I just want to donate my body to science. I would make a great guinea pig. ;-)

Any thoughts!?!?! Would love to hear what you all think!!!

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I also was an extreme athlete as a girl. And no they didn't call it that my parents simply thought I was insane and far too competetive for their liking. (Yeah I was the one who rode their motocross bike off the roof into the pool and climbed to the top of the highest tree and jumped.)

Anyway's in the 1980's I started having major back problems and saw many dr's and chiropractors . . .

fast forward to 2007 and I am diagnosed with hsv but it's been there for maybe 10 years.

I have found that if my sciatica starts acting up it is almost certainly in conjunction with an hsv ob. If I take the antiviral as soon as the sciatic starts the ob doesn't come on completely and the sciatic pain goes away in less than 3 days. This would not happen if it was from the nerve being pinched. I am convinced it is the hsv.

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hmmm....interesting....the two could be working hand in hand with one another.....See I always had back problems, they got worse after the birth of my first child. Then when I first contracted hsv, I rarely, if ever had outbreaks. Even when my back was going crazy. BUT recently, I gained a little extra weight, (after my baby was born) and my back acts up more frequently. BUT...I wonder if some of these sciatic nerve problems/pains I have been dealing with ARE indeed more HSV related than just my typical ole back/hip issue.

God Caliope, I wish I could take antivirals. Unless I am enduring multiple or very severe outbreaks, I steer away from them. For me, I found that my outbreaks seemed prolonged while on antivirals, OR if I took it suppressively, I had strange side effect which were as bad (if not worse) than the outbreak itself. (strange bumps on my lips, almost like a rash, headaches, etc.)

What I do now is use a topical product as soon as I have the outbreak. Fortunately, mine went back to being more of an annoyance (usually just one or two sores.) So I apply said topical ointment, the sores are gone in 1-4 days, depending (usually one or two days) then I abstain from sex with the man for about a week to ten days and that is that.

But I did a little searching in the old mental filofax and I remembered that one of the last outbreaks I had WAS in conjunction with a "pinched" nerve. UGH!!! Between THAT and our periods, we women can't WIN.

But I thank you for your response. Glad to know I was not the only wild child back in the 80s and 90s!!! Hell, I still try to get my butt up on my surf and snow board. I am a lot slower, but have just as much fun!!! No herpes or sciatic nerve or back problems are going to keep me from that! ;-)

Thanks again !!

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so can you do massive doses of lysine and vitamin c when you feel a back twinge and see if it makes the difference? I mean if you aren't having an ob and just the nerve stuff perhaps it will help.

btw I started on the siberian ginseng as recommended by a recent post and I am hopeful. I can at least say that it didn't upset my stomach like some of the other supplements.

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Hey there Caliope,

yeah, usually I take my lysine/c/b complex (good for the central nervous system) supplements. And when I feel the beginnings of an outbreaks (the tingling in the nether regions...any pains) then I will up the ante if you will and take more C and Lysine. C is amazing, because what I have found is once a sore is present (especially for herpes 1/coldsores) it seems to really just wipe it out.

so perhaps from now on when my back goes haywire, I should just automatically pump up my supplement intake, eh? Can't really hurt anything and might wipe out any bad outbreaks.

Good news is this outbreak only lasted about 2 1/2 days. The sores are pretty much gone already. I used the topical treatment ( I am sure you can figure out which one.....I am trying not to sound like an AD or something.) and it has helped me tremendously in the past. I am sold on this stuff. So while I DO have outbreaks, it helps shorten the durantion. Then I take the vitamins too like clock work. EVERY MORNING...there I am with all my lovely vitamins.

Reminds me: Must go to trader joes! I am out of Lysine!!! DO you have a trader joes where you are at? I find that there vitamins are inexpensive and good quality. Plus...I love all their yummy , good organic foods and stuff!! ;-)

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I forgot!

oh! And let me know how the Siberian Ginseng works. I am aHUGE fan of Ginseng, I find it give me energy (not in a speedy way, just a nice mellow way) and it has so many other good qualities. Is it a pill/vitamin Supplement you are taking? Or an actual herb you purchased and are using in teas?

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I don't have a lot of time to search for supplements. I wanted to get a tincture but ended up going with what was available. I got some capsules that contain the ground root of the siberian ginseng. I take three daily in the morning.

I haven't tried the teas but they sound interesting. Maybe once I have a chance to look more.

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well seems I'm not crazy either. I've had HSV2 for about 4 years. Prior to this I did have lower back problems due to a compressed disc which really only was stiffess and ocasional sharp pains. My first outbreak I had intense pain in my lower back. Not long after I had my first outbreak.I ended up getting the lovely outbreaks every month. Tried lots of things but really the only thing that helps is valtrex. I started suppresive therapy and have been on it for 3 years.

As this med is quite expensive (even prescription) I feel very dependant. I have finally gotten off to see how things have changed.

still the same, an outbreak every 4 weeks.. but the main thing that gets me is the pain i have in my lower back. every day I have pain, somedays worse than others but really it is terrible. Pain down my left leg, groin and inside my hips.My gentitals turn a pink or light red and gets hyper sensitive (and not in a good way).this stays this way for 4 weeks then an outbreak.

Now if I go back on valtrex, I no outbreaks and very little pain and very rarely any redness or sensitivty.

My doctor doesnt seem to think there arent any links. However I have to say there is a link between the sciatic nerve and herpes outbreaks. So many things trigger OB's, coffee, sunlight, trauma, food or hard sex. Seems most things related to nerves can cause pain and eventually an outbreak.

If embarrassing monthly pharmacy visits and the costs werent so bad I wouldnt care but I think we need more understanding in this area.

I guess I should feel lucky that my symptoms can be relieved somewhat with modern medicine.

If anyone has more info on nerve and herpes help please let me know.

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i have always had lower back pain, mostly around my monthly cycle; doc says i have a tipped uterus. anyway, since this virus, OMG, my lower back is in excrutiating pain; driving and sitting kills my lower back and my buttocks. BIG TIME.:mad:

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i also have lower back problems and during this outbreak there was one day that i had sciatica so bad i could barely walk, that hasn't happened to me in years! i thought i must have just overdone it at work but after reading everyone else's experiences i would agree that its related somehow.

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wow....this could be something that medical researchers could study.

I too believe there is a definite correalation between the two. How can there NOT be?!! Seems like basic common sense to me.

whether it is the back/sciatic nerve problem which is "pushing out" the herpes outbreak , OR the frazzled nerves in the spine enforcing a sciatic nerve episode is the BIG questions and remains to be determined, but it makes sense that the two woudl go hand in hand.

This last episode I had with my back was horrendous. I couldn't move, couldn't stand, couldn't sit, couldn't walk.....I finally plopped into a chair with a heating pad and stayed there for damn near two days. A neighbor gave me some pain pills (bad bad I know, but I didn't give a damn at that point, I normally do not take ANYTHING.....but I just didn't care ) and that took the edge of the pain along with the heat. But since then, my back has not fully recuperated. So NOW, I feel like I have ANOTHER outbreak coming on.

If so, I might take some stupid Acyclovir suppressively for a while. Despite the fact that I have horrible side effects from it, sometimes I notice when I start having many outbreaks, one after another, I will take it for a while and it seems to get the virus back in "check" (for lack of a better word or termanology.) But I have to do something a bit aggressive and proactive.

The last outbreak I had, I was able to rid the couple of little sores in two days. (I use a topical treatment.) It works good for me.

But yes, I find this all very interesting that those of us who have a bad back/back pain, then also have outbreaks with it. VERY interesting.

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having originally thought the sciatica was just sciatica I tried nearly every treatment known to man.

I'm in the US and they sell a product at the market called "Thermacare" it is a heating pack that is in a sealed packet and when you open it it begins to heat up. It lasts for about 8 hours and it is in the form of a belt so you just wrap it around your waist with the heated part placed where the pain is. You can wear it all day long if you need and the heat is right were you need it.

I accidentally came across something else many years ago and it was the first thing that got rid of the sciatica and it was a treatment called "Bowen" named after the man who invented it. It is most like massage therapy but without the massage. I'd do it again if the sciatica were to last more than a week.

Lately I notice that the antivirals work on the sciatic pain within days. For anyone who suffers from sciatica this is a miracle I wish it wasn't hsv but it is certainly easier to get relief taking a few pills than suffering for months as I did in the past.

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  • 4 years later...

After reading this thread, I don't think I am going mad. I am a 65 year old woman and have had these outbreaks since being in my 40's and always had the sciatica pain followed by an outbreak of Herpes. Other symptoms include sneezing and cold like symptoms before the lesions come out and just really bad sciatica.

Over the years I have been to different doctors and they have told me the two symptoms are not related.

Does anyone ever experience pain in the bowel as well as the lower back when having an episode?

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  • 1 year later...

Thank Goodness! I am not the only one! I have had genital herpes since I was 17...I am now 48. I had many obs in the early years...but not so much later in life, until I broke my back 10 yrs ago and then ended up with a L4-5 disc herniation 3 yrs ago. For the last few months I had been getting spinal electricity shocks ( OH YAY!!! NOT!!!) in my labia, with no obs....I swear by L-Lysine and take it like it's going out of style and I support my immune system to the best of my ability. I have always gotten my obs in the exact same place, down low on my labia, until recently. Now when I have a sciatica/nerve shocker in my upper labia (which migrates-FUN!!!) I get an ob there too! WTH???? And this too: I have never, ever, in my whole history, gotten one ob on top of another...and I am experiencing this phenom right now... and my back has been giving me particular trouble for more then a month...hmmm... coincidence??? I think NOT! And I can just imagine the response from my Dr. when I try and explain all of this to her...is there any research being done that measures spinal nerve injury's effect on the virus or vice-versa? My Blessings and LOVE go out to all of my sisters/brothers who experience this condition. HUGS. EEWA

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  • 2 weeks later...

I never thought that these 2 things could be related. I've been dealing with extreme back pain, nerve damage, and numbness in my leg due to my L-4/L-5 and L-5/S-1 discs being herniated. I've been dealing with this pain for just over a year, but most recently having my back go out end of November. I've spent this time taking muscle relaxers, pain killers, and getting ready for a double lumbar discectomy which has been scheduled for Tuesday. I'm currently in the middle of my first OB. My bf of 3 years has gotten cold sores on his lip a few times throughout our relationship...the most current being a few weeks ago, but his mouth was never near me. I'm so confused about where this came from :(

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I never thought that these 2 things could be related. I've been dealing with extreme back pain, nerve damage, and numbness in my leg due to my L-4/L-5 and L-5/S-1 discs being herniated. I've been dealing with this pain for just over a year, but most recently having my back go out end of November. I've spent this time taking muscle relaxers, pain killers, and getting ready for a double lumbar discectomy which has been scheduled for Tuesday. I'm currently in the middle of my first OB. My bf of 3 years has gotten cold sores on his lip a few times throughout our relationship...the most current being a few weeks ago, but his mouth was never near me. I'm so confused about where this came from :(

Hi AnjunaLove, I'm assuming your herpes is genital h1 ? His cold sores are h1 oral and can be transmitted to the genital location through oral sexy times. I'm genital h2 and this h lies in the Spinal Ganglia Nervous System, base of spine, and can outbreak anywhere in that boxer shorts area. I get tingles/prodrome symptoms at the spinal area tail bone area. I thought it was an outbreak, turned out it was hives from my stresses. I have major stress and anxieties can bring on many symptoms. I'm sorry for your back pain. Chickentuna also has some issues/experiences with back and disc problems. Maybe message her, she has had major problems such as you have discribed. Good luck honey, keep us posted. Hugs, Ace :)

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  • 1 year later...

I had my first ob in 2006. I was getting an ob every month with my cycle, also if I was crying I'd have an ob (death in family, bad marriage etc., I'm not an emotional wreck..). Over time, my ob's weren't as frequent and I came to realize that the sciatic pain was my warning sign to an ob, and that if I took my anti-viral med now, I could avoid the lesion. I did not know until today that this warning sign I've been relying on is sciatic pain. It's almost always my right side, starts in my buttock and goes right to my calf. I saw the doc today because this sciatic pain was so bad I couldn't walk. It's the worst pain I've had since the initial outbreak. I didn't do any extreme sports, and in general don't get back pain. I didn't associate this with my back because it's my right butt cheek down to my calf. The hsv is what brings mine on, and alerts me to an outbreak. I did have a fall in 2008 and tore my rotator cuff. I still have issues with that from time to time from sitting at a pc, I'll get a pinch in my shoulder blade, but is upper back only. I get no other back pain, and have had no other injury to my back, so I feel safe in assuming that my sciatic nerve pain does not cause my ob's, and that my initial ob was so severe it could have permanently damaged my sciatic nerve.

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I've been reading on this all day.. sciatic nerve problems can cause problems with bm. I've not had pain in the bowels, but last year was diagnosed with ibs, and I have sciatic pain before an ob. I use senokot for the ibs, and after going to the doctor because of the sciatic pain (I didn't know it was sciatic, I just knew it's my signal to an ob), the dr gave me a script for prednisone. I will not take it. The sciatic pain will last a couple days, and be gone until the next ob, the steroids will not help or prevent another sciatic episode or ob, and I took anti-viral at first sign of sciatic pain. Using the anti-virals at first sign usually always avoids the lesion, and I only have to take them for 4 days to a week.

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