Although many adults who have never had shingles themselves (or spent time with a close friend or relative dealing with this ailment) may tend to view it as nothing more serious than a bad case of chicken pox, some shingles sufferers may find themselves dealing with severe nerve pain months or sometimes even years after the blisters have subsided. What can you do to stem this pain and allow yourself to live a more normal life without relying on over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers? Read on to learn more about some pain management techniques that may be able to help those dealing with residual nerve pain from a shingles infection.
Sliding thin needles under the surface of your skin may not sound like the best way to minimize pain – however, many have found this process to be relaxing and therapeutic. It's unclear exactly why acupuncture can be successful in reducing pain symptoms, but many believe it's a combination of the endorphins and other healing hormones that are released each time a needle is placed along with the relaxation of the process itself.
Your acupuncturist will be able to concentrate on the specific parts of your body that are in pain, placing needles in or near the corresponding pressure points. Most needles will be removed at the conclusion of your visit, although some acupuncturists take advantage of modified needles designed to remain under the skin for a few days to take full effect.
Pain "scrambling" device
Another innovation in the field of pain management is a device designed to interrupt and divert the pain signals your nerves are sending to your brain. Nerve-related pain can be frustrating largely because there are no physical symptoms responsible for the twinges of pain you're feeling; instead, these damaged nerves are shooting out random sparks of pain (just like a power line downed in a storm) that travel up your spine and to your brain. This scrambling device blocks these pain signals from ever reaching your brain, and over time and with the reduction of pain-based inflammation, these nerves may be better able to heal themselves.
Generally, you'll need to undergo a few treatments with the scrambling device before you notice much of a difference in the way you feel; however, some have reported pain reduction even after the first visit. For those still dealing with nerve pain and who don't want to become reliant on prescription pain medication, a scrambling device can be a great alternative to other popular treatments.