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Postherpetic Neuralgia - Postherpetic Neuralgia

Even if you have already had chickenpox, the risk of developing shingles still exists and is caused by the reactivated varicella zoster virus. The risk only increases with age. If you have recovered from shingles, but the pain remains three months later, you might have postherpetic neuralgia — an infection that affects the nerves and causes pain.

What are the symptoms?

The pain that develops as a result of postherpetic neuralgia can be stabbing, aching, or burning. It typically occurs at the same spot as the shingles outbreak, usually on one side of the body. The area can also become sensitive to touch, even very light touch.

How is it treated?

There is no cure for postherpetic neuralgia. Instead, the symptoms must be managed. The pain that occurs from postherpetic neuralgia can be managed with local nerve blocks — injections that block the pain signals sent from nerves to the brain. In some cases, a spinal cord stimulator can be placed to control the pain consistently.