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Old 12-29-2008, 10:40 AM   #1
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why do shingles hurt

why do shingles hurt

 
Old 01-17-2009, 07:55 PM   #2
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Re: why do shingles hurt

I have it-it hurts because it runs along a nerve. I believe pain is the bodies way of saying "something is wrong here, take care of it". What sucks is not knowing how long it will last!!!

 
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:13 AM   #3
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Re: why do shingles hurt

Shingles are the skin lesions one gets when the varicella-zoster virus reactivates in the body. The VZV is the same virus which causes chicken pox as children. Once the chicken pox happens and the immune system takes care of it, the virus then goes to sleep in the "dorsal root ganglia" of the peripheral nerves. Usually it's not a problem for the rest of the person's life, but sometimes the virus will reactivate along one particular nerve distribution and the result is the vescicles (blisters) which are very painful. Because the virus actually causes inflammation of the sensory nerves, there are constant signals being sent to the brain which are interpreted as pain even though there is no actual pain stimulus. Unfortunately, depending on how much damage happens to the nerves, one can continue to have false pain signals being sent to the brain from the damaged nerves even when the infection is gone. This is called post-herpetic neuralgia and it can be a debilitating condition.

 
Old 02-08-2009, 10:26 AM   #4
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Re: why do shingles hurt

Quote:
Originally Posted by cgranulomatis View Post
Shingles are the skin lesions one gets when the varicella-zoster virus reactivates in the body. The VZV is the same virus which causes chicken pox as children. Once the chicken pox happens and the immune system takes care of it, the virus then goes to sleep in the "dorsal root ganglia" of the peripheral nerves. Usually it's not a problem for the rest of the person's life, but sometimes the virus will reactivate along one particular nerve distribution and the result is the vescicles (blisters) which are very painful. Because the virus actually causes inflammation of the sensory nerves, there are constant signals being sent to the brain which are interpreted as pain even though there is no actual pain stimulus. Unfortunately, depending on how much damage happens to the nerves, one can continue to have false pain signals being sent to the brain from the damaged nerves even when the infection is gone. This is called post-herpetic neuralgia and it can be a debilitating condition.
debilitating condition is exactly what mine has become. It feels like someone has a hook going around my rib cage and tying it to a car and driving off. I almost wish one day of this pain on my doctor so she can understand what I'm going thru. She seems to think I should be able to live with it.
washta06-do you still have it? How long?

 
Old 02-08-2009, 11:54 AM   #5
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Re: why do shingles hurt

My sixpack, have you gotten any prescription for gabapentin or pregabalin?

 
Old 02-08-2009, 12:32 PM   #6
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Re: why do shingles hurt

Quote:
Originally Posted by cgranulomatis View Post
My sixpack, have you gotten any prescription for gabapentin or pregabalin?
I tried it-I became seriously dizzy. I could not cope with it. Even when I took it at night. I don't drink-but it she felt like what someone who is hungover would feel like.
My doctor also gave me another medication I believe it started with an L, I can't remember what it was to save my life. I ended up giving it to my brother for back pain. It's not a narcotic-it works like neurontin. It gave me double vision. Sort of like Ambien(sp?). The only thing that has worked for the pain without any side effect is norco. Which I don't dare ask my doctor for. Then she would call me a drug addict. I also tried lidocain patches and they didn't touch the pain what so ever. It almost made it worse to have something sitting on it. I even asked my doctor if those first couple caused such terrible side effects if I was suppose to just suffer- and she said yes. She said that's all she's willing to try. She said she didn't know of anything else.

 
Old 02-08-2009, 01:56 PM   #7
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Re: why do shingles hurt

Sounds like the one drug you were given was Lyrica or pregabalin as I mentioned before. The lidocaine naturally wouldn't touch the pain because it works by blocking sodium channels and blocking nerve conduction, but with post herpetic neuralgia, nerve conduction is not the problem.

Which was the drug you're afraid to ask your doctor for? Have you tried nortryptiline or amytriptyline?

 
Old 02-08-2009, 03:41 PM   #8
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Re: why do shingles hurt

Norco-it's considered a narcotic. I tried it and it really helped with the pain. It also didn't cause me to have one side effect. I didn't feel high or like I couldn't perform my daily duties. It did make me tired, but I'm already coping with serious Vit B12 and iron deficiencies. The other two you mentioned I have never heard of. Oh and yes it was Lyrica. My PCP wanted me to take Cymbalta for the pain. No one in my family has done well on antidepressants-and I might add-I'm not depressed. I'm just in a lot of a pain, and would be back to my happy self if I could get rid of it. My neurologist told me that the cymbalta rep comes through his office every week and tries to talk him into putting people on this. He told me if I want to be hist first-I could. He didn't think it was an answer for me. With all the other stuff going on with my inside he wanted me to have an MRI of my spine to make sure it wasn't something else before he helped me. I see him tomorrow to get my results. What kind of drugs are those 2 you suggested? Are they similar to what I have tried? I wish they would just give me the norco and let me wait this out. I've heard that the average is 6 months and I'm 2 months away. If it is something that doesn't go away-then I will be their guinea pig.

 
Old 02-10-2009, 08:02 AM   #9
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Re: why do shingles hurt

Hey again,

The painkiller I was talking about (i.e. the amitryptiline) is a member of the tricyclic antidepressants. They are apparently not as effective as gabapentin and pregabalin, but they do work in some people. Sometimes people are also given corticosteroids for neuropathic pain such as you have because it cuts down on the nerve inflammation which can help to reduce the pain signals being sent to your brain.

 
Old 02-10-2009, 12:17 PM   #10
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Re: why do shingles hurt

My neuorologist gave me cybalta to try. I'm a little worried about it. Although I do want to be out of pain. He said if it continues I will need to see a pain specialist. Geez another doctor. I was really hoping that I would be done with this by now!

I have some steroids left over from when I lost my vision. They gave it to me to reduce the swelling behind my eye. Maybe I will try it. I'm stuck in a hard spot with it comes to anti inflammatory. I'm allergic to them-but steroids seem to be OK other then the common side effects. A woman who can't take advil or motrin is a terrible thing!

 
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