Before the shingles rash appears, a patient can experience burning, pain, tickling, tingling and numbness on the chest or back, according to WebMD. These symptoms may also occur on the face, head, neck, belly, arms or legs.
The pain is caused by inflamed nerves, so the pain can be severe, according to MedicineNet.com. The pain is described by Health Central as itching, burning or stabbing. It is often felt from front to back, but the paint is typically on only one side of the body. Additional symptoms of the prodromal stage include flu-like symptoms and swollen lymph nodes, as stated by WebMD.