People having Shingles often suffer from severe pain for a prolonged period much before the period the red rashes appear to the time the rashes are finally healed. Some complication of this kind experienced by patients is described as post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN). In such situation shingles pain persists in the affected area from a few months to even a few years after it is healed. Both the severe pains of shingles as well as the PHN chronic pain arise from the nerve cells. But the duration and after-effect of treatment are diverse.
Shingles Pain which appears from the outbreak in the initial stage needs medical treatment immediately and it is only limited for a certain time period. Comparatively the PHN persist for a longer period and is difficult to heal and are sometimes the pain is quite unbearable.
A Study shows that older people tend to experience this unbearable pain more than any other younger people. The pain of PHN sufferers is in fact very agonizing and excruciating and they tend to burn and the sufferers sometimes are incapable to do the daily tasks of normal living.
Shingles Pain Treatment
Doctors today are in constant effort of using various methods to help the patients in reducing shingles pain. The constant effort brought certain but varying degrees of success. The medication used to treat painful Shingles rashes and blisters infiltrate in the skin and reach the affected nerves. But they are not absorbed extensively into the body's bloodstream. Thus medications can be continued for a prolonged periods without causing serious side effects.
A device called transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) can be used to treat patients with PHN. TENS produces low-level electrical current pulses that are very helpful in relieving pain when used to the skin surface. This electrical pulse causes tingling sensations and radiates the stimulation of endorphins production in the skin. Endorphins are natural painkillers of the body.
Doctors further induce an invasive measure that is described as nerve blocks to relieve shingles pain. In this method, local anaesthetic is injected into the area where the nerves are affected. The process is mostly applied to the older patient suffering from PHN who can not tolerate other medications used to cure the intense pain. Nerve block methods are effective cure to such patients.
Yet another option of providing temporary relief from shingles pain is the Injection of medicines into the spine of the patient. The New England Journal of Medicine published a research done by Japanese clinical study that states that when medicines like steroid methylprednisone combined in certain proportion with the anesthetic lidocaine and injected in spines of the sufferer, it could reduce severe pain of one group by more than 70 percent in comparison to another groups that who was given lidocaine for treating shingles pain.