Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is an enervating complication of shingles (herpes zoster), known for its chronic pain that is very difficult to treat. This condition most often appears in comorbid and older patients.
Causes of Postherpetic neuralgia
If a person had chickenpox, the virus responsible for it remains in their body for the rest of their lives. As they age or if their immune system becomes compromised due to some medications or chemotherapy, the virus can reactivate in a person’s body, causing herpes zoster or shingles.
Postherpetic neuralgia appears if the outbreak of shingles caused damage to the nerve fibers. If nerve fibers have been damaged, they can’t send normal messages from the skin to the brain and these messages become exaggerated and confused, resulting in excruciating chronic pain that can last for months or years if left untreated.
Postherpetic neuralgia symptoms and signs
Postherpetic neuralgia has a range of symptoms, usually limited to the skin area where the outbreak of the shingles first appeared - typically on one side of the body in a trunk area.
Postherpetic neuralgia symptoms include:
- Persistent pain, lasting 3 months or longer after the initial rash from shingles has healed. The pain can be described as either deep and aching or sharp, jabbing and burning.
- Sensitivity to a lightest of touch on the affected skin. Patients with this condition often cannot withstand the touch of clothing on the affected area of skin.
- Numbness and itching. It is a less common symptom of postherpetic neuralgia, but sometimes numbness and itchy feeling can also appear as a sign of this condition.
Postherpetic neuralgia treatment
Each patient suffering from postherpetic neuralgia has distinctive pathophysiological factors that contribute to their pain and requires an individualized pain management approach. Still, the treatments that are currently available for postherpetic neuralgia offer only partial pain relief, and their application is even more limited by the adverse side effects, which elderly patients poorly tolerate.
It thus comes as no surprise that scrambler therapy is suggested as an alternative approach to postherpetic neuralgia treatment. Calmare scrambler therapy is a non-invasive approach to pain treatment – it changes brain’s perception of pain by using cutaneous electrostimulation to transform the pain signal sent to the brain into a non-pain one.
The theoretical expectation of Calmare scrambler pain treatment is to offer immediate analgesic effect and, after repeated cycles of treatment, recovery of normal physiological responses.
Pain scrambler therapy has resulted in pain relief in more than 80% of cases, typically after 2-months of follow-up treatments. The clinical testing and trials observed no substantial side effects.
Apart from Postherpetic neuralgia, Calmare scrambler therapy that we provide in Baltimore Ketamine Clinic, successfully treats pain in the following conditions: Chemotherapy induced neuropathy (CIPN), back pain, sciatica, post-surgical neuropathic pain, phantom limb syndrome, intractable cancer pain, brachial plexus pain, CRPS (RSD), post-surgical nerve lesion neuropathy, trigeminal neuralgia, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), fibromyalgia, diabetic neuropathy and pudendal neuropathy.
If you are suffering from any of the above chronic pain conditions, do not hesitate to contact us and schedule a consultation.