Post-herpetic Neuralgia is a condition in which the pain of Shingles exceeds the tell tale signs of blisters and rashes. This condition is a potential complication of Shingles which is in the herpes virus family.
It does this by impacting the nerves in your skin. This can easily become a problem, especially when the pain impacts your ability to enjoy a meal or get to sleep. The good news is that your symptoms will get better over time. Until then, there are luckily a lot of treatment options.
Simply put, once you have chickenpox, the virus stays in your body. Sometimes the virus wakes up due to stress and other sicknesses. Your body is amazing in its ability to fight viruses, but this doesn’t stop the virus from being a nuisance. Rather than giving you a rash everywhere, it literally gets on your nerves by impacting the area where the virus originated. This damages your nerve fibers and then causes post-herpetic neuralgia.
It’s best to arm yourself with a lot of treatment options, as no one option works better than the others when it comes to treating this pesky pain. You can use lidocaine patches for temporary relief. They look like bandages, and you essentially place them on the area of the body that’s giving you pain.
Capsaicin skin patches are for more long term treatment and only prescribed by a doctor. They contain an extract of chili peppers, so they’re not the best option for people who can’t tolerate the burning sensation.
Antidepressants and anticonvulsants can help as well. Antidepressants can confuse the way your body processes pain, and anticonvulsants can help calm down the electrical activity that might be causing your nerve pain. Be cautious when asking for opioid painkillers, as they can become addictive and cause a negative emotional reaction.
In severe cases, spinal cord stimulation may be helpful.
Be sure to always consult your physician for the best treatment options!
At Pain & Spine Center of Charlottesville, we provide treatment options for patients suffering from Post-Herpetic Neuralgia. Call us today at 434-328-2774 to schedule your appointment!