Effective care for shingles pain
Shingles is a nerve root viral infection that causes pain and a band of rash that spreads on one side of the body. It is caused by the reactivation of varicella zoster, the virus that causes chickenpox.
People who have had chickenpox as children can develop shingles, or herpes zoster, in later years. In chickenpox, most but not all of the viral organisms are destroyed after an attack. Those that survive travel up the spine and lodge in nerve cells, where they lie dormant. In some people, the virus stays dormant. In others, it reactivates when stress, disease, medication or aging weakens the immune system.
The reactivated virus travels down the nerve fibers to the skin’s surface, where it causes shingles instead of chickenpox. Most people who get shingles once will not get it again, although it does recur occasionally.
Shingles is often accompanied by a tingling or burning sensation over an area of skin. Two to five days after the first symptoms appear, a painful rash will occur. A cluster of small thin bumps turns into blisters that resemble chickenpox. The blisters fill with fluid, break open, crust over and then disappear. This entire process takes about four to five weeks. If the pain from shingles does not go away, it is called post-herpetic neuralgia. This condition can last from weeks to years after the rash disappears and is caused by nerve damage.
The path to pain relief
The best time to treat shingles pain is within the first two weeks after its initial onset. After two months, the success rate goes down considerably. However, if a person is having persistent pain, even if it has been months or years after the initial outbreak of shingles, it is frequently worthwhile to undergo treatment, because some people still obtain outstanding results.
Treatment options depend on the location of the shingles pain. If it is in the face, we may use a stellate ganglion block or a trigeminal nerve block. If the shingles is on the neck or lower on the body, a short series of gentle epidural injections or lumbar sympathetic blocks may be administered. All treatments are performed on an outpatient basis.
Dedicated to helping you overcome pain
Don’t let shingles pain stop you from living your life. Get central Florida’s most complete range of modern treatment options — and lasting relief — from our board-certified and fellowship-trained pain physicians.
We have accurately diagnosed painful conditions in thousands of patients, then successfully controlled their pain while improving their quality of life. We have helped people return to work, sports, activities, hobbies and lifestyles. Discover how we can help you, too.
Call today to schedule your preferred appointment time.
Our shingles pain patients come to us from Volusia County, FL (Orange City), Sumter County, FL (The Villages), Osceola County, FL (Celebration, St. Cloud), Seminole County, FL (Altamonte Springs) and Orange County, FL (Orlando, Winter Park). To schedule an appointment with us, please call our office at 321-422-7111 or use our online Request an Appointment form. For additional information on any condition, treatment or procedure, please visit our Health Library.