Postherpetic neuralgia is pain that remains where the rash from shingles occurred after the rash has healed. Shingles is an infection of the nerves caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox.
Those affected by shingles experience postherpetic pain on one side of their body, along with rash and blisters. The postherpetic pain can last for months to years after the shingles outbreak.
Most people in the United States get chickenpox as children. Once the chickenpox infection has cleared, the shingle virus lies dormant inside dorsal nerve roots. Years later, if your immune system is stressed or weakened, the virus can re-emerge. Instead of causing chickenpox to reoccur, it causes shingles, which produces a painful, blistering rash. If shingles pain remains after the blisters have dried up and gone away, you have postherpetic neuralgia. The postherpetic pain is due to residual stimulation to the nerves, which may lead to the need for postherpetic pain treatment from a shingles specialist.
Anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk of getting postherpetic pain from shingles. The older you are, the more likely you are to develop symptoms for postherpetic neuralgia.
To determine if you have shingles, the postherpetic pain management treatment clinic doctor or specialist will take a tissue scraping or culture of the blisters.
There are a number of postherpetic pain treatment options that help with postherpetic pain management / shingles pain management, which include:
At MAPS, our postherpetic pain management clinic doctors and specialists value the importance of an interdisciplinary approach. For those postherpetic pain management, or shingles pain management, treatments not offered by MAPS, we are able to refer you to other postherpetic pain management clinic doctors and shingles specialists.