Every year, nearly 1 million people in the United States develop shingles, which is caused by the same virus as chickenpox. Shingles, however, causes not only a rash but also pain, which can last long after your rash has disappeared. At Balanced Pain Management in Walnut Creek, California, Leslie DeLaney, MD, specializes in treating shingles pain and can develop a plan to alleviate your discomfort. To schedule an appointment, call the office or book online today.
Shingles, or herpes zoster, is a viral infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus, commonly known as chickenpox. You may develop shingles if you had chickenpox and the once-dormant virus becomes active, usually several years after your initial chickenpox infection.
Common triggers that activate the virus include:
Unlike chickenpox, shingles affects your skin and your sensory nerves, which causes shingles pain and may lead to postherpetic neuralgia (PHN).
Shingles symptoms usually only affect a small part of your body. You may initially only feel pain or a burning sensation at a single site, followed by a painful rash.
Your rash may be itchy or cause fluid-filled blisters that break and crust over. Not everyone with shingles develops a rash. Your shingles outbreak may also cause a fever, headache, or sensitivity to light. Fatigue is also a common symptom.
Shingles pain refers to the acute pain caused by the reactivated virus. As noted, it’s usually the first symptom you experience and often severe. Depending on the site of your outbreak, you may mistake your shingles pain for other health issues involving your heart or lungs.
Additionally, your shingles pain may lead to PHN, which causes your damaged nerves to send exaggerated pain messages from your skin to your brain. While shingles normally resolves within 2-3 weeks, PHN can last months or years.
If you’re suffering from prolonged shingles pain, contact Balanced Pain Management. Dr. DeLaney and the team specialize in treating shingles pain and offer epidural steroid injections to provide effective relief.
The team at Balanced Pain Management develops individualized treatment plans for the management of shingles pain based on the severity of your symptoms, the site of your pain, and your overall health.
Treatments for shingles pain at Balanced Pain Management often consists of epidural steroid injections. Dr. DeLaney schedules regular follow-ups to monitor your response to treatment and adjusts your plan as needed.
To learn more about the treatment options for your shingles pain, call Balanced Pain Management, or book an appointment online today.