Are you experiencing burning pain long after your shingles rash disappears?
It’s possible that you have postherpetic neuralgia, the most common complication of shingles.
Thankfully, a licensed physical therapist at Forward Physical Therapy can assist you in lessening the symptoms of this condition. Contact our office today to learn more about the available treatment options at our Knoxville, TN physical therapy clinic!
What causes post-shingles pain?
Postherpetic neuralgia begins with a very common illness: chickenpox. When chickenpox ends, the virus still “hides out” in your nervous system. Doctors aren’t sure why, but the virus can reactivate decades later and travel through pathways to your skin. A painful, blistering rash may appear—shingles.
Shingles can damage your nerves in some cases, and prevent them from sending the proper messages from your skin to your brain. This can cause postherpetic neuralgia.
Who is most likely to develop post shingles pain?
Postherpetic neuralgia affects nerve fibers and skin and results in burning, tingling, and shooting pain. If you have this condition, it might be painful to wear clothes or you could experience touch sensitivity.
One in every five people who get shingles will experience postherpetic neuralgia. Certain factors can boost your chances of getting it.
For example, postherpetic neuralgia becomes more common with age, primarily affecting people over the age of 60. Women also seem to be more affected than men.
Individuals with conditions that weaken the immune system, like HIV and cancer, are also more likely to develop neuralgia.
There is no cure to this condition, but treatments can help to alleviate symptoms and postherpetic neuralgia usually improves over time.
How can physical therapy help me?
There are many creams, patches, and prescription medications that can be used to help treat neuralgia. However, if you’re searching for a mode of relief that doesn’t involve the use of prescription medication, physical therapy is an excellent place to start.
A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit has been shown to help patients with neuralgia. TENS contains a variety of different modes to stimulate the nerves in different ways. These modes all consist of different currents, and the current you are prescribed will be dependent upon the nature of your condition and the severity of it.
TENS has a variety of benefits, including:
- Reduce, eliminate, and/or control pain (both acute and chronic).
- Increase local circulation.
- Decrease swelling.
- Improve range of motion.
- Reduce muscle spasm.
- Provide biofeedback (aka improve body awareness).
- Improve motor coordination.
- Provide neuromuscular re-education.
- Prevent or reverse muscle atrophy (especially after prolonged immobilization, such as a limb being cast as a fracture heals).
Ready to find some relief?
Contact Forward Physical Therapy today!
Post shingles pain or postherpetic neuralgia can be extremely uncomfortable and difficult to live with. Though there is no cure for this condition, this doesn’t mean you should resign yourself to living in pain.
There are treatment options out there for you. If you want to learn more about your path to relief, contact our Knoxville, TN physical therapy office today!
Your Next Steps…
Request An Appointment
Receive A Custom Treatment Plan
Work Hard and Progress In Your Recovery
Recover & Enjoy Life Pain-Free!