Post-herpetic neuralgia is the most common complication of shingles. The condition affects nerve fibers and skin, causing burning pain that lasts long after the rash and blisters of shingles disappear.*
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The condition affects nerve fibers and skin, causing burning pain that lasts long after the rash and blisters of shingles disappear. Shingles is caused by the herpes varicella-zoster virus, the virus known to cause chickenpox. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus remains inactive in the nervous system.Neuropathic pain comes from inside the nervous system. It is not caused by an outside stimulus, such as an injury. People often refer to it as a pinched nerve, or trapped nerve. The nerve itself sends pain messages because it is either faulty or irritated.*
The reactivation of HZ is thought to be due to a stress on the body from either another infection or an immunocompromised state. Post-herpetic neuralgia occurs if your nerve fibers are damaged during an outbreak of shingles. Damaged fibers can’t send messages from your skin to your brain as they normally do. Instead, the messages become confused and exaggerated, causing chronic, often causing immense pain that can last for months, even years.*
Most people with postherpetic neuralgia use medication to control their symptoms. The herpes zoster vaccine called Zostavax reduces the risk of shingles by 50 percent, and also protects against postherpetic neuralgia. But there are other ways to control the pain if you suffer from the condition.*
Medications may include pain killers, antidepressants, and steroids. Reach out to one of our doctors in order to get you on the best treatment plan.*