Postherpetic Neuralgia Pain Management in Texas

A Complication of Shingles

If you have ever had chickenpox, then it is possible you could develop shingles at some point in your life. This, in turn, means you can also develop a postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), a nerve condition that sometimes accompanies shingles. PHN is said to affect 20 percent of patients with shingles, and it can continue affecting you even after you have recovered from shingles. If you continue feeling pain even after your rash from shingles has cleared up, then you are likely dealing with PHN.

Symptoms of postherpetic neuralgia include:

  • Itching
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch
  • Burning, shooting pain
  • Headaches
  • Numbness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Sensitivity to changes in temperature

Burning and stinging, as well as increased sensitivity, are the most noticeable symptom of PHN for many patients. You may also feel pain when you go outside on a hot or cold day due to the temperature change.

How to Treat PHN

PHN is a nerve condition that alters the structure or function of the nerve. There is no external factor causing the pain in this condition, it is the nerve itself that has been damaged and causing the painful sensations. There is no one treatment for this condition, rather, our pain specialists will recommend a combination of evidence-based treatments to provide long-term relief. These treatments may include:

  • Anticonvulsant medications
  • Painkillers
  • Steroid injections
  • Antidepressants
  • Lidocain or Capsaicin skin patches

It is unlikely that PHN will go away on its own, so you should seek treatment if you continue feeling pain after your shingles have cleared up. For more information about PHN, its symptoms, and possible treatments, call Pain Specialists of Austin and Central Texas Pain Center today at (855) 876-7246 (PAIN). Our clinics can be found throughout Central Texas.