Herpes Zoster is also known as shingles, and is caused when the Varicella Zoster virus is reactivated. Once chickenpox is over, the virus does not actually leave the body, but stays latent in the body.
When shingles begins, initially it starts with significant pain which precedes a unilateral rash. The rash usually heals within a few weeks, but unfortunately at times the pain just doesn’t go away and turns into post herpetic neuralgia.
Shingles is most common in older individuals who have a decreased immune system either from organ transplants, cancer, HIV and those types of issues. It can occur in individuals though, who have an immune system that is fine.
For zoster itself, medications such as acyclovir, valcyclovir and others in that family can decrease the duration of the disease and reduce the pain. Narcotic medications and corticosteroids can also provide additional pain relief. Epidural steroid injections at Pain Clinics in Las Vegas have been shown to help as well for herpes zoster.
Postherpetic neuralgia refers to pain that continues for six months after shingles rash resolves. It can be extremely disabling and can wax and wane for years. Risk factors for developing postherpetic neuralgia include older age, more intense rash or pain, and also pain over the skin that appears quite a while before the rash develops.
Medication management for postherpetic neuralgia is best managed with Neurontin, Lidocaine patches, capsaicin patches, Tramadol, trycyclic antidepressants and opioids.
Research has also shown that spinal cord stimulation for postherpetic neuralgia has been effective in over 80% of individuals with unresponsive long-lasting pain.
If you live in the Las Vegas area and are suffering from chronic pain due to either post herpetic neuralgia, RSD or other conditions, the Nevada Pain Network can help you. The Network offers pain management Las Vegas trusts, and the pain doctors offer comprehensive pain management.
Call (702) 323-0553 for more information and scheduling.