What is Post-Herpetic Neuralgia?

The initial outbreak of blisters from the shingles virus often takes from 6 months to a year to heal. Afterwards, most patients have no further pain. For some, however, the pain continues. This condition is called post-viral or post-herpetic neuralgia which means “nerve pain after the virus.”

If the blisters are gone, why do I still have the pain?

The exact cause of post herpetic neuralgia is not known. Many physicians and researchers believe the shingles virus, although injured during initial medical treatment, may still be living in certain nerve roots near the spine.

How can I get relief from Post-Herpetic Neuralgia?

Since the pain’s source is in the nerve roots deep beneath the skin, the same prescription drugs used to fight the singles virus may help. Avoiding certain foods, such as peanut butter, chocolate, gelatin, and table salt, may offer relief as well. All contain certain chemicals that the shingles virus needs to thrive. For most, nerve blocks are required such as nerve blocks around the spinal cord where the outbreak initiated or under the rib, where much of the pain concentrates. Our NJ Spine & Orthopedic will discuss treatments available.