Sunday, December 3, 2023

Does Acupuncture Help Shingles Nerve Pain

Vas Pain Score Before And After Treatment

The Science Behind How Acupuncture Helps Relieve Pain: A Doctor Of Chinese Medicine Explains

A total of 6 articles evaluated the VAS scores before and after treatment, but only 4 articles stated the standardized average difference of the improved VAS score before and after treatment the other 2 only stated the average score number and standard difference before and after treatment, and thus were excluded from the comparison. The comparison results are shown in Figure 6. The results were I2=92% and P< 0.00001 thus, a random-effects model was used. The SMD was 0.87 . The statistical test results showed P=0.05, and were not statistically significant in experimental group and control group.

Figure 6

How Acupuncture Can Help Combat Shingles Pain

The numbers surrounding shingles are eye-opening one in three people in the United States develop the condition during their lifetime, and 13% of those who have shingles and who are 50 years of age or older go on to struggle with postherpetic neuralgia .

PHN is incredibly difficult to treat since it involves hyperactive nerve activity, leaving people to try to manage the discomfort through medications. To avoid a lifetime of potentially risky drug use, many people turn to acupuncture to relieve PHN, with great success.

In the following, the team at Family Wellness Acupuncture explores how acupuncture can provide welcome pain relief in the face of ongoing PHN.

Have Shingles Get Treatment Take Action

If you have shingles, it’s important to talk to your doctor about your risk for developing PHN. Ask whether preventative treatment with antiviral drugs makes sense. If your doctor says it’s not necessary, ask why.

The full implications of the psychological risk factors for PHN aren’t clear yet, says Dworkin. But he suggests that people with shingles should try to stay active and connected.

“If psychological distress is a risk factor for PHN,” he says, “then we think that people who have shingles might benefit from getting out and not being isolated and homebound.”

You might make an effort to stay connected to family and friends and not to dwell on your symptoms. Also, keep in mind that even if you do develop PHN, there are treatments that can help.

“We have about a half dozen types of drugs that are used as first-line treatments for PHN,” says Dworkin. They include lidocaine patch , pregabalin , gabapentin , capsaicin , carbamazepine , tricyclic antidepressants, and painkillers.

The most important thing is to get prompt medical attention if you think you might have shingles.

“If you have a one-sided rash — especially if you’re over 50 — see your doctor right away,” says Dworkin. “It could be shingles. And we know that prompt treatment can dramatically reduce the likelihood of developing long-term pain.”

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Risk Of Bias In Included Studies

The recommendations in the methods section of the Cochrane Handbook 5.1.0 were used to assess the risk of bias. All included studies mentioned the randomization methods used. Six used a random number table to divide patients into experimental and observation groups. Two studies used a computer-generated random number.

In one study, sham EA was used to blind the patients.26 Seven studies mentioned blinding details for neither participants nor administrators. Because of the intervention differences between the experimental group and the control group, it was difficult to established blindness for the whole research process. We contacted the authors, and the authors of two of the studies said that they had blinded both evaluators and statisticians.27,28 Another study said they had blinded the outcome assessments only.29 The authors of an additional study replied that they had not used blinding because it would have been easy to break.30 The authors of three of the studies did not reply to our inquiries.

All studies reported all outcomes which had been described by their respective methods sections, and no missing data were mentioned. Information was insufficient to analyze other potential sources of bias. The detailed risk of bias is shown in Figure 2. It assesses the quality of the included studies.

Figure 2 Risk of bias graph for included studies.

Can Acupuncture Help With Nerve Pain From Shingles

Shingles, Can Acupuncture Help (near Andover, MN)?

The short answer is, YES! Acupuncture can help with the nerve pain from shingles. Acupuncture works directly on the TRPV1 nerve receptor that causes the common burning pain you feel with shingles. If you want to dive into a scientific study that proves acupuncture helps shingles pain, then keep reading. Otherwise, just click the book now button above to setup a visit with Dr. Hanson for the best acupuncture in Tampa, FL.

So if you are experiencing Post Herpetic Nerualgia then know that Acupuncture is something that can really help ease your pain. Read on for more information about acupuncture and how it could help ease your symptoms of nerve pain.

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Can It Help With Shingles

Organizations that promote the benefits of acupuncture suggest that it can help provide pain relief. The British Acupuncture Council states that while more research is necessary, acupuncture may help to relieve painful symptoms of shingles.

A 2019 systematic review and meta-analysis reports that acupuncture may reduce pain intensity, relieve anxiety, and improve the quality of life in people who have PHN. This is consistent with a , which adds that while there is not enough evidence to suggest acupuncture is superior to other treatments, it is generally safe and may be effective for providing pain relief.

Current evidence suggests that other factors, such as a persons expectation or belief unrelated to acupuncture, may play a role in the pain-relieving effects of acupuncture. As researchers are only beginning to understand the potential benefits of the technique, this highlights the necessity for more research.

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health , experts generally consider acupuncture safe when performed by an experienced, licensed, and well-trained practitioner using sterile needles. However, the NCCIH also adds that acupuncture can cause serious adverse effects, including injury to the central nervous system.

recommends that healthy adults ages 50 years and older get the shingles vaccine, known as Shingrix. A pharmacist or doctor gives a person two doses of the vaccine 26 months apart.

Soak In A Colloidal Oatmeal Bath

This DYI option hasnt been tested for shingles specifically but experts say it may provide some skin relief while your rash is still acting up. Colloidal oatmeal is made by grinding oats into a fine powder . A study in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology found that this natural remedy has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which can make it helpful in treating irritated skin. Add colloidal oatmeal to a bath of cool or lukewarm water and soak for about 10 minutes, once per day, for as long as your rash lasts.

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Article Screening And Data Extraction

The two researchers separately screened the articles according to the above-mentioned inclusion and exclusion criteria, and discussed any differences in opinions. If they could not reach a joint decision, a third researcher was asked to decide. The following data were extracted: the first author, publication year, basic data of research subjects, number of cases in experimental and control groups, treatment plan, and outcome indicators.

Systematic Review And Meta

New treatment for the pain of shingles

Tao Qi#, Hua Lan#, Chao Zhong, Ruwen Zhang, Huamei Zhang, Fang Zhu, Bing Ji

Pain Management Hospital of Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine , , China

Contributions: Conception and design: T Qi, H Lan, F Zhu, B Ji Administrative support: C Zhong, R Zhang Provision of study materials or patients: T Qi, H Lan, C Zhong, R Zhang, H Zhang Collection and assembly of data: All authors Data analysis and interpretation: T Qi, H Zhang, F Zhu, B Ji Manuscript writing: All authors Final approval of manuscript: All authors.

#These authors contributed equally to this work.

Correspondence to:

Background: The treatment of herpes zoster by the traditional Chinese medicine of acupuncture is attracting attention. However, there is still a controversy about the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture treatment of HZ.

Methods: Articles on randomized controlled trials examining acupuncture and Western medicine treatments of HZ published since the establishment of the PubMed, Embase, Medline, and Chinese Biomedical Literature databases to March 2021 were electronically retrieved. The Cochrane System Evaluation Manual was used for the data analysis with Review Manager 5.3 software, and the Cochrane Handbook version 5.3 systematic review writing manual was adopted to evaluate the risk of bias.

Keywords: Herpes zoster acupuncture treatment mate analysis clinical efficacy

Submitted Jan 06, 2022. Accepted for publication Feb 16, 2022.

doi: 10.21037/apm-22-109

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How Long Will The Effects Last

The rash from shingles will heal in 1 to 3 weeks and the pain or irritation will usually go away in 3 to 5 weeks. When shingles occurs on the head or scalp, the symptoms usually go away eventually, but it may take many months.

If the virus damages a nerve, you may have pain, numbness, or tingling for months or even years after the rash is healed. This is called postherpetic neuralgia. This chronic condition is most likely to occur after a shingles outbreak in people over 50 years old. Taking antiviral medicine as soon as the shingles is diagnosed may help prevent this problem.

Best Essential Oils For Treating The Herpes Zoster Virus

For the most comfortable application, essential oils for shingles should be added to a spritzer bottle with either witch hazel, thin aloe vera juice , herbal hydrosols, or a thin carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil.

The spray should be about a 10% dilution ratio or 60 drops of essential oil in 1oz of liquid/carrier oil.

You can pick and choose from the oils below based on your needs and formulate a simple shingles spray.


Bergamot is one of the most effective essential oils that inhibit the herpes virus and will aid in drying blisters and giving you long-lasting pain relief. It is a powerful antiviral and analgesic essential oil that will also support you emotionally throughout your healing journey.

Be sure to use bergapten-free bergamot essential oil or make sure to completely cover any areas of topical application with clothing if going outside. Bergamot is an extremely phototoxic essential oil meaning it reacts negatively when exposed to sunlight.

Tea Tree

Tea tree essential oil will help soothe redness and irritation on and around the blistering skin. Its anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties make it a perfect match for treating shingles and reducing pain. If used consistently, you can prevent scarring and further infection.




Manuka essential oil has been shown to inhibit the herpes simplex virus and may help shorten the duration of shingles. It also has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties.


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Acupuncture Beats Drugs For Shingles Nerve Pain

Acupuncture was determined more effective than the drug gabapentin for the treatment of shingles, herpes zoster. New research compared the effects of acupuncture followed by local moxibustion against a group that received gabapentin and sham acupuncture. The true acupuncture group had an effective rate of 94% and the drug group had an effective rate of 86%.

Gabapentin is a pharmaceutical medication often used to treat nerve pain, especially in cases nerve pain due to shingles .

True acupuncture was applied to painful points. Sham acupuncture is a form of simulated acupuncture used to help establish controls in clinical investigations and assists in ruling out the placebo effect.

In this study, sham non-acupuncture points were needled in the distal region of the herpetic lesions. This type of sham control has received recent criticism by researchers in that sham needling may provide medical benefits thereby skewing data towards underestimating the healing powers of true acupuncture.

Either way, Acupuncture was shown to be significantly more effective than medication alone for the pain associated with shingles.

When To Contact A Doctor

Pin on Pudendal Nerve

A person with symptoms of shingles should contact their doctor as soon as possible to discuss treatment options. If they experience ongoing painful symptoms, such as PHN, they can ask their doctor about pain relief options, such as acupuncture.

If acupuncture does not relieve shingles pain or makes it worse, it is advisable for a person to stop acupuncture treatment and contact their doctor for alternative options.

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Alternative Peripheral Neuropathy Treatments

In addition to acupuncture, you can use home remedies to treat symptoms of neuropathy.

Regular exercise helps to increase blood circulation throughout the body, specifically the arms and legs. Increased blood circulation can help to restore nerve damage and reduce neuropathic pain. Exercise can also help to lower blood sugar levels, aid in weight loss, and strengthen the body.

Another home treatment for pain involves limiting your alcohol intake. Alcohol can increase nerve damage, and is sometimes the cause of neuropathy.

Taking a warm bath is also thought to soothe neuropathic pain. Warm water stimulates the body and increase blood circulation. As a result, pain symptoms decrease.

Are There Treatments For Postherpetic Neuralgia

These are FDA-approved treatments that are considered to be first-choice medications for PHN pain:

  • patches, which act locally to numb pain

  • Anticonvulsants like and , which calm down irregular nerve signals that may be causing pain

A combination of pill and patch is often used, like pregabalin with a lidocaine patch.

Other medications that providers might used to treat PHN pain include:

  • Antidepressants like and , which help your brain process pain differently

  • Capsaicin patches , which researchers believe may desensitize the body to pain

Researchers continue to search for new treatments, too. A recent study that reviewed data from four clinical trials, for example, showed that vitamin B12 injections reduced pain and the need for pain medications in folks with post herpetic neuralgia. It even worked better than lidocaine. Worth talking to your doc about.

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I Think I Have Shingles What Should I Do

Repeat after me: Call your doctor right away, within 72 hours. The earlier the better.

You should start taking an antiviral medication, preferably valacyclovir or famciclovir, within 72 hours of your symptoms starting to help reduce the severity of the infection, how long your skin rash lasts, and how painful it gets. If its been more than 72 hours, you should still talk to your provider. Treatment can still help, especially if you still see new rashes showing up.

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Shingles: Western Medicine Background

Pain relief from shingles

Shingles is caused by reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus that has been dormant in a person after having chickenpox. It affects the sensory ganglia and their areas of innervation, and is characterized by pain in the distribution of the affected nerve, and crops of clustered vesicles over the area. Pain may occur days before rash onset, or no rash may appear, making the diagnosis difficult.

The annual incidence of herpes zoster varies with age, being very rare in children, occurring in 2-3 cases per 1,000 people in early adult life and in up to 10 per 1000 in those aged 80 years and over. The severity of the symptoms also increases with age. Some people suffer from post herpetic neuralgia after shingles, due to nerve damage.

Conventional shingles treatment involves giving an antiviral drug such as aciclovir, as soon as possible, to limit the damage caused by the herpes zoster virus. Corticosteroids may be used to reduce inflammation, and medication may be given to help with the pain, such as topical lidocaine.

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Types Of Outcome Measures

The primary outcome in this study was pain intensity, as measured by the Visual Analogue Scal , Numerical Rating Scale , McGill Pain Questionnaire , Verbal Rating Scale as well as several other scales for measuring pain. VAS is the most common measurement to assess pain intensity. It is scored on a range of either 010 or 0100. NRS and VRS are similar to VAS in that pain intensity is measured by numbers and descriptions. A higher score indicates greater pain intensity. The MPQ consists of 20 subcategories, in four parts, to measure pain properties and intensity. A higher score means more serious pain.

The secondary outcome included onset of pain relief time, Hamilton Anxiety Scale , quality of life and reverse effects. The onset of pain relief time is the amount of time before pain relief began. The shorter the time requirement, the more effective the treatment. The HAMA consists of 14 items ranging from 0 to 4, which assess the severity of patients anxiety states. A higher score suggests a higher degree of anxiety. In this study, QOL was an assessment method for QOL related to pain, with a range of 010. A higher score meant better QOL.

Recipes For Itchy Skin Caused By Shingles

Some essential oils have an affinity for relieving itchy skin and calming inflammation. Combine the essential oils below with an equal amount of carrier oil and apply evenly with a clean cotton swab 3-5 times a day. Using the oils in a 50/50 ratio will help stave off the virus, however, try a patch test first as this is a very strong dilution to use. You can, of course, add more carrier oil to dilute the recipes further to suit your needs.

Shingles Recipe for Itchy Skin #1

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Other Treatment Recommendations For Shingles

If you think you have shingles, see your doctor as soon as possible. This increases the effectiveness of any treatment your doctor will prescribe for you. The treatment doesnt cure shingles. Its meant to help you manage the pain.

Besides acupuncture, you can use other methods to manage your pain. These include:

  • antiviral drugs such as Famvir, Zovirax, and Valtrex
  • over-the-counter and prescription pain relievers
  • calamine lotion, colloidal oatmeal, andwet compresses

Two vaccines are available for adults ages 50 years and older. The Food and Drug Administration approved Shingrix and Zostavax for use. These vaccines reduce the risk of getting shingles. If an older adult still gets shingles after being vaccinated, the symptoms may be less intense.

Shingrix, made from a dead germ, is the preferred vaccine. People with weakened immune systems can get it. Its risky for this group to get the Zostavax vaccine, which contains a live but weakened germ.

Zostavax has not been sold in the United States since November 18, 2020. If you received this vaccine, the

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