Coping with a condition of shingles is agonizing enough, but as the skin outbreak settles, a severe chronic pain syndrome called post-herpetic neuralgia can occasionally develop
Research indicates that almost 30 to 60 percent of candidates above the age of 60 gets shingles, become prone to develop into Post- herpetic neuralgia in which the herpes zoster virus affects the nerves causing severe pain in the chest wall
“We are conducting research for why some people get post-herpetic neuralgia and some don’t,” says the Pain Management specialist Dr. Zaki Anwer, MD. “There are plenty of opinions, the nerves may become more sensitive or the virus may be causing harm to the central nervous system”
Luckily, early treatment for shingles can reduce the chances of getting Post-herpetic neuralgia. For some patients the pain becomes obstinate to treatment, explains Dr. Zaki Anwer, MD. “So we must treat shingles as soon as possible, naturally as soon as you feel the hallmarks as tingling and burning before the breakout of rash”
He adds that when nerve pain is involved, some people respond well to the treatment or some become obstinate.
The medications targeting the sensitive nerves either oral or injectable may be able to take a back the nervous system into functioning properly. This means transmitting the relevant signals to the brain.
An intercostal nerve block reboots the nervous system, “It’s like restarting a system” Dr. Zaki Anwer, MD says. “ When it’s running slowly or functioning improperly you restart it, so we are choosing to switch off the nerve. When it restores, optimistically it will send an appropriate transmission as opposed to pain transmission”
A treatment option for patients include; Intercostal nerve blocks
What is an intercostal nerve block?
Intercostal Nerve Block freezes up the nerves that spread underneath the lower edge of each rib. These nerve blocks are typically helpful in the case of an injury to the nerves, ribs, chest surgery and post-herpetic neuralgia ( pain after Shingles)
What are the risks of intercostal nerve blocks?
As with many procedures that involves needle intervention, there are small risks of bleeding and infection. For this you need to stop any blood thinners, significant bleeding is extraordinarily rare.Other risks include obstinate pain, damaged artery, puncturing nerves. At Pain Management Institute, Dr. Zaki Anwer, MD uses X-ray guidance to perform the procedure as safely as possible and he uses a variety of techniques to minimize complications