Postherpetic Neuralgia Treatment

Shingles & Herpes

If you’ve had shingles (herpes zoster), you know how painful active shingles can be. If the intense sensation of pain returns or remains after the rash has disappeared, however, you’re likely experiencing nerve pain due to postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) — the most common complication of shingles. This condition is characterized by prolonged pain resulting from hypersensitivity of the central nervous system. For patients with postherpetic neuralgia pain, finding successful treatments with lasting results can be difficult.

Existing postherpetic neuralgia treatment guidelines focus on using a combination of treatments to reduce pain, as no single treatment relieves PHN pain for everyone. Additionally, many patients are unsuccessful in finding adequate nerve pain relief, while others are ineligible for the available range of treatment options. Our ketamine clinic can help you treat chronic pain and relieve symptoms commonly associated with nerve pain and pain resulting from shingles. Contact our clinic today to schedule postherpetic neuralgia treatment.

Living With Postherpetic Neuralgia

Postherpetic neuralgia is a painful and long-lasting condition that affects approximately 10-15 percent of individuals that develop shingles. PHN is a viral infection caused by the herpes zoster or chickenpox virus. The herpes zoster virus typically affects patients during childhood but it can lay dormant in nerve cells for years until it reactivates later as shingles. Older adults are more likely than children and young adults to experience longer-lasting and more severe PHN nerve pain from shingles years later.

Postherpetic pain, commonly characterized as a severe burning sensation, occurs when nerve fibers become damaged during a shingles outbreak. Damaged fibers can’t transmit messages from the skin to the brain as they normally would — this discrepancy in communication causes chronic and often excruciating pain that can last for months or years. Unlike other pain disorders, postherpetic pain can be more difficult to isolate and treat due to injured tissues. In addition, postherpetic pain may not disappear even when damaged tissues heal.

Individuals who have experienced a shingles outbreak following chickenpox may have a greater likelihood of developing postherpetic neuralgia if the following risk factors apply.

  • Age. More than 50 years of age.
  • Shingles severity. Severe rash and pain.
  • Chronic diseases. Diagnosis of diabetes or other illnesses.
  • Shingles location. Shingles appeared on face or torso.
  • Shingles antiviral treatment. Delayed for more than 3 days after the rash appeared.

Postherpetic Neuralgia Symptoms

Loss of function in the sensory nervous system may be a direct cause of PHN pain, among other after-effects of shingles. In contrast with pain that results from direct stimuli, such as an injury, postherpetic neuralgia pain occurs without stimulation and can last far beyond the point in which injured nerves and tissues heal. Signs and symptoms of PHN typically appear within areas of the skin where the shingles outbreak first occurred. The majority of patients experience pain in a band around the trunk, either on one or both sides of the body.

Pain from PHN may begin before a rash develops on the skin. It is recommended that individuals experiencing any of these symptoms promptly contact a doctor. The risk of patients developing this condition is significantly reduced if they take antiviral medications within 72 hours of first signs of the shingles rash. PHN symptoms may include a burning, jabbing, or aching pain that lasts for more than 3 months, sensitivity to light touches, and itchiness or feelings of numbness.

Ketamine Infusion For Nerve Pain

Traditional treatment plans for nerve pain, resulting from PHN, include surgery, physical therapy, nerve blocks, and prescription medications, such as antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, narcotic pain medications, and topical medications, among other strategies for pain control. A significant portion of patients diagnosed with PHN, however, may not find relief through these methods or they may not be able to take certain medications due to other pre-existing conditions.

For patients seeking to heal their pain using postherpetic neuralgia natural treatment methods, we recommend ketamine treatment. Ketamine is used extensively to treat therapy-resistant forms of chronic pain conditions, especially in syndromes containing neuropathic components, such as complex regional pain syndrome type 1, or CRPS-1, as well as neuropathic pain and postherpetic neuralgia due to peripheral nerve damage.

During infusions for neuropathic pain treatment, ketamine binds to and inhibits N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, blocking their ability to communicate with other brain regions and allowing the brain to restore crucial connections previously harmed from shingles and PHN. Ketamine infusions can be combined with other medications to create a balanced approach that accommodates each patient’s unique brain and body chemistry.

Ketamine Treatment In Gainesville, FL

Our ketamine infusion clinic offers individualized treatment of chronic pain to patients suffering from a wide range of pain disorders and conditions, including postherpetic neuralgia. Our postherpetic neuralgia specialists work hard to ensure each patient receives the comprehensive, quality care they need to heal and recover from their condition. We offer a comprehensive selection of treatment plans to meet a range of individual needs. If you suffer from chronic, recurring pain, call our clinic today to find out how ketamine therapy can help.