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Utah Post Herpetic Neuralgia Pain & Treatment

Post Herpetic Neuralgia Causes and Treatments

What is post herpetic neuralgia? 


For many of those who have suffered from shingles outbreaks, the thought of developing post herpetic neuralgia is troubling. Shingles causes a painful skin and nerve condition. The same virus that is responsible for shingles, herpes zoster, is responsible for chicken pox in children. Post herpetic neuralgia is a persistently painful condition associated with shingles outbreaks. 


Prevention of Post Herpetic Neuralgia


In 2006, a shingles vaccine called Zostavax hit the market, reducing shingles outbreaks and post herpetic neuralgia in many older patients. The vaccine is most effective in patients ages 60-69, but provides relief for older groups as well. Zostavax usually keeps patients free from shingles, post herpetic neuralgia, and associated pain for roughly six years.


Post Herpetic Neuralgia the Cause and characteristics


Post herpetic neuralgia results from nerve damage during a shingles outbreak. It confuses the nerves, causing a light touch to be experienced as agonizing pain. Post herpetic neuralgia usually appears at the same location as the shingles outbreak. It is characterized by burning, sharp and jabbing pain, itching or numbness, muscle weakness or paralysis, and sensitivity to touch. 


Utah Post Herpetic Neuralgia Treatment


For those who have not received the vaccine, there is a good chance of post herpetic neuralgia developing after a shingles outbreak. A burning pain is the most common symptom of post herpetic neuralgia and often disrupts sleep and reduces a patient's appetite. If a patient is able to see a pain specialist within 3 days of the appearance of the signature rash, a course of antiviral medications can be started that reduce the chances of post herpetic neuralgia by about fifty percent. 

If you have had a shingles outbreak and are planning to see a physician to reduce the chances of post herpetic neuralgia, go prepared to answer a series of questions involving the shingles outbreak, already exhausted pain relief remedies, symptoms suffered, etc. There is no specific test or cure for post herpetic neuralgia, but there are several medications that can be helpful in the reduction of pain. These may include a combination of topical pain creams, opioids, antidepressants, pain relieving skin patches, and anticonvulsants.

For more information on how Omega Interventional Pain can help treat post herpetic neuralgia, please contact us at 801-261-4988.

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