Are you one of the 20% of patients experiencing chronic nerve pain after having shingles? Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) can cause stabbing or burning pain that radiates along the affected nerve. Although there is no cure for PHN, there are several methods of pain management that can ease symptoms. At Altair Integrative Wellness, we offer Spinal Cord or Peripheral Nerve Stimulation, which are often used to treat several different types of neuropathic pain. Electrodes are placed underneath the skin along the affected peripheral nerves. By stimulating a sensory pathway that doesn’t cause pain, this electrical signal can trick the brain into turning off the painful signal, bringing relief to the patient.
In addition to nerve stimulation, there are several other ways to treat PHN. Medications such as anticonvulsants, painkillers, steroids, lidocaine skin patches, capsaicin skin patches, and antidepressants can help relieve pain. However, it is important to note that some of these medications may have side effects.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people over the age of 50 get the Shingrix vaccine to prevent shingles. It is administered in 2 doses, 2 to 6 months apart. However, people who have a reaction to the antibiotic neomycin, gelatin, or any other component of the shingles vaccine, people with weakened immune systems, those who have had bone marrow or lymphatic cancer, those who have untreated tuberculosis (TB), people who are on steroids, and those who are being treated with chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or both should not take the Shingrix vaccine.
If you are experiencing nerve pain that lingers after shingles, give Altair Integrative Wellness a call at 907-357-1818 to learn more about our nerve stimulation treatments and other pain management options.