Nearly one-third of American adults will develop shingles at some point during their lives. If you have the telltale rash of blisters and the burning, pins-and-needles pain of the shingles virus, contact the pain management experts at the Ohio Institute for Comprehensive Pain Management in Centerville, Ohio. Led by founder and owner Mervet Saleh, MD, the team of pain specialists offers customized treatments to help you manage your symptoms and ease your recovery. Don’t just suffer through the pain any longer. Call the practice or schedule an appointment online today.
If you had chickenpox as a child, the varicella-zoster virus (VZV) stays in the nerve tissue near your spine forever. Later in life, if your immune system is compromised, VZV can flare up again and cause shingles, a painful manifestation of the virus.
Like chickenpox, shingles begins with a rash of small blisters. The shingles rash is usually located on one side of your body. It will scab over in three to five days and generally disappears within four weeks.
However, in addition to the rash, shingles causes severe pain and burning and tingling sensations. You may also be tender to touch and experience uncontrollable itching.
If you think you have shingles, contact Dr. Saleh and her team immediately. When left untreated, shingles can lead to serious complications including vision impairment or blindness, neuralgia, and other neurological problems.
Not everyone who had the chickenpox as a child will develop shingles. Medical research indicates that a weak immune system can allow the virus to flare-up.
Your risk of shingles increases as you get older and your immune system declines. Also, if you have another disease or health condition that compromises your immune system like HIV or cancer, you’re more likely to develop shingles.
Dr. Saleh diagnoses shingles with a consultation and physical exam. She asks about your symptoms, including your pain. She also takes a tissue sample from your blisters to confirm your diagnosis.
Dr. Saleh treats shingles with a combination of medication and pain management therapies to both relieve your pain and help your body fight off the virus. For example, she can prescribe antiviral drugs like Acyclovir and Valacyclovir, or pain-relieving medicines like capsaicin patches, numbing agents, and steroid injections.
Additionally, Dr. Saleh and her team provide local anesthetic injections and intercostal nerve block and peripheral nerve blocks to reduce your pain. Nerve block injections numb your nerves and disrupt pain messages, reducing your discomfort.
Starting treatment early is critical to reducing your discomfort and supporting your body for a more rapid recovery. If you’ve developed a blister-like rash or have a burning or tingling pain on one side of your body, don’t wait for your illness to progress. Call the Ohio Institute for Comprehensive Pain Management or book an appointment online today.