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Dr Subbanna MD
Dr Subbanna MD, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 5403
Experience:  American Board Certified Neurologist, Internal Medicine
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Can uncontrolable itching be caused by pinched nerves in the

Customer Question

Can uncontrolable itching be caused by pinched nerves in the neck and/or back?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr Subbanna MD replied 5 years ago.

Hi, this is Dr Sathya. Thanks for your question and I am very glad to help you.

Yes pinched spinal nerves can cause uncontrollable itching of the skin. This is a very rare complication of pinched spinal nerves, but can occur.

In fact there is a condition called as "Notalgia paresthetica" and this condition is thought to result from pinching or irritation of the spinal nerves.

If your family dr & skin dr do not suspect any other possibilities to explain the itching then your bothersome itching may be attributed to pinched spinal nerves.

The treatment options for this condition include;

Antihistaminics like Atarax (you have used already)

Local anesthetic creams or patches like Lidoderm skin creams or Lidoderm skin patches

Topical steroid creams

Topical Capsaicin skin creams

If the above measures do not help then one of the following may help;

Paravertebral nerve blocks

Botox injections

Surgical treatments to relieve the pinching of the spinal nerves (as a last measure if nothing else helps)

You may go through the following article to gather more details in this regard;

Please ask me if there are any further questions.

Thanks for the waiting!

All the best!

Best regards,

Dr Sathya.

If you have any additional questions, concerns or clarifications then please let me know. And if you are satisfied with my answer please accept it so that I will be credited for my expertise, time and effort put in preparing this answer.

Dr Subbanna MD and other Neurology Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Here we are two and a half years down the road from the answer I received from you above. I have been having stellate ganglia blocks on a regular basis to resolve the itching problem I reported. I recently had cervical disk surgery on C4/C5 to remove spurs, release pinched nerves and insertion of an implant between these two disks to allow the nerve canal to remain open. I still have times when the itching is almost unbearable, but a block will normally stop the itching. As a matter of fact, any time I am put to sleep, I wake up itch free. I just want to say a special thank you for giving me direction when I entered my question on Without the information you furnished, I would still be scratching and itching. I don't know where you are located but would love to sit with you in your office to go over this case. You took my description and gave me the help that I needed. Other doctors (specifically the head of Neurology at our local university) would not even listen to me. I tried to tell this lady what you had said, and her response was "I don't think there is anything we can do for you." How's that for empathy! Thanks again, Dr. Sathya.

Expert:  Dr Subbanna MD replied 2 years ago.
You are very welcome and I am very glad to be of help! I am also very glad to find out that the stellate ganglia block is helping you in relieving this extremely annoying itching and I earnestly hope it will continue to help you in the future as well.
I am currently not in USA otherwise I would have been very glad to see you in my neurology clinic and assist you with your neurological concerns.
I wish you a quick and complete recovery from this extremely annoying itching, and also I earnestly hope your doctors will give their best care to you and also with full empathy.
All the very best!
Please follow up any time if my services are required again.
Best regards,
Neuro Doctor