Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Lingering Nerve Pain After Shingles

Spinal Cord Or Peripheral Nerve Stimulation

9 months after shingles affecting the C5 nerve root

These are often used to treat several different types of neuropathic pain. Electrodes are placed underneath the skin along the affected peripheral nerves. Before using this technique, doctors will do a test using a wire electrode to get a sense of how the patient will respond.

After the electrodes have been placed above the peripheral nerve, a weak electrical current is sent to the nerve. By stimulating a sensory pathway that doesnt cause pain, experts believe that this electrical signal to the brain can trick the brain into turning off the painful signal, bringing relief to the patient.

How Could Cannabis Help

Topical Cannabis

If you have had chickenpox, then you could get shingles and it would be wise to go out right now and make sure you are fully stocked with topical products. The amount of pain relief that a cannabis cream can give is miraculously effective and instantaneous the second its on the rash, the bad burn pain drops from an excruciating level 9 to a 2.

Edibles

I dont think I would ever be able handle a shingles outbreak without high THC, edible cannabis. The type of pain I described as electric shocks throughout the nerves can literally cause severe anxiety because its so weird and uncomfortable. Like hitting a mute button, the moment I felt the the edible starting to take effect, it was like it sent all the shocks and pain far away to someplace else.

With such a large concentration of pain receptors residing in the intestines, using edible cannabis to effectively treat the pain caused by shingles, makes sense and it works.

Read Also: Is Shingles Contagious From Person To Person

What Is Postherpetic Neuralgia

Postherpetic neuralgia is a complication of shingles infection . Shingles is caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chickenpox.

Shingles causes a painful, blistering rash and other symptoms. The rash most commonly occurs in a band pattern on one side of your body, usually on your trunk . The rash turns into blisters. As the rash/blisters go away, pain may remain. When pain remains, the condition is called postherpetic neuralgia.

Read Also: What Can Help Nerve Pain From Shingles

Treatment For Shingles Pain Including Postherpetic Neuralgia

There is no cure for shingles. However, starting treatment with antiviral drugs early on, can speed the healing process. A pain specialist will treat you if you are experiencing a long lasting type of shingles pain, known as post-herpetic neuralgia. Postherpetic neuralgia is nerve pain. It feels like burning, tingling, or stinging over the area of the outbreak. It may last for weeks or months after the rash has disappeared.

Treatment options:

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What Are The Symptoms Of Shingles

Are these hives or shingles ?? Pl tell really scared : shingles

Usually, shingles develops on just one side of the body or face, and in a small area. The most common place for shingles to occur is in a band around one side of the waistline.

Most people with shingles have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Fluid-filled blisters
  • Tingling, itching, or numbness of the skin
  • Chills, fever, headache, or upset stomach

For some people, the symptoms of shingles are mild. They might just have some itching. For others, shingles can cause intense pain that can be felt from the gentlest touch or breeze. Its important to talk with your doctor if you notice any shingles symptoms.

If you notice blisters on your face, see your doctor right away because this is an urgent problem. Blisters near or in the eye can cause lasting eye damage and blindness. Hearing loss, a brief paralysis of the face, or, very rarely, inflammation of the brain can also occur.

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How Long Does Nerve Pain Last After Shingles

Only approximately 9-15% of patients who get shingles develop Postherpetic Neuralgia. For those few patients who develop PHN, the length of time that it lasts usually varies. The majority of PHN patients have discomfort that lasts one to two months. About one-third of Postherpetic Neuralgia patients have symptoms that last around three months, and about one-fifth have symptoms that last a year or longer. Researchers are unsure what triggers the herpes zoster virus to re-emerge even after years of lying dormant. The virus may be obtained during youth, but it does not flare into shingles until years down the line. When the pain of shingles lingers long after the rash heals, it is considered Postherpetic Neuralgia. The bout of shingles damages the nerves. This means that the nerve damage caused by shingles affects a fully functioning nervous system. The damaged nerve will send random pain signals to the brain, which thereby causes a burning, throbbing sensation. Over time, the nerves of the skin calm, but due to the existing nerve damage, the pain can persist for years, even for the rest of the persons lifetime.

Study Assesses Relief Options Against Shingles Pain

  • Study Assesses Relief Options Against Shingles Pain

The painkiller oxycodone is effective at treating the acute pain of shingles, an illness that often causes severe pain which can become long-lasting and sometimes even permanent.

The study, published in the April issue of the journal Pain, is one of the first to carefully evaluate different methods to relieve pain during a course of shingles, which many patients say causes the worst pain they have ever experienced. Effective pain treatment is crucial. Not only can the pain of shingles disrupt peoples quality of life, but it is also possible that the less effectively the pain is treated, the more likely it will become a long-term problem that can change a persons life forever.

Shingles is caused by reactivation of the varicella zoster virus, the same bug that causes chicken pox, and only people who have had chicken pox are vulnerable to shingles. About 20 to 30 percent of people will get shingles at some point in their lives the odds climb to 50 percent for people who live to the age of 85.

For most patients, the first symptom of the infection is pain, quickly followed by a rash where the pain first appeared. The rash appears most often on one side of the chest or face, oftentimes causing dozens of small pimple-sized lesions. Some patients also get flu-like symptoms like a headache and lethargy. The illness usually lasts about three or four weeks.

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Can I Prevent It

The FDA has approved two shingles vaccines, Zostavax and Shingrix. A vaccine is now recommended for everyone 60 and older. People from 50 to 59 may want to talk to their doctor about it if they have ongoing pain or skin issues or have a weakened immune system.

The vaccines cut the chance of shingles by at least 50%. Even if you still get shingles, the painful period is shortened and you reduce your risk of postherpetic neuralgia.

Early treatment for shingles can also lower your chances of getting this complication. So if you think you have it, call your doctor right away. The main treatment is with antiviral drugs during the early stages of shingles, within 2 to 3 days of symptoms coming on. Medications used include:

What Is Shingles And Postherpetic Neuralgia

Chronic Pain After Shingles

Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the virus that also causes chickenpox. In a person who has been exposed to chickenpox or its vaccine the virus never really goes away. It can lie dormant in the bodys nerves.

In most cases, it stays that way. But in some especially people with immune systems weakened by disease or treatment the virus can reappear. This is likely to happen years or decades after the person had chickenpox.

When it comes back, the virus can cause shingles, a rash that often appears as a band on one side of the body. Early shingles symptoms can include:

  • Flu-like symptoms

Itching, tingling, or extreme pain where the rash is developing may come next, and the pain can be moderate to severe.

Are you contagious? Though people who havent had chickenpox can catch that condition from you, the shingles itself isnt contagious.

For reasons that experts dont really understand, the pain of shingles lingers for some. If the pain lasts for at least 3 months after the shingles rash has healed, a person is diagnosed with PHN. In some people, the pain will subside. In others, it wont.

We dont have any idea why the pain goes away in some people and not others, says Dworkin. But the longer you have PHN especially after a year the less likely it is to resolve, he says.

Recommended Reading: Is The New Shingles Shot A Live Virus

What Are The Symptoms Of Nerve Pain

Nerve pain often feels like a shooting, stabbing or burning sensation. Sometimes it can be as sharp and sudden as an electric shock. People with neuropathic pain are often very sensitive to touch or cold and can experience pain as a result of stimuli that would not normally be painful, such as brushing the skin.

Its often worse at night. It might be mild or it might be severe.

People who have nerve pain often find that it interferes with important parts of life such as sleep, sex, work and exercise.

Some people with nerve pain become angry and frustrated, and may have anxiety and depression.

Also Check: Where Can I Get The Shingles Shot For Free

Gabapentin Used To Treat The Lingering Nerve Pain After Shingles

Dear Dr. Roach: Last year I had shingles. The shingles are gone, but I am still feeling the nerve pain. I have been taking 600 mg of gabapentin for it, but several doctors have told me that I need to get off of this medication. What’s the problem with long-term use of gabapentin? Is there something else I could take? K.C.

Dear K.C.: Nerve pain after a shingles infection is called ”post-herpetic neuralgia,” and the older a person is when they get shingles, the more likely they are to get it and the longer it tends to last. In adults over 65, half of people had symptoms that lasted over three years.

Given that these symptoms can last a long time, effective and safe treatment is a highly desired goal. Gabapentin has been extensively studied and found to be at least moderately effective, with about 40 percent of people taking it saying the pain was ”much improved” or ”very much improved,” compared with about 20 percent of people saying the same about a placebo pill of inactive ingredients.

Other medications to help the pain of PHN are antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, and topical capsaicin. I do not recommend long-term opiates, as they are only modestly effective and have a higher risk for abuse and addiction.

For a given individual, gabapentin may have lower risks than other choices.

Dear Dr. Roach: I recently had bloodwork done by my family physician. I always get a copy for myself to look over, because the doctor always says, ”Everything is OK.”

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What Are The Complications Of Shingles

The most common complication of shingles is long-term nerve pain called postherpetic neuralgia. Long term nerve pain occurs in the areas where the shingles rash was, even after the rash clears up. It can last for months or years after the rash goes away. The pain can be very severe and can interfere with daily life. Read more about pain after shingles.Shingles on the face may lead to complications involving the eye, including blindness. Very rarely, it can also lead to pneumonia , hearing problems, or brain inflammation .

Suffering From Shingles Pain We Can Help

Show Me A Picture Of Shingles On Your Skin

Roughly one in three people experiences shingles during their lifetime. Shingles is caused by the same virus as chickenpox: the varicella-zoster virus. Chickenpox is generally milder and affects children, while shingles in adults may cause a large, blistering rash and ongoing nerve pain.

If youve ever had chickenpox, the virus remains in your nerve cells forever. It can reactivate years later in the form of shingles. But having had chickenpox doesnt guarantee youll get shingles.

Shingles isnt contagious or life-threatening, but its often very painful. It causes oozing blisters on your skin. The patches can develop anywhere on your body, and they may cause intense pain that makes daily life challenging.

At Ohio Pain Clinic, you can find relief from shingles pain and a complication known as postherpetic neuralgia . Amol Soin, MD and our team offer a range of treatments to relieve lingering PHN pain and help you live more comfortably.

Recommended Reading: What Shingles Vaccines Are Available

Questions To Ask Your Doctor

  • Ive had chickenpox. Am I at risk of developing shingles?
  • What is the best treatment for my shingles?
  • The pain from shingles isnt going away. What can I do to make myself more comfortable?
  • Im on treatment for shingles. When should I call my doctor if things dont get better?
  • I have shingles and my children havent had the chickenpox vaccine. Should I get them vaccinated?
  • Is the shingles vaccine right for me?
  • Are there any risks associated with the shingles vaccine?
  • Will my post-herpetic neuralgia ever go away?
  • If Ive never had the chickenpox, should I still get the shingles vaccination?

Nuwave Cryotherapy Skin And Light Spa

The good news is you can book an appointment right here at NuWave Cryotherapy Skin and Light Spa on this website, today! Whichever form of cryotherapy you choose, we have them here and more.If you suffer from nerve damage from shingles or the chronic pain of PHN on your face, we also have cryo facials & isolated cryotherapy done with a safer, electric version over nitrogen gases that will give you amazing results and pain relief.

The way very cold temperatures work is by temporarily disrupting the nerve pain pathway to the brain. It is believed that enough disruptions in this manner can result in permanent pain relief. Cryotherapy therefore can be effectively used to treat pain, inflammation and nerve damage from shingles or PHN, even helping to repair nerves affected.

Contact us today to schedule your session and get rid of chronic nerve damage pains!

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Who Gets Postherpetic Neuralgia

About 1 out of 5 people who have shingles will have these sharp, ongoing pains afterward. Certain things can increase your chances of getting it:

  • Age: Most people who get postherpetic neuralgia are older than 60.
  • Gender: Women seem to get it more than men.
  • Early symptoms: People who have numbness, tingling, or itching before a shingles rash even appears tend to get the lingering pain later.
  • Pain at the start: If you had severe pain or a rash during the beginning of your outbreak, you have a greater chance of the neuralgia later.
  • Other health problems: People with ongoing conditions that can weaken the immune system, like HIV and cancer, seem more likely to get it.

Why Does The Pain Persist In Some People

Postherpetic neuralgia – Pain after shingles

The symptoms of PHN can last for several months in some people. Shingles causes inflammation of the nerve. Pain can be expected whilst the rash and inflammation occur. However, it is not clear why some people continue to have pain when the inflammation has gone. It is thought that some scar tissue next to the nerve, or in the nearby part of the spinal cord, may be a factor. This may cause pain messages to be sent to the brain.

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Your Basic Guide To Treating Long

Pain from shingles can be terrible at the beginning and may also continue to cause pain long after the rashes go away. There are several treatment options available to treat this pain. Today our comprehensive pain managementteam will be sharing some information about lingering shingles pain as well as the top modern treatment options. Read on to learn more.

Can I Give Shingles To Others

No one can catch shingles from you. But the virus can be spread to a person who has never had chickenpox. The virus lives in the blisters that shingles causes. It can be spread until the blisters are completely healed. If you have blisters that have not crusted over yet, you should stay away from:

  • Anyone who has never had chickenpox
  • Babies under 12 months old
  • Very sick people

Tell your doctor if you live with children who have not had chickenpox. They may need to be vaccinated.

Read Also: How Do You Develop Shingles

How You Can Control And Update Data About You

Updating Contact Information

We want to be sure that we keep only the most accurate and up-to-date information about you in our records. Therefore, whenever you believe that your contact information needs to be updated, you can contact us to correct or update your contact information. You may choose at any time to remove your name, telephone number and postal and e-mail addresses from the list we use to send notices or updates and elect not to receive correspondence from us by contacting us.

Who Is At Risk For Postherpetic Neuralgia

Is The Shingles Virus Airborne

A case of Shingles is one thing, but postherpetic neuralgia is yet another matter entirely. Shingles pain can be combatted by treating the condition with antiviral medication and topical painkillers. For most people, the pain goes away with the infection.

Yet when the pain persists long after the rashes have gone, its a sign that a person may be suffering from postherpetic neuralgia .

The same rules apply the weaker your immune system, the greater the risk of postherpetic neuralgia. It doesnt have to be a matter of age. Certain illnesses can weaken your immune system. Procedures such as a recent organ transplant can take a toll on your body and force you to take immunosuppressant drugs to minimize the chance of transplant rejection.

There are unknown factors, too. Some people get postherpetic neuralgia others dont.

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