Skip to main content

Is There Pain Relief for My Shingles?

Is There Pain Relief for My Shingles?

Did you have chickenpox as a child? If so, the virus that caused it is still in your body. Although dormant and not actively causing problems, it can wake any time and trigger shingles, a painful rash that could have lasting complications.

We specialize in reducing pain from all sources, including shingles pain. Dr. Dinash Yanamadula and our Princeton Pain and Spine Institute team help people throughout Lawrenceville and Edgewater, New Jersey, overcome the initial pain of shingles and the ongoing pain it can sometimes cause. Here are three ways we can ease your shingles pain.

1. Stopping pain early and cutting it short

Shingles brings waves of pain from the moment the varicella zoster virus activates. In fact, pain is the first symptom most people notice. Because the dormant virus lurks in your spinal nerves, when it reactivates, it travels along those nerves to your skin, causing pain along the way. 

This is the best time to call Dr. Yanamadula. At the first sign of shingles pain, he prescribes an antiviral to shorten the duration and severity of shingles. Taking the antiviral medication may help you prevent complications following your shingles infection; however, if you don’t take the antiviral within the first three days of shingles symptoms, it won’t be very effective. 

2. Lessening the effects of the shingles rash

Each of your 31 spinal nerves branches out and serves various dermatomes or skin regions. The dormant shingles virus lies in wait in a nerve ganglia, a bundle of cells that links your spinal nerves to the dermatomes. 

When the virus wakens and spreads along your nerve pathways, it eventually reaches your skin, it causes a painful red rash that usually blisters and oozes throughout that dermatome. The part of your body affected depends on the specific nerve ganglia that hosted the dormant virus. Typically, the shingles virus affects a thoracic nerve ganglion in the middle section of your spine, so the rash appears on your trunk on one side of your body.

You can try at-home remedies to relieve your shingles pain, such as:

These remedies won’t cure shingles, but they may lessen your pain and keep your skin more comfortable as you heal.

Dr. Yanamadula can ease your shingles rash pain with topical treatments such as lidocaine patches or cream and oral pain medication. If you experience severe shingles pain, you may be a good candidate for steroid injections or a nerve block. 

3. Addressing postherpetic neuralgia pain

Up to 18% of people with shingles develop postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), nerve pain that continues long after the rash goes away. Although there’s no cure for PHN, Dr. Yanamadula can treat it and help you live with it more comfortably. Depending on your symptoms, he may recommend:

Many people with PHN recover within a year, but some cases are permanent. Dr. Yanamadula can help you manage your shingles pain for as long as you have it. 

Call Princeton Pain and Spine Institute at the first sign of shingles and give yourself a fighting chance against the excruciating pain. Request an appointment online or call us at 380-205-3836.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Are There Different Types of Headaches?

No one gets through life without at least one headache, and most experience several — but they aren’t all the same. In fact, there are more than 150 distinct types, making it tough to know how to treat them. Here’s how to differentiate them.
Understanding Your Treatment Options for Sciatica

Understanding Your Treatment Options for Sciatica

Sciatica — that shocking pain that travels from your lower back through your hips and down your leg — can stop you in your tracks. Here’s an overview of the most effective approaches to get you back in action. 

Treating Your Arthritis with Physical Therapy

You’ve always known about arthritis, but you never truly knew arthritis until it hit you. Now, you realize how little you know and are searching for treatments. Surprisingly, physical therapy is your best bet — here’s why.
Is Spinal Stenosis Reversible?

Is Spinal Stenosis Reversible?

Spinal stenosis is a real pain in the back, hips, legs, and feet. When symptoms radiate down your limbs, you’re desperate for relief and wonder: Will this ever go away? Here’s the latest on whether treatments can reverse spinal stenosis.
How Can I Get Relief for My Tension Headaches?

How Can I Get Relief for My Tension Headaches?

Did you know there are more than 150 different types of headaches? The most common type is a tension headache, and if you’re prone to them, you need all the help you can get to overcome them. Here are our expert tips.