Recently Diagnosed With Shingles? What Are Your Pain Management Options?

Health & Medical Blog

If you've recently suffered an outbreak of shingles and begun your antiviral medication regimen, you may find yourself still waking up at night with nerve pain or itching that prevents you from resting. While narcotics or over-the-counter pain relievers can provide some relief from most of your painful symptoms, you may worry about drug interactions or find that these medications still can't get rid of all the discomfort you're experiencing. Fortunately, there are some other types of pain relievers that can result in a better outcome with minimal (if any) side effects. Read on to learn more about your pain management options when dealing with a stubborn shingles outbreak.

Topical pain relievers

Although pain medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can provide some relief when taken orally, in high doses they can also strain on your liver, kidneys, and other excretory organs at a time when your body's white blood cell count is already much higher than normal. By switching to a lotion or gel with a topical pain reliever as the active ingredient, you'll be able to provide relief to inflamed nerves directly at the site, rather than waiting for pain medication to circulate throughout your entire body before it can take effect. You'll also be able to reapply this lotion more frequently than you'd be able to continue taking oral pain medication.


Nerve pain and inflammation have been shown to respond positively to acupuncture, although the medical community is still unable to explain what makes this process so successful for many patients. During an acupuncture session, you'll be instructed to relax while lying prone on a table (or sometimes sitting in a chair). The acupuncturist will then insert hair-thin needles into various pressure points on your body -- not always logically related to the areas in which you're experiencing pain but effective nonetheless. In some cases, these needles may remain inserted for several hours and you'll remove them yourself later, or they may be removed during the session after remaining in your body for just a few minutes. 

After an acupuncture session, you'll likely experience pain relief for at least a few days -- sometimes a week or more. However, it's likely you'll need to go to multiple sessions over the course of a few weeks before you experience long-lasting relief. Acupuncture is a more gradual process than medication when it comes to relieving pain but can be of equal or even greater effectiveness over time. For more information, contact a clinic like Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine.


23 September 2016

why is an optometrist visit necessary?

When was the last time you went to an optometrist? If you are like most people, you only go when your glasses break or you run out of contact lenses. Very few people actually follow the guidelines of having their eyes checked each year. Not sure why it is necessary to visit your optometrist each year? You can learn all about the different exams and tests that your optometrist runs and why they are done. Knowing what can go wrong with your eyes and what can be done if the ailments are detected early could help to encourage you to get to the optometrist more often.