Shingles, a viral infection that causes a painful rash, is a very common disease for people age 60 and older. According to the CDC, half of persons living until age 85 years will develop shingles.
So where does this come from?
The virus, also known as zoster or herpes zoster, is the same virus that causes chickenpox and anyone who has recovered from chickenpox may develop shingles, even children. After years of being dormant (inactive) in certain nerves of the body, the virus can become active again. Although it is not known why this happens, it seems that people with an immune system that is weakened by either a medical condition or severe stress are more susceptible than others.
The painful rash may develop one to five days before shingles appears and usually occurs on one side of the body or face. Blisters may scab within a week, disappearing in about 2-4 weeks, but permanent scarring happens rarely. When around the eyes, shingles can cause drooping eyelids and loss of vision. Other symptoms include: body aches and pains, chills, fever, headaches, nausea, etc.
A shingles episode may occur only once in a patient’s lifetime, but in a rare case it could happen twice or three times.
Shingles cannot be passed on from one person to another, however if the virus is spread from a person with active shingles to someone who was never exposed, this person might develop chickenpox instead. This only occurs when the fluid of blisters is spread from one person to another during the blister-stage.
Some precautions to take are:
- Cover the rash and don’t touch it.
- Wash your hands often.
- Until your rash has turned into scabs, avoid contact with
- pregnant women who were never exposed to chickenpox
- premature babies (under 1 year) and
- persons with a low immune system.
The most common complication from shingles is postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), which causes severe and debilitating pain in the areas of the rash, even after it’s gone. This usually resolves within a few weeks or months, but in some persons it can last for many years.
Unfortunately there is no cure for shingles, even though it can be prevented with a vaccine for people 60 and older, it is difficult to treat shingles.
The most common treatment includes prescription of antiviral drugs, topical antibiotics and pain medication.
Drug-free alternative for shingles pain
The severe, sometimes debilitating pain is usually the most difficult symptom to treat. Conventional narcotics and over-the-counter pain relievers are often ineffective due to the nature of the virus inhabiting the nerves, however, there is a very effective pain therapy used by Remobility. Shingles sufferers can now get pain relief after only a few sessions. The therapy is not a widely used method in the U.S., but in the past 30+ years Remobility physical therapist Roel Fung-A-Wing has had a very high treatment success rate using a specific nerve stimulation technique for shingles pain relief in Europe, South America and the U.S. He has seen patients of all ages, including veterans returning from combat, suffering PHN, who have been treated successfully.
Treatment is most effective before eruption of blisters, but our therapy can still significantly decrease pain within three weeks or less.
Due to the high level of pain shingles patients suffer, they are seen as high priority and treatment starts as soon as possible, sometimes even on the same day.
Because shingles is contagious in the blister stage, we use stringent safety measures during treatment to prevent spread of the virus.
Get relief from shingles pain
Almost 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles, a fact unknown to many people. While shingles is not a life threatening disease, it can be very painful and keep a person from performing regular day to day activities. There is no need to suffer any longer, take steps to get rid of shingles pain!
Contact us for more information or to set up an appointment.
Disclaimer: Although we have had a very high success rate in the past, please keep in mind that the outcome may be different for each individual.
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