Herpes zoster and shingles are the less considered problems when it pertains to lower back pain for most individuals. However, severe and debilitating pain is sure to be felt when there are wounds in the lumbar region that is caused by this contagious condition. Postherpetic Neuralgia is the name of this specific affliction and Shingles Pain is the name of the pain it triggers.

What is Herpes Zoster? Caused by the Varicella Zoster Virus (VCV), herpes zoster is an infectious illness. In patients who have had chickenpox when they were children, the virus would infect the dorsal root ganglia of the nerves where it would continue to be in a dormant state. Through some unidentified process, the latent virus is reactivated, resulting in the occurrence of shingles. Mostly seen in adults and elderly, herpes zoster may develop at any age.

Signs and Symptoms of Herpes Zoster. Inside the dermatome of the skin, vesicular breakouts will manifest, similar to chickenpox but without the rash, and these will emerge unilaterally or on one side. However, not like chickenpox which is itchy, the wounds of herpes zoster are extremely painful, primarily because they go along the nerve branches inside the dermatome. Dermatome areas from the T3 to L-3 and the lower back are usually included. The onset of the disease may even be heralded by pain within the dermatome before the lesions emerge by 48 to 72 hours. The pain at this stage is referred to as Acute Neuritis.

Though it may require as long as 2 to 4 weeks for the skin to return to normal and the pain fades away, the duration of the disease is between 7 to 10 days.

How Does Shingles Pain Develop. From Acute Neuritis to Postherpetic Neuralgia. After several months or years that the disease has been fixed, 50% cases of herpes zoster patients, who are 50 years old and above, can manifest this disease once more. This repeated condition is known as Postherpetic Neuralgia.

Quite unusual in younger age groups, postherpetic neuralgia is the most debilitating consequence of herpes zoster and it can develop in both normal and immunocompromised people. Postherpetic neuralgia is generally an ailment of the elderly. Apart from intense incapacitating pain, patients also note alterations in feeling within the damaged dermatome, which could either be hypesthesia (reduced or subnormal sensitivity to sensory stimuli) or hyperesthesia (unusual increase in sensitivity to sensory stimuli).

The Treatment. At the beginning of the illness, famciclover, a medicine of choice for herpes zoster, is offered to prevent additional problems of postherpetic neuralgia.

Coping with patients experiencing postherpetic neuralgia could be very difficult. While some patients will respond to over-the-counter pain killers like NSAIDs, others would need stronger narcotic derivatives, which may be provided in combination with tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline and fluphenazine. When these medicines are given, cautious monitoring is critical to prevent drug reliance. Lidocaine skin patches can be administered to patients to give pain relief for 4 to 12 hours. Corticosteroids have also been revealed to ease pain when given early in the course of herpes zoster infection to prevent the future development of postherpetic neuralgia.

An effective vaccine that can help treat shingles and also stop postherpetic neuralgia is Zostavax which was developed by Merck. Individuals who are over 60 years old should utilize the Zostavax. Presently, when it pertains to shingles, there are so many treatment alternatives offered.

When a good remedy is found, it could give serious relief for shingles pain for the remainder of their lives. Find more details on the Back Pain Relief Reports site at http://www.backpainreliefreports.com.