Can acupuncture help with nerve pain from shingles?

The short answer is, YES! Acupuncture can help with the nerve pain from shingles. Acupuncture works directly on the TRPV1 nerve receptor that causes the common burning pain you feel with shingles. If you want to dive into a scientific study that proves acupuncture helps shingles pain, then keep reading. Otherwise, just click the book now button above to setup a visit with Dr. Hanson for the best acupuncture in Tampa, FL.

So if you are experiencing Post Herpetic Nerualgia then know that Acupuncture is something that can really help ease your pain. Read on for more information about acupuncture and how it could help ease your symptoms of nerve pain.

What Causes Shingles?

Stress and a lowered immune system are the perfect triggers for a shingles outbreak. If you’ve ever had chickenpox then you’ve got the dormant virus that will jump can flair up if you’re immune system gets a little weak from a lot of stress.

The first sign of an outbreak is painful or tingling skin a few days before the rash appears. Then, once the rash and blisters appear, it takes about 2-4 weeks for the rash, blisters, fatigue and pain to go away. In most cases, the rash and blisters will resolve and people may never have another outbreak. If you experience nerve pain, it can last for months or even years and can go on to cause what is known as “post-herpetic neuralgia”.

Long after there is any sign of the virus, people may have chronic burning nerve pain along the same path the rash took.

Acupuncture Beats Drugs For Shingles Nerve Pain

Acupuncture was determined more effective than the drug gabapentin for the treatment of shingles, herpes zoster. New research compared the effects of acupuncture followed by local moxibustion against a group that received gabapentin and sham acupuncture. The true acupuncture group had an effective rate of 94% and the drug group had an effective rate of 86%. 

Gabapentin (neurontin) is a pharmaceutical medication often used to treat nerve pain, especially in cases nerve pain due to shingles (post-herpetic neuralgia).

True acupuncture was applied to painful points. Sham acupuncture is a form of simulated acupuncture used to help establish controls in clinical investigations and assists in ruling out the placebo effect.

In this study, sham non-acupuncture points were needled in the distal region of the herpetic lesions. This type of sham control has received recent criticism by researchers in that sham needling may provide medical benefits thereby skewing data towards underestimating the healing powers of true acupuncture. 

Either way, Acupuncture was shown to be significantly more effective than medication alone for the pain associated with shingles.

The Take Away

Dr. Hanson treats nerve pain caused by shingles every single week. Acupuncture can help to ease the burning pain that is common with post herpetic neuralgia. If you’re stuck with shingles pain, then reach out by clicking Book Now to schedule a visit with Dr. Hanson for acupuncture in Tampa.

Picture of Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM

Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM

Dr. Josh Hanson specializes in treating chronic pain and providing fertility support. He has performed 40,000+ procedures over the last 10+ years. Dr. Hanson has a clinic in Tampa, FL where patients travel from all over Florida to receive cutting edge care.

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