Notalgia paresthetica associated with cervical spinal stenosis and cervicothoracic disk disease at C4 through C7

Nili N Alai, Harry B Skinner, Siamak T Nabili, Edward Jeffes, Seyed Shahrokni, Arash M Saemi
Cutis; Cutaneous Medicine for the Practitioner 2010, 85 (2): 77-81
Notalgia paresthetica (NP) is a common refractory, sensory, neuropathic syndrome with the hallmark symptom of localized pruritus of the unilateral infrascapular back. It generally is a chronic noncurable condition with periodic remissions and exacerbations. While the dermatologic syndrome may be multifactorial in etiology, a possible association with underlying cervical spine disease should be evaluated for proper treatment. Collaborative multispecialty evaluation by dermatology, radiology, orthopedic surgery, and neurology may be indicated for primary management of this condition. First-line therapy for NP with associated cervical disease may include nondermatologic noninvasive treatments such as spinal manipulation, physical therapy, massage, cervical traction, cervical muscle strengthening, and oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants. Notalgia paresthetica may in fact be a cutaneous sign of an underlying degenerative cervical spine disease. We report a case of a patient with cervical spinal stenosis that corresponded directly with the clinical findings of NP.

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