Brachioradial pruritus. (severe itching on forearms and neck, no rash).

Posted by Patrick Cotter @patrickcotter, Mar 19, 2012

Does anyone know of this. I think its rare but does exist. My neurologist does not know about this. I have compression between my c5 and c6 cervical disk and have had alot of sun damage to my skin.

No for anyone with this miserable condition that I have also had for many, many years. I have used all the cremes and the only thing that really relieved it was running for the ice at night till it was numb. So I have found some Drs. that are really helping me with this issue which they have never treated. Where we have gone with this so far is you can treat all the areas you want but it's all in the nerves of the neck so we have found out on a hit and miss thing.
So here's what we have gotten to. They have treated me with a nerve block in the neck which is pretty uncomfortable to get. But I guess 15 minutes of being uncomfortable is worth 12 -14 weeks you can go back to going to bed at night. Ok the first time the first treatment about 14 weeks before it started slacking off. The second time which I am on now is starting to go at 9 weeks. So I go back to see the injection Dr this week and he wants to talk about doing some hot injection block he thinks will last 6 months to a year
So another way I found relief was to get into a reclining position and use a neck collar like you would use in a car or on an airplane. As long as the neck cant lean over or slump for me it seems to be a whole lot better through the night and I still use 2700 mg of Gabapentin a day 900 mg 3x a day
Reading along on the study I hope they can get something done. Try getting the block folks and see if it helps but you got to go to a neurologist to gat it done and a chiropractors not going to help us

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@justmiserable

No for anyone with this miserable condition that I have also had for many, many years. I have used all the cremes and the only thing that really relieved it was running for the ice at night till it was numb. So I have found some Drs. that are really helping me with this issue which they have never treated. Where we have gone with this so far is you can treat all the areas you want but it's all in the nerves of the neck so we have found out on a hit and miss thing.
So here's what we have gotten to. They have treated me with a nerve block in the neck which is pretty uncomfortable to get. But I guess 15 minutes of being uncomfortable is worth 12 -14 weeks you can go back to going to bed at night. Ok the first time the first treatment about 14 weeks before it started slacking off. The second time which I am on now is starting to go at 9 weeks. So I go back to see the injection Dr this week and he wants to talk about doing some hot injection block he thinks will last 6 months to a year
So another way I found relief was to get into a reclining position and use a neck collar like you would use in a car or on an airplane. As long as the neck cant lean over or slump for me it seems to be a whole lot better through the night and I still use 2700 mg of Gabapentin a day 900 mg 3x a day
Reading along on the study I hope they can get something done. Try getting the block folks and see if it helps but you got to go to a neurologist to gat it done and a chiropractors not going to help us

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Thanks for the update. Wife had surgery – rotator cuff and received a nerve block prior to the surgery. She said it worked for 3 daysthen the itch was back again. Prior to that wife had gone to a neurologist at the suggestion of her Dermatologist. The Neurologist had never heard of BRP and thought the suggestion was ridiculous to check for a disc in the spine problem Even wrote the Dermatologist a not so nice letter. My insurance is changing in January so we may look for a different neurologist.

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@ilyne

Thanks for the update. Wife had surgery – rotator cuff and received a nerve block prior to the surgery. She said it worked for 3 daysthen the itch was back again. Prior to that wife had gone to a neurologist at the suggestion of her Dermatologist. The Neurologist had never heard of BRP and thought the suggestion was ridiculous to check for a disc in the spine problem Even wrote the Dermatologist a not so nice letter. My insurance is changing in January so we may look for a different neurologist.

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So in the beginning all the Drs. I went to thought it was a skin thing but after research it's the nerves in the back of the neck that cause the itching and scratching on the arms. We have that finally cornered down. I don't know where your wife had the block for the surgery but if it wasn't the 7 or 8 shots I get along the back of the neck it probably isn't going to work. Now the next treatment we have talked about is something about doing kinda, the same procedure but they heat up the needles they are using, but a larger needle, while doing the bock and this approach has a chance of lasting 3-6 months. Of course this is all a hit and miss thing because no one really knows how to deal with it. Also the neurologist that I go to, the first time had never heard of it and had to research it also. They say I am their senior citizen guinnea pig. It would be nice if someone or some company did a group study on this here local to me. Because I sure would sign up.
If you have a recliner chair your wife can use, tell her to try sleeping in that and get away from laying in a flat position and see if that helps any. There is also a crème I get off of Amazon that helps I think called Penetrex . At least it seems to help a little and I rub it on the back of my neck several times a day.

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@thedinnymurph

Hi I’m a sufferer who sympathizes completely with this maddening disorder. After pursuing treatment with dermatologists without success I did research on my own and found the cause (I think) for this horrible condition. I was already taking Neurontin for neuropathy. I have Sjrogrens and Mixed Connective Tissue Disorder. Noting it treated a weird skin itch also, I convinced my rheumatologist to order an x-ray which showed cervical spine problems…..long story short, this led to neurologist for MRI…he sent me for a cervical spine epidural. NO symptoms for 2 weeks….then a slow return.. This was in July and I’m due for a second on Oct 18
I’m as I said convinced this awful condition results from cervical spine inflammation. BUT saying that, the sun doesn’t help. I live in FL and try never to be in the sun.
The only treatment beside the epidural that ever helped is a steroid cream mixed with lidocaine. Provided only some relief. Promoxine (sp?) also helped somewhat. Icepacks remain the most effective. Hard to sit in meetings, restaurants, etc with them. This condition is very limiting socially. It’s made me cry, scream and have meltdowns not attractive in an adult!

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Car accident gave me severe cervical disc injuries. At 5 years into 2 shoulder surgeries the pain and numbness in both forearms suddenly SUDDENLY became this INSANITY. I thought I got bit by something, washed arm real good. NEVER did I think I could experience something so horrendous. I found myself itching this ONLY to have a BURNING sensation that came in waves. Lidocaine did NOTHING.
ONLY ice. This has gotten soo bad I'm covering ICE with salt then rubbing this 22-24°F ICE back and forth until I'm nearly burned. Acupuncture is my NEXT step.
I take no drugs- THIS is as close to utter INSANITY as I can imagine.
I live alone- when this starts I have found myself nearly SCREAMING / squealing running for ice and salt. If someone caught an episode on video they'd think I was on drugs. There's NOTHING humorous about this.
I pray for ANYONE suffering this -healing love and peace

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@duathlon007

Car accident gave me severe cervical disc injuries. At 5 years into 2 shoulder surgeries the pain and numbness in both forearms suddenly SUDDENLY became this INSANITY. I thought I got bit by something, washed arm real good. NEVER did I think I could experience something so horrendous. I found myself itching this ONLY to have a BURNING sensation that came in waves. Lidocaine did NOTHING.
ONLY ice. This has gotten soo bad I'm covering ICE with salt then rubbing this 22-24°F ICE back and forth until I'm nearly burned. Acupuncture is my NEXT step.
I take no drugs- THIS is as close to utter INSANITY as I can imagine.
I live alone- when this starts I have found myself nearly SCREAMING / squealing running for ice and salt. If someone caught an episode on video they'd think I was on drugs. There's NOTHING humorous about this.
I pray for ANYONE suffering this -healing love and peace

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I consider myself extremely blessed. I suffered on and off with this horrible infliction for about 6 years – typically seasonally, Sept to Nov. At first I thought it was an allergy to the sun. The creams helped until this year and it just never went away and ice was the only relief. Coincidentally, I was suffering with an extreme lower back issue. I found a fantastic chiropractor who did say I had some cervical compression as well – which he corrected. But I do believe that adjustment combined with CBD oil took all my symptoms away. Best luck.

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@elaine820

Why isn’t there a mayo connect group designated to BRP sufferers? This thread was difficult to find! For anyone that is interested, please join the Facebook group where over 600 of us connect.

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Hi, how do I search for the FBgroup? I put in brachialradial and nothing came up.

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I had a stinging pain in my upper arms about 6-7 years ago. The Dr. did some blood tests and it didn't show anything abnormal. She gave me lidocaine patches and an antihistamine to help me sleep and get through the night. During the day time I was miserable. I did some research of my own and saw that vitamin deficiencies can cause nerve pain. So I upped my vitamin Bs and after a week I had relief. I no longer had symptoms for many years. My stinging itchy arm pain came back a few months ago. So I started taking a ton of vitamins again. This time it has not helped. I went to the doctor last week and she did blood work. All my vitamin levels came back normal except vitamin D was low. She mentioned seeing a chiropractor for a pinched nerve in my neck. My neck and back don't seem to be bothering me. It's worth a try because I can't sleep at night. She gave me an anti inflammatory medicine, but it does not help. I've tried CBD cream with menthol in it. It only gives temporary relief. I've been taking Tylenol PM or Ibuprofen PM. That helps me sleep some during the night. The over the counter patches help some, but not as good as the prescription ones. I'm going to schedule a neck massage, see a chiropractor, and even do an elimination diet to see if that helps. Thanks for sharing.

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@froglegs

Benzocaine comes in topical forms (also called lidocaine). I buy Solarcaine but it can be in a generic form, too. I get the spray so touching the skin is not necessary. It also comes in a gel form, for dry skin that’s oily.

US Brand Name
Anacaine
Chiggerex
Mandelay
Medicone
Outgro
Solarcaine

Canadian Brand Name
Baby Orajel Nighttime Formula
Dermoplast Maximum Strength
Topicaine

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I know what you MEAN NOT touching the skin.
If I EVER knew I'd suffer THIS I'd have had neck surgery years ago
THERE'S NOTHING I know to describe this sickening urgency to run for ICE breathless while making noises I can't describe. I hear myself thinking #$@&%!!!!!! And realize I'm SCREAMING internally WHILE trying not to be noticed.
I pack a cooler for driving, with ice bags ice in bags in a Salt water slurry frozen to keep ice packs ready when the shit hits the fan.
Mine started as itch that became an intolerable burn ice ONLY helped.
Then it starts moving up my forearm to elbow now near bicep.
I pray to God no FURTHER.
It's NOW like hundreds of wasp stings from under skin. I've given myself ice burns icing it.
What a HORRIBLE mistake as the skin becomes insanely sensitive while healing. I also shaved the hair off that dorsal forearm- if ONLY I knew that was to worsen this also.
Moisturize!! Dry sets it off for me. Coconut directly on skin. 1 pass as " rubbing " will set it off.
I also learned Chlorhexamine surgical prep wash in shower seems to prep skin for taking coconut oil better.
Literally I think this must have caused someone to have done the unthinkable. I

'm NOT dramatic.
But THIS IS dramatic.
I wish you peace healing and love in getting well.
Regards
M

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@enoughalready

I consider myself extremely blessed. I suffered on and off with this horrible infliction for about 6 years – typically seasonally, Sept to Nov. At first I thought it was an allergy to the sun. The creams helped until this year and it just never went away and ice was the only relief. Coincidentally, I was suffering with an extreme lower back issue. I found a fantastic chiropractor who did say I had some cervical compression as well – which he corrected. But I do believe that adjustment combined with CBD oil took all my symptoms away. Best luck.

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Thank you for your input.
It's great to hear your success👍👍👍
I'm began cervical traction at home last week I think it's HELPING.
AGAIN- thank you deeply for your reply. Honestly this is an utterly insane situation to suffer when it's flared up.
What type of CBD are you having success with??

M

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So I have had my 3rd nerve block in my neck now and the first time stopped the itching and burning for about 8-10 weeks.It stopped both sides from the itching and burning completely after about 10 days. I could sleep in the bed again but since the first one I have had 2 more of the blocks done and nothing happened for the left side. From the shoulder to the wrist the attacks continue and running for the ice still continues. Now I probably have 20 tubes of ointments and cremes laying around here that when I put on the areas where it was itching,that area just went wild and I had to get it off and use the ice to settle that area down. Someone mentioned some kind of CDC oil or ointment or something which I know nothing about. Didn't check into it because I don't need another tube of stuff I can't use laying around going beyond it's expiration date without being used and I don't know where to find any type of test samples so can't give my opinion on using that stuff for this issue.

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So I see a lot of comments on here that the issue really fires up more why folks are sleeping or in the middle of the night and they can't sleep like myself. I slept in the recliner chair again last night for about 3 hrs before the attack began again. Does anyone have a heads up or a reason why the issue seems to be stronger in the sleeping hours

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@justmiserable

So I see a lot of comments on here that the issue really fires up more why folks are sleeping or in the middle of the night and they can't sleep like myself. I slept in the recliner chair again last night for about 3 hrs before the attack began again. Does anyone have a heads up or a reason why the issue seems to be stronger in the sleeping hours

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Hi
I'm going to venture this reply from my experience. I take no pain killers and having had a severe rear end collision that gave me 5 discs ruptured & 2 shoulder surgeries. FOR ME I've leaned that when FINALLY asleep and calm any irritation on the affected Injuries creates a hypersensitivity- so in general you're occupied during awake hours and less likely to succumb until it's bad. Any disc injury that's left untreated gets worse and WORSE. Lifestyle changes help but it's always different for each person….
Neck traction helps me. Walking. Changing pillows in bed….etc
Don't stop helping yourself!!!!!!👍👍👍👍
THIS crap I just had a 4 week lull in symptoms then a long drive is triggering it- I'm flipping livid.
Anyway I've dissected my activity I walk and often walking helps get my body geometry in line- less attacks till I can get surgery.
MUCH love and peace your way.

I MEAN it.

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@justmiserable

So I have had my 3rd nerve block in my neck now and the first time stopped the itching and burning for about 8-10 weeks.It stopped both sides from the itching and burning completely after about 10 days. I could sleep in the bed again but since the first one I have had 2 more of the blocks done and nothing happened for the left side. From the shoulder to the wrist the attacks continue and running for the ice still continues. Now I probably have 20 tubes of ointments and cremes laying around here that when I put on the areas where it was itching,that area just went wild and I had to get it off and use the ice to settle that area down. Someone mentioned some kind of CDC oil or ointment or something which I know nothing about. Didn't check into it because I don't need another tube of stuff I can't use laying around going beyond it's expiration date without being used and I don't know where to find any type of test samples so can't give my opinion on using that stuff for this issue.

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Ps- I made the mistake of shaving the hair off my forearm it was so sensitive.
I took muscle relaxers BEFORE bed for a week and that calmed down the spasms and tightness crushing the nerves. ALSO ONLY ICING I STOPPED itching the areas completely. There's a reaction in the extremity WITH rough contact – least contact it started to heal.

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Hi! Just joined this forum. Have been suffering with BRP for about 5 years now. Giving chiropractic a go next week to see if that changes anything. I have had x-rays with a chiro before and there were no signs of an upper cervical issue, but worth checking again. I really think my issue is self inflicted from too much sun exposure over the years.

Also, I'll share what has helped me. I use a brand called Emolent who makes a cream with 5% Lidocaine. I buy it off of Amazon. Really anything with a 5% Lidocaine concentration has worked for me in the past. It takes about 10-15 minutes to work and lasts about 3-4 hours before symptoms return. I put it on right before I go to bed and most nights just reapply a bit in the middle of the night. A pain in the butt to have to reapply, but at least it knocks out the burning sensation to let me sleep. Mine is more of a hot burning sensation vs. an itch…although it can get quite itchy at times. Like others, I used to scratch until I bled. I know some on here have mentioned they have had no luck with Lidocaine but maybe it helps others.

Have an appointment with a neurologist in a few weeks to inquire about Gabapentin. Have been to the dermatologist but they tell me what they tell everyone – antihistamines, ice it, etc. They referred me to the neurologist.

Glad I found this forum. Very insightful hearing everyone else's experiences.

Scott

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@castlemac

Hello, I have this exact diagnosis – same everything, no rash, severe SEVERE itching on forearm(left only) issues with my neck, and sun damage. I want to find out all I can regarding this – I am going INSANE with the itching. Only thing so far that TEMPORARILY takes the itch away is ICE…..

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I am self- diagnosed, but my symptoms are so much like yours. My itching is on my upper arms. It starts with a pinch, that feels like being stabbed, with a needle, then extreme itching starts, that is impossible not to scratch. No rash, ever, but the itching for hours. It does the go to the other arm, just as badly, but not as often.I do have a bad neck, and sleep, on a water pillow. Now, I don't feel like I'm crazy!!

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