postherpetic neuralgia 통증


Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is a chronic pain condition that occurs as a complication of shingles, a viral infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus. PHN can cause severe and persistent pain, making it difficult for affected individuals to perform daily activities and negatively impacting their quality of life. In this blog post, we will explore the causes, symptoms, and available treatment options for postherpetic neuralgia.

What is Postherpetic Neuralgia?

Postherpetic neuralgia is a condition that develops after a person has experienced an episode of shingles. Shingles usually presents as a painful rash that affects a specific area of the body, caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox. After the rash has healed, some individuals may continue to experience pain in the affected area. This persistent pain is known as postherpetic neuralgia.

Causes and Risk Factors

The exact cause of postherpetic neuralgia is not fully understood, but researchers believe that nerve damage during the shingles episode plays a significant role. When the varicella-zoster virus reactivates, it can damage the nerves, leading to altered pain signaling and increased sensitivity. Advanced age, a weakened immune system, and severe shingles symptoms are considered risk factors for the development of postherpetic neuralgia.


The primary symptom of postherpetic neuralgia is persistent pain in the affected area after the shingles rash has healed. The pain can be described as burning, throbbing, or stabbing, and it can vary in intensity from mild to severe. Other accompanying symptoms may include sensitivity to touch, itching, numbness, and tingling in the affected area.

Treatment Options

The management of postherpetic neuralgia aims at reducing pain and improving the individual’s quality of life. There are several treatment options available, including:

  1. Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help manage mild pain. Prescription medications like anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and opioids may be recommended for more severe cases.

  2. Topical treatments: Lidocaine patches or creams can be applied directly to the painful area to provide temporary relief.

  3. Nerve blocks: In some cases, a local anesthetic can be injected into the affected nerves to temporarily block pain signals.

  4. Physical therapy: Stretching exercises and physical therapy techniques can help improve muscle strength, flexibility, and reduce pain symptoms.

  5. Complementary therapies: Alternative treatments like acupuncture, chiropractic care, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) can also provide symptom relief for some individuals.

It is essential for individuals experiencing postherpetic neuralgia to work closely with healthcare professionals to develop an individualized treatment plan that addresses their specific needs and symptoms.


Postherpetic neuralgia can be a debilitating condition, causing persistent pain in the affected area after a shingles infection. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and available treatment options is crucial for effectively managing postherpetic neuralgia. By working closely with healthcare professionals and exploring various treatment modalities, individuals with postherpetic neuralgia can find relief and improve their quality of life. Remember, early intervention and timely treatment can make a significant difference in managing postherpetic neuralgia pain effectively.