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Integrative Management of Postherpetic Neuralgia 

Integrative Management of Postherpetic Neuralgia
Chapter:
Integrative Management of Postherpetic Neuralgia
Author(s):

Robert Norman

, Joseph Salhab

, and Saba Alaqili

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199907922.003.0020
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date: 05 June 2020

Postherpetic neuralgia is a debilitating consequence of herpes zoster (“shingles”), which is a blistering skin condition caused by the virus Varicella-Zoster. The virus is identical to the one that causes chickenpox in the pediatric population. Once a patient is infected with chickenpox, the virus lays dormant in the sensory dorsal root ganglia. If reactivated, it returns as shingles, characterized by the classic vesicular dermatomal rash that produces a sharp, burning pain in the area of distribution. Herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia predominately affects patients over the age of 60. Topical capsaicin, oral and topical steroids, anticonvulsants, and antidepressants are used for pain and post-herpetic neuralgia. Integrative approaches toward the treatment of neuropathic pain are becoming more popular and include acupuncture,meditation, relaxation techniques, and Chinese herbs.

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