Post herpetic neuralgia (PHN) is a type of persistent pain that occurs after an episode of shingles. Shingles is a nerve infection caused by the chicken pox varicella-zoster virus – distinguishable because of the development of a certain rash. Singles can occur at any age, but people over 50 are more prone to developing one. Many people diagnosed with this infection feel pain that usually eases soon after the rash clears. People who feel a persisting or reoccurring pain after their infection heals suffer from PHN. PHN pain usually eases and goes over time with proper medication.
For people under the age of 50, PHN is unusual. Symptoms tend to be mild if they do occur at a younger age. PHN is also more common for people who have had more severe shingles. PHN can be described as a mild or moderate burning or gnawing pain on and around the area of the skin where the shingles rash occurred. In addition to this, there may be a sharp or stabbing pain in the area that comes and goes. The affected skin is often quite sensitive. Even the slightest touch, such as the rubbing of clothes or even a gust of wind, may cause pain. There may also be reduced touch sensation and itchiness over the affected area. Having this pain can cause a wide variety of related symptoms, including insomnia and depression.
For some people, PHN symptoms can last for several months. It is still not clear why some people continue to experience pain after their inflammation disappears. It may be due to some affected scar tissue or nearby part of the spinal cord which continues to send pain messages to the brain. With proper treatment, the majority of patients experience relief after three months.
If you’re suffering from post herpetic neuralgia and want to experience pain relief, don’t hesitate to contact Spine Center of Texas.