Re: How do you know if it is Shingles
yes you can get silent shingles without the rash. It stays internal and causes severe pain down the nerve pathways. It can be very debilitating but it usually goes in a band from the midline of abdomen around to the middle back.
Don't know how long you would have to take the Valtrex for. I took a 7 day course of antivirals when i had my first attack, with a rash. It cleared up after about 2 weeks but I felt weak for a while afterwards.
Perhaps it could be pain due to other causes, I don't know. Maybe an xray or scan could be helpful. I would certainly ask for other tests if you don't improve soon.
Hope you feel better, it sounds as if you have a lot to contend with.