Louisiana Pain Care
Louisiana Pain Care
Louisiana Pain Care

Help for Shingles

Effective Shingles Pain Relief from Pain Management Specialists

Shingles is a nerve root viral infection that causes pain and a band of rash that spreads on one side of your 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.

Symptoms of Shingles

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

If interventional care is sought early enough, shingles pain can be treated effectively. If treatment is delayed, nerve damage can become irreversible.

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, Dr. Ledbetter, Dr. Forte, and Dr. Gordon 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 of these treatments are performed on an outpatient basis.

Pain-free living helps you enjoy life again

Our board-certified, fellowship-trained pain physicians are dedicated to helping you overcome shingles pain so you can return to work, sports, hobbies, and life again. Don’t let shingles pain control you any longer.

We honor, welcome, and appreciate your referrals.

For more information about relief from shingles pain, call Louisiana Pain Care in Monroe or Ruston at (318) 323-6405 today or use our online appointment request form.