Saturday, February 24, 2024

What To Take For Nerve Pain From Shingles

Before Taking This Medicine

Shingles: Pathophysiology, Symptoms, 3 stages of Infection, Complications, Management, Animation.

You should not use Lyrica if you are allergic to pregabalin.

To make sure Lyrica is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • lung disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

  • a mood disorder, depression, or suicidal thoughts

  • heart problems

  • a bleeding disorder, or low levels of platelets in your blood

  • kidney disease

  • drug or alcohol addiction or

  • a severe allergic reaction .

Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.

  • Pregabalin is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old to treat nerve pain caused by fibromyalgia, diabetes, herpes zoster, or spinal cord injury.

  • Pregabalin is not approved for seizures in anyone younger than 1 month old.

Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking Lyrica. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

Follow your doctor’s instructions about taking seizure medication if you are pregnant. Seizure control is very important during pregnancy, and having a seizure could harm both mother and baby. Do not start or stop taking this medicine without your doctor’s advice, and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of pregabalin on the baby.

You should not breastfeed while using pregabalin.

What You Can Do About Nerve Pain That Lingers After Shingles

Chronic pain that continues after a case of shingles is called postherpetic neuralgia . It is estimated that about 20% of patients will experience this type of nerve pain as a complication of shingles.

Those who have had chickenpox are at risk of developing shingles later in life. People who develop PHN are generally age 60 and older. Although there is no cure for PHN, there are several methods of pain management that can ease symptoms. Fortunately, the type of pain that arises from postherpetic neuralgia improves over time.

Neuralgia affects the nerves, causing structural and functional damage. It can feel like a stabbing or burning pain that radiates along the affected nerve.

Neuropathic pain is not caused by an external injury or stimuli but originates from inside the nervous system. When the herpes-varicella zoster virus is reactivated in the form of shingles, scar tissue forms alongside nerves, creating pressure, and sending pain signals to the brain.

Sciatic Nerve Pain Is A Symptom Of A Cause

Sciatic nerve pain is often characterized by a tingling sensation, sharp pain or numbness down the leg or in one area of the leg, often only on one side. It is also often a pain that is very difficult to get rid of as it is a result of sciatica, which can be caused by many different things. However sciatica pain can be crippling.

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, running from the bottom of the back, through the hip, knee and to the ankle. When this nerve is damaged or has pressure exerted on it, it can cause intense sciatic nerve pain deep inside the leg. This is called sciatica. Sciatica can be caused by a number of things. If the piriformis muscle which is located deep in the hip joint, chokes the nerve this can cause sciatica. Herniated or slipped disks can put enormous pressure on the sciatic nerve, resulting in pain. More serious conditions such as cancer can result in sciatica as well, if a tumor is putting pressure on the nerve. Peripheral Neuropathy From Shingles

Sciatic nerve pain is very difficult to treat as it is a symptom of a cause. Thus it is very important to identify the cause so that it can be targeted, resulting in permanent pain alleviation. What may work in relieving pain for one cause, may not work for another cause.

The last resort for sciatica if it continues is surgery. Surgery is either a microdiscectomy or a lumbar laminectomy, designed to take away the piece of disk that is damaging or putting pressure on the nerve.

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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.

Are There Treatments I Can Put On My Skin

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You might find relief with topical treatments. You can talk to your doctor about:

Creams: Some of these contain capsaicin, the ingredient in cayenne pepper that gives it a kick. Examples are Capsin and Zostrix. You can buy this over the counter but make sure your doctor knows if you plan on using these.

Patches: Capsaicin is also in Qutenza, which is applied via a patch for one hour every 3 months. You need to visit the doctorâs office for this.

Lidoderm is a patch that has a numbing agent called lidocaine. Itâs applied directly to the painful area of skin. You need a prescription.

Recommended Reading: How Often Can You Have Shingles

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. 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.

Spinal Cord Or Peripheral Nerve Stimulation

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.

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Best Treatments For Lasting Shingles Pain

Postherpetic Neuralgia Pain: What Works, What Doesnt

Doctors call it postherpetic neuralgia or PHN. Its caused by nerve damage left behind by a case of shingles. Shingles itself comes from reactivation of a chickenpox virus, varicella zoster. The virus travels down nerve fibers to cause a painful skin rash.

When the rash goes away, the pain usually goes with it. But for 12% to 15% of people the pain remains. If your shingles pain lasts eight to 12 weeks after the rash goes away, youre part of an unfortunate minority, says pain researcher Andrew S.C. Rice, MD, of Imperial College, London.

Among people with PHN, some have their pain resolve in the first year to 18 months after the shingles rash goes away, Rice tells WebMD. But if they have pain longer than that, it is not going to go away on its own. In either case, a person must deal with the pain.

How Do You Treat Postherpetic Neuralgia Caused By Shingles

Neurontin To Treat Adults with Nerve Pain Caused by Shingles – Overview
Peter J. Dyck, MD, FAAN, responds:

No cure exists for postherpetic neuralgia caused by shingles, but treatments are available, and for most people the condition resolves or improves with time.

Viral Culprit

Postherpetic neuralgia is a complication of shingles, an infection caused by the herpes zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox. After a childhood case of chickenpox, the virus can remain dormant for years. If it becomes reactivated in adults, it can cause shingles. Postherpetic neuralgia can result from nerve damage that affects the nerve cells, and can cause pain for weeks, months, or, occasionally, years.

Risk Factors

Certain factors such as older age , genetics, having diabetes or an especially severe case of shingles, a compromised immune system, or an infection can increase the risk of postherpetic neuralgia. The debilitating pain can also cause fatigue, insomnia, poor appetite, and poor concentration.

Vaccine Option

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a shingles vaccine that can reduce the chance of getting both shingles and postherpetic neuralgia, or reduce the severity if an outbreak does occur. The vaccine is approved for people 50 and older but insurance may not cover the cost until you turn 60. Additionally, a new vaccine may be approved in the coming years that has proved more effective in phase 3 trials than the current vaccine.

Available Treatments

Also Check: Lifetime Shingles Vs 30 Year

What Else To Expect With Postherpetic Neuralgia

Not everyone with PHN will experience the same type of pain symptoms.Researchers found that patients with PHN report three major types of pain:

  • Constant pain described as burning, aching, or throbbing
  • Intermittent pain described as stabbing, shooting, or like electric shocks
  • Pain triggered by but disproportionate to a stimulus 5
  • The length of time PHN lasts also varies. Many patients report symptoms lasting from one to three months, but some patints may experience symptoms up to a year or longer.6

    Because you may have to live with a certain degree of pain and discomfort for many weeks or months if you have PHN, expect some effect on your daily living.

    • Physical impacts: may include fatigue, weight loss, reduced mobility, physical inactivity, and insomnia.
    • Psychological impacts: may include anxiety, emotional distress, depression, difficulty concentrating, and fear.
    • Social impacts: may include withdrawing from social engagement, isolation, attending fewer social gatherings, loss of independence, change in social role.
    • Functional impact: may include difficulty with daily tasks such as dressing, bathing, and eating, as well as activities such as cooking, shopping, and travelling.7

    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.

    Recommended Reading: What Foods Are Good To Eat When You Have Shingles

    When To Seek Care

    Early shingles symptoms, such as pain or flu-like feelings, are not obvious signs of a shingles outbreak.

    Once a rash appears, you should see your primary care physician or a dermatologist. A trained eye can often diagnose shingles by visually inspecting the rash.

    If you have shingles, you may never experience the extreme pain that can often come with it. You may only feel itching and some minor discomfort.

    Even without the painful symptoms of shingles, its recommended that you see a healthcare professional and start antiviral treatment within 72 hours of a rashs appearance.

    Its especially important to seek prompt medical care if a rash forms near one or both eyes. Shingles in the eye may cause permanent vision loss.

    How Can This Pain Be Managed

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    If your doctor is able to identify an underlying cause for the neuropathic pain, treating it may reduce and even eliminate the pain.

    For example, diabetes is a common cause of neuropathic pain. Proper diabetes care which includes a healthy diet and regular exercise may eliminate or reduce neuropathic pain.

    Taking care of blood sugar levels can also prevent worsening pain and numbness.

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    Natural Remedies For Shingles

    Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. The varicella zoster virus causes this viral infection. Its the same virus that causes chickenpox.

    If you had chickenpox as a child, the shingles virus lies dormant in your body. The virus can reactivate later in life and cause a shingles rash. The rash can occur on any part of your body but typically only affects small sections.

    Pain is usually the first symptom of shingles. The rash and fluid-filled blisters form within a couple of days after the onset of pain. Some people with shingles also have a fever, sensitivity to light, and fatigue.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , about 1 in 3 people in the United States will develop shingles at some point in their lifetime.

    The shingles virus can last between two and six weeks. Shingles isnt life-threatening, but some people experience postherpetic neuralgia. This is when nerve fibers become damaged, causing shingles pain that lasts for weeks or months after the rash clears.

    Theres no cure for shingles, but your doctor can prescribe antiviral medication to help shorten the duration of the virus and reduce symptoms.

    Although an antiviral is an effective treatment for shingles, its not the only option. Several natural remedies may also reduce pain and discomfort.

    Dry your body completely and then wash your towel to avoid spreading the virus to others.

    • orange and yellow fruits

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    What Can I Take To Feel Better

    Your doctor has a host of ways to treat your pain after shingles, including a variety of medications. They include:

    Anticonvulsants: These medications were developed to control seizures, but they can also help reduce the pain of postherpetic neuralgia. Examples are:

    Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about side effects of any new prescription or over-the-counter medication.

    Also Check: What Does Shingles Look Like When It First Starts

    Which Antiviral Medication Is Best For Shingles

    The antiviral medications used to treat shingles are , , and . They are all effective at helping shingles rashes crust over and heal, and they help reduce pain as you are healing.

    In head-to-head studies, a 7-day course of valacyclovir worked faster than a 7-day course of acyclovir at reducing pain. Famciclovir is equivalent to valacyclovir for healing shingles rashes and reducing pain from them. Acyclovir needs to be taken 5 times a day, while Famciclovir and valacyclovir both need to be taken 3 times a day.

    Its worth noting that these antiviral medications dont prevent postherpetic neuralgia, which can happen to some people with shingles. And antiviral ointments like Zovirax will do nothing for the rash from shingles.

    What Is Nerve Pain

    Pain relief from shingles

    Nerve pain, also called neuralgia or neuropathic pain, occurs when a health condition affects the nerves that carry sensation to the brain. It is a particular type of pain that feels different from other kinds of pain.

    There are different types of nerve pain, including:

    • post-herpetic this can happen after you’ve had shingles and affects the same area as the shingles rash
    • trigeminal causing pain in the jaw or cheek
    • occipital causing pain at the base of your skull that can spread to the back of your head
    • pudendal causing pain in the saddle area between the legs

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    Common Questions About Shingles

    What triggers a shingles outbreak? Shingles, also called herpes zoster, is a painful skin rash that can be caused by the varicella zoster virus . The virus is spread through saliva and sweat and can be caused by chickenpox. It can also be caused by reactivation of the VZV infection after a long period of dormancy. There is no cure for shingles, but treatment focuses on relieving pain and providing support to the affected area.

    Are your shingles contagious? If youâve ever had shingles, you may be wondering if youâre contagious. Itâs important to know that there is no definitive answer, but itâs possible for shingles to spread from one person to another. There are a few things that can increase your risk of spreading shingles: having close contact with someone who has the virus being pregnant having a weakened immune system and having other chronic medical conditions. If youâre concerned that you may have contracted shingles, itâs important to see your doctor for an evaluation.

    How does a person get shingles? A person can get shingles from either chickenpox or herpes simplex virus . The virus attacks the nerve cells in your skin and spinal cord. The pain, inflammation, and blisters that result are called shingles. Although it is rare, a person can also get shingles from a dental procedure or an injury to the skin.

    What is the most painful stage of shingles? The most painful stage of shingles is when the rash starts to blister.

    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.

    Read Also: Does Shingles Always Have A Rash Or Blisters

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