Chronic shingles nerve pain is a common complication of the shingles infection. Shingles pain can be severe, long-lasting, and interfere with daily activities, sleep, and work. The Spine Center of Southeast Georgia offers several treatment options for patients in Brunswick and Kingsland for long-term pain relief.
What is Shingles Nerve Pain?
Shingles is a viral infection of individual nerve roots by the virus responsible for chickenpox (varicella zoster virus). Shingles can cause extreme nerve pain almost anywhere on the body, although most people experience the pain on the abdomen, chest, and face. This infection happens when the chickenpox virus is reactivated and travels along nerve fibers. In addition to the nerve pain of the infection, most people experience a hallmark painful skin rash.
It isn’t just the initial shingles infection that can be painful. Unfortunately, a common complication of the viral infection is a condition called postherpetic neuralgia, which causes burning pain due to permanent nerve damage. This condition can be painful enough that even the touch of clothing is painful.
What Causes Shingles Pain?
For decades, shingles pain wasn’t well understood, but a growing body of research shows how the virus is reactivated and why it causes nerve pain. For an unexplained reason, immunity can drop and allow the virus, which remains dormant in the ganglia or cluster of sensory neurons, to reactivate. An immune system that is triggered by the reactivated varicella zoster virus actually changes how sensory neurons work.
The shingles virus damages and irritates the nerve, altering its neurological structure and affecting how the nerves work. Unless it’s treated quickly, shingles pain can become chronic and severe.
How is Shingles Pain Treated in Brunswick?
Shingles pain can make it hard to live a normal life and even sleep at night. The Spine Center of Southeast Georgia offers several treatment options that can deliver significant pain relief from shingles or postherpetic neuralgia.
- Peripheral Nerve Stimulation
- PNS involves implanting a device along peripheral nerves to deliver very rapid electrical impulses that helps reprogram the brain to ignore or turn off pain signals. Before the device is implanted, a trial run is conducted using a wire electrode to make sure the device is placed properly and delivers results.
- Spinal Cord Stimulation
- A spinal cord stimulation (SNS) device is inserted into the epidural space above the spinal cord and peripheral nerves. Once the electrodes are in place, they send weak electrical currents to the nerve to turn off pain signals.
- Intercostal Nerve Block
- This type of nerve block injection relieves chest pain caused by shingles by blocking intercostal nerves under the ribs.
- Radiofrequency Ablation
- Also known as rhizotomy, this procedure uses radiofrequency (RF) waves to heat or ablate a painful nerve without invasive surgery. The burned nerve can no longer send pain signals with results that can last for several years.
You don’t need to suffer with shingles nerve pain for the rest of your life. At the Spine Center of Southeast Georgia, we offer tailored pain management solutions to ease or stop shingles pain with long-term results. Schedule your consultation today to learn more about shingles pain treatment in Kingsland and Brunswick, GA.