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Cervical Radiculopathy Associated With Shingles Herpes Zoster Infection


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Structural and chiropractic

J Chiropr Med.2019 Sep;18(3):225-228.


S C Miller, J M Cox, K J Olding


Objective: This case reports discusses the case of a 43-year-old man with concurrent cervical spine radiculopathy and herpes zoster shingles infection. Clinical features: A 43-year-old man with left sided C6 radiculopathy was seen and treated for the clinical diagnosis of C5-C6 disc herniation. Ten days before seeking care he had received influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations. A week after vaccination, he noticed tingling, aching, and fatigue in his left arm. A week later, a rash appeared on his left arm. This was diagnosed via Teladoc as shingles; ibuprofen was prescribed, as too much time had elapsed for antiviral medication. Intervention and outcome: Chiropractic spinal manipulation using Cox distraction protocols for a C5-C6 disc herniation was given 5 times over a time period of 5 weeks. This treatment resolved the patient's left arm pain, provided 50% relief for his neck pain, and decreased his left arm rash. Four spinal manipulations were given over the next 12-week period, resulting in 80% reduced neck pain, complete resolution of left arm pain, and faint herpetic rash. The patient stated that he felt he had returned to his level of health before the incident. Conclusion: Concurrent upper extremity radicular pain accompanied by herpes zoster cutaneous rash is described. Chiropractic spinal manipulation using Cox spinal distraction protocols saw resolution of the patient's complaints. Considered to be an uncommon dual occurrence, radiculopathy and herpes zoster infection deserve clinical discussion and evaluation of treatment protocols.

Publication Date: 

2019 Sep



Miller, CS., Cox, MJ., Olding, JK. (2019) 'Cervical Radiculopathy Associated With Shingles Herpes Zoster Infection', J Chiropr Med.2019 Sep;18(3):225-228.

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