Wednesday, July 10, 2024

What Is The Best Treatment For Shingles Nerve Pain

If You Have Shingles Symptoms Get Treatment Now And You May Avoid Permanent Nerve Pain

New treatment for the pain of shingles

Shingles, a viral infection of the nerve roots, affects 1 million people in the U.S each year. Most people recover from their bout, but for as many as 50% of those over age 60 who have not been treated, the pain doesn’t go away. It can last for months, years, or even the rest of their lives.

These people have what’s called postherpetic neuralgia , the result of the shingles virus damaging the nerves of the skin. In some cases, the pain is mild. In others, even the slightest touch — from clothing or even a breeze — can be excruciating.

“PHN causes a great deal of suffering and high social costs,” says Robert H. Dworkin, PhD, a professor in the department of anesthesiology at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y. “It can severely disrupt people’s lives.”

But the good news is that there are drugs that can help treat and even prevent PHN, and doctors are learning more about who is at greatest risk of developing this debilitating condition.

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 .

Risk Factors For Nerve Pain After Shingles

Researchers have long known that older people are more likely to get PHN, the nerve pain after shingles, but recent studies have found other factors that increase risks.

In one study published in the journal Neurology, researchers — including Dworkin — looked at data from 965 people with shingles. The researchers identified five risk factors for developing PHN in people who had been recently diagnosed with shingles:

  • Presence of symptoms before the rash appeared, like numbness, tingling, itching, or pain
  • Severe pain during the illness’s initial stages

Importantly, the researchers found the more risk factors you have, the greater the risk of developing PHN.

For instance, 17% of women with shingles and 26% of those who had severe pain went on to get PHN. But 50% of women who were over age 60 and had symptoms before the rash, severe rash, and acute pain went on to get PHN.

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Higher Intensity Of Pain With Internal Shingles

While both regular shingles and internal shingles can cause preherpetic neuralgia, this condition has been found to be more severe in the latter case.

One study found that at the onset of symptoms, after one month, and after three months, internal shingles patients had consistently more severe and persistent pain. Overall, however, preherpetic neuralgia occurs much more frequently in regular herpes zoster patients.

Why Does Shingles Hurt

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Anyone whos had chickenpox and recovered from it, still harbors the virus deep in their nerves, close to the spinal cord. In this regard, chickenpox resembles the viruses that cause cold sores and genital herpes. Although chickenpox is not the same as sexually transmitted herpes, it is in the same family and it is therefore named herpes zoster.

Your immune system keeps the herpes zoster virus in check until you experience some stress. This allows the virus to multiply and travel along the entire length of the nerve, all the way to the skin. On the skin, it creates painful blisters that can readily ooze, allowing the virus to infect its next victim. You are highly infectious at this point and should avoid contact with people who arent vaccinated.

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Treatment Of Pain After Shingles

Treatment for people with PHN may include:

  • Nerve blocks: Local anesthetic or alcohol injected directly into the nerve affected
  • Thoracic epidural injections: Local injection in the space around the spinal cord
  • Antidepressant medications: Such as amitriptyline
  • Membrane stabilizers: Such as gabapentin
  • Capsaicinapplication: Topical cream applied to the affected area

Causes And Risk Factors Of Shingles

Other factors increasing the risk of contracting Shingles include people who: Shingles can affect anyone, but the chances of contracting Shingles increase based upon whether the patient had previously contracted chickenpox, or if they had never received the varicella vaccine. Shingles itself contagious, especially if the contact is with someone who has never had chickenpox or the varicella vaccine, although in that case, the person would more likely develop chickenpox than shingles.

  • Are over the age of 60
  • Have lowered immune-response due to medication or disease
  • Contracted chickenpox as an infant
  • Have increased stress

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What Is A Tens Unit

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS, is a method of pain relief that involves the use of a moderate electrical current. It is a small machine, and it is battery-operated. It has leads that are connected to sticky pads called electrodes.

A TENS unit is a non-invasive method used for relieving pain. Some people are able to reduce the intake of pain medications thanks to the TENS unit.

The unit is also very convenient because it is quite small, portable, and discrete. You can carry it in your pocket, or clip it onto a belt to ensure that you have instant access to pain relief throughout the day.

It has controls that allow people to apply an appropriate level of pain relief. This can be achieved by altering some aspects of the electrical current, such as intensity, frequency, and duration.

The frequency refers to the number of electrical impulses per second. High-frequency pulses range from 80 to 120 cycles per second, and they are believed to help acute pain.

Low-frequency pulses range from 1 to 20 cycles per second and are more suitable for the treatment of chronic pain.

Need to know how to use the settings on your TENS unit? Click here

How Could Cannabis Help

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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.

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Shingles On The Face: Symptoms Treatments And More

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Shingles on the face

Shingles, or zoster, is a common infection that occurs due to a herpes virus.

Shingles is a rash that usually appears on one side of the chest and back. It can also develop on one side of the face and around the eye.

The condition can be very painful and can sometimes have long-term side effects. No cure for shingles is available, but early treatment can lower your risk of serious complications.

second most common rash site is the face. It can spread from the ear to the nose and forehead. It can also spread around one eye, which can cause redness and swelling of the eye and surrounding area. The shingles rash occasionally develops in the mouth.

Many people feel a tingling or burning sensation days before the first red bumps appear.

The rash starts out as blisters filled with fluid, or lesions. Some people have a few clusters of blisters scattered about, and others have so many that it looks like a burn. The blisters eventually break, ooze, and crust over. After a few days, the scabs start to fall off.

Other symptoms of shingles are:

Why Does The Pain Persist In Some People

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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Nerve Blocks For Shingles Pain

The same virus responsible for chicken pox during childhood causes shingles pain as an adult. The virus becomes active in nerve tissue causing severe pain usually on one side of the body. This occurs more frequently in people older than 60, but can occur in younger individuals. Shingles usually presents in sharp pain followed by a rash. The more likely areas to be affected include the chest or abdomen, and less frequently, the face, the arms, or the legs.

Reasons for treatment

A shingles infection causes a very severe nerve inflammation that if left untreated can evolve into a more severe form of the disease called post-herpetic neuralgia. This disease is a complication of shingles where nerves and their blood supply have been severely damaged from inflammation. Typically. the older you are and the more pain you have during your shingles episode, the more likely it is for you to develop permanent pain. Blocking the pain in the affected nerves using strong numbing medicines and anti-inflammatories will shorten the actual shingles pain and may decrease the chance of developing severe nerve damage and chronic pain.

Procedures

Sciatic Nerve Glide Exercise

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This seated exercise can alleviate sciatica symptoms. You can use this exercise to help your sciatic nerve relax and desensitize.

Follow these steps to complete this exercise:

  • Keep your other foot flat on the floor as you sit upright in a chair.
  • Bring your toes towards you while slowly bending your ankle.
  • Keep bending your ankle backward and forward, pointing your toes away from yourself and then towards your body.
  • When the first stretch is tolerated, you can also do the nerve glide while bending your head forward and bringing your chin towards your chest.
  • Repeat the exercise 15 to 20 times with one leg, and then with the other.
  • Make sure to do three rounds a day for each leg.

Its worth noting that while home remedies like stretches for sciatica pain can help reduce sciatic nerve pain, but they dont fix the underlying cause. A thorough chiropractic review pinpoints the cause of the discomfort, offers medication to alleviate sciatica symptoms, and creates a personalized treatment plan to ensure you stay pain-free for the long haul.

Sciatic nerve pain can be so excruciating and debilitating that you dont even want to get off the couch. Reclining pigeon pose is a common yoga pose that works to open the hips. Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out straight in front of you, standing hamstring stretch. Standing hamstring stretch is a great way to stretch the hamstring muscles. Sciatica pain is triggered when vertebrae in the spine compress.

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Causes Of Shingles Pain

Causes of Shingles Pain

The main cause of shingles pain is a viral infection of the nerve root. If you ever had chickenpox, the virus will remain dormant in your body for the rest of your life. As you grow older, your immune system becomes weaker and suppressed from medications or other procedures such as chemotherapy. When your immune system gets weak, the virus can reactivate, causing shingles pain.

Being Vaccinated Against Shingles Is The Best Way To Prevent Postherpetic Neuralgia Lingering Pain From The Shingles Virus Heres What You Should Know About The Causes Symptoms And Treatments For This Painful Chronic Condition

Postherpetic neuralgia , also known as shingles, most commonly occurs as a rash on one side of the torso.

This is no ordinary rash but the itchy blisters arent even the worst part.

A painful condition known as postherpetic neuralgia is the horrible gift that keeps on giving for more than 10% of people who develop it following a bout of shingles.

Oh yeah and the pain? It can be significant. People familiar with the burning, relentless feeling of PHN have likened it to passing a kidney stone mothers have described it as pain worse than labor.

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

What Are The Symptoms Of 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.

Treatment For Shingles Pain Including Postherpetic Neuralgia

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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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Why Shingles Can Be Painful

Before we walk you through treatment options, lets look at why this virus can cause pain. The varicella zoster virus develops a latency after chickenpox in these nerves called dorsal root ganglia, explains Paul Auwaerter, M.D., clinical director of the division of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore. What can happen is, for reasons that arent entirely clear, the virus can reactivate within a nerve. The virus then travels along that pathway to the skin, causing a painful rash. In serious cases, it can lead to lasting nerve damage called postherpetic neuralgia, or PHN.

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The Best Pain Doctor For Shingles Pain Treatment Is Roziermd

If you have shingles pain, you should immediately seek the care and treatment of a reputable pain doctor.

Dr. Antonio Rozier is a highly experienced and reputable pain management doctor. He is the best pain doctor for shingles pain treatment in Dallas, Mansfield & TX. He is equipped with different interventional techniques and treatments for various types of pain including shingles pain.

If you have shingles pain or you are searching for a doctor that is very experienced in the treatment of shingles pain, Dr. Rozier is highly recommended.

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What You Should Know About Shingles

You may not remember having the itchy, painful welts caused by chickenpox. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , 99.5 percent of people born before 1980 were infected at one point or another. Anyone who has been infected is at risk for shingles.

When chickenpox infections fade, the virus that caused them does not. Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus , and it’s a member of the herpes family. Like most herpes-based illnesses, VZV never really goes away. Instead, it lies dormant within your body.

VZV rests within your nerves, and during a shingles outbreak, the virus triggers inflammation and pain along a nerve band. The CDC says one in three people will get shingles. Most have just one outbreak, but some have repeated problems.

Mayo Clinic says shingles can cause more than pain. The condition can also cause:

  • Persistent fatigue.
  • Sensitivity to light.

Typically, people with shingles will experience blisters along just one small area that wraps around the torso. But any part of the body served by nerves can get hit with shingles. Symptoms last for about two weeks before fading away.

How To Use Valtrex

Shingles Treatment Cream

Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking valacyclovir and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take valacyclovir by mouth, with or without food, as directed by your doctor. Drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication to lower the chance of side effects.

The dosage and length of treatment are based on your type of infection, medical condition, and response to treatment. For treating chickenpox in children, the dosage is also based on weight.

This medication works best when started at the first sign of an outbreak, as directed by your doctor. It may not work as well if you delay treatment. For shingles or chickenpox, start taking valacyclovir at the first symptom or as soon as possible after the rash appears. For cold sores or genital herpes, start taking this medication at the first sign or as soon as you feel tingling, itching, or burning.

Valacyclovir works best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.

Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished. Do not change your dose, skip any doses, or stop this medication early without your doctor’s approval.

Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

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