Postherpetic Neuralgia Specialist

CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center

Physical Medicine, Rehabilitation and Pain Management located in Lanham, Hyattsville, Gaithersburg, Dundalk & Pikesville, MD

If you suffer from intense, burning pain after a bout of shingles, you may have postherpetic neuralgia. The caring team at CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center offers a multidisciplinary approach to treating postherpetic neuralgia pain at their locations in Olney, Rosedale, Hyattsville, Gaithersburg, Lanham, Dundalk, and Pikesville, Maryland. To find relief from the pain and discomfort of postherpetic neuralgia if you’re in Maryland or the Washington, D.C., area, schedule an appointment online or by phone today.

Postherpetic Neuralgia Q & A

What is postherpetic neuralgia?

Postherpetic neuralgia is a common and painful complication of shingles. The pain associated with postherpetic neuralgia may last for months or years after the rash and blisters of shingles clears up.

Most of the time, the signs and symptoms of postherpetic neuralgia affect the same area of your skin where your shingles outbreak first occurred. These signs and symptoms may include:

  • Sharp, burning pain
  • Deep, aching pain
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch
  • Itching and numbness

Your physician at CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center may diagnose you with postherpetic neuralgia if your symptoms persist for more than three months after you get shingles.

What causes postherpetic neuralgia?

The same virus that causes chickenpox also causes shingles. When you get chickenpox, this virus remains in your body for the rest of your life. The virus can reactivate and turn into shingles if your immune system becomes suppressed or weakened.

Postherpetic neuralgia develops when an outbreak of shingles damages your nerve fibers. Damaged nerve fibers don’t function properly and may cause chronic, severe pain.

Who gets postherpetic neuralgia?

If you have shingles, you may be more likely to develop postherpetic neuralgia if you have one or more of the following risk factors:

  • Being older than 60
  • Severe shingles symptoms
  • Shingles on your face or eyes

Health conditions that suppress your immune system, such as receiving chemotherapy, may also increase your risk of postherpetic neuralgia.

How is postherpetic neuralgia treated?

Postherpetic neuralgia currently has no cure, but the team at CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center can help you cope with the severe pain and discomfort. They begin with a thorough physical exam and review of your medical history. Then, they recommend the best treatment for your specific needs.

The team at CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center offers a multidisciplinary approach to pain management. Treatment for postherpetic neuralgia may include:

  • Injection therapy such as nerve blocks
  • Pain medications, including opioids
  • Self-care measures such as relaxation exercises
  • Counseling or chronic pain support groups
  • Alternative medicine such as acupuncture

Your physician at CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center considers your emotional well-being and quality of life as well as your physical pain. To find relief from postherpetic neuralgia, schedule an appointment online or by phone today.