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Postherpetic neuralgia is recurring severe pain that originates from the nerves and affects a certain part of the trunk. Physiotherapy is a valuable method that can aid symptoms associated with postherpetic neuralgia pain.

What is postherpetic neuralgia?

Postherpetic neuralgia is constant and severe pain that affects the trunk of the body. It most commonly occurs as a result of an infection or shingles and may persist beyond the initial rash. Shingles is an infection that affects the nerves which then results in a rash on the affected area. Shingles can affect people of any age but is more common in individuals above the age of fifty. Shingles is often associated with pain that dissipates once the rash has cleared. Postherpetic neuralgia is the pain that continues after the rash as gone.

Soft tissue massage from a specialist physiotherapist to relieve painAbove: Soft tissue massage from a specialist physiotherapist to relieve pain

Causes of postherpetic pain

Postherpetic neuralgia is primarily caused by inflammation of the affected nerves. These disruptions of the nerves may be a result of a number of factors including;
  • Chemical irritation
  • Diabetes
  • Infections, such as shingles, syphilis, and Lyme disease
  • Porphyria – group of metabolic disorders affecting nerves and skin
  • Certain medication
  • Swelling and irritation (inflammation)
  • Trauma (including surgery)
  • Chronic renal insufficiency

Symptoms of postherpetic neuralgia

There are a number of symptoms associated with postherpetic pain and they vary significantly in severity and characteristics. Common symptoms include;
  • Constant burning pain around the affected area.
  • Sharp, stabbing pains that come and go
  • Dull pain that persists beyond the initial episode
  • Itchiness around affected area
  • Tenderness and sensitivity around the affected area of skin
  • Discomfort caused by small pressure such as clothes rubbing
Symptoms associated with postherpetic neuralgia can vary significantly in characteristics, severity and frequency among sufferers. There are a variety of treatment options for postherpetic neuralgia with regard to medication and management. Physiotherapy is an effective method that aims to help significantly relief some of the symptoms that you are experiencing.

Stretches and mobilisations of the hip and knee to relieve stiffness and painAbove: Stretches and mobilisations of the hip and knee to relieve stiffness and pain

What physiotherapy treatment will I receive for neuralgia / nerve pain?

If you are suffering from postherpetic pain that has resulted from a previous bout of shingles or other infections, physiotherapy will help reduce the pain, return function and relieve any other associated symptoms. Specialist physiotherapists at will provide you with a thorough assessment as well as a comprehensive treatment programme. Your assessment will involve a number of questions and tests. The tests aim to reproduce your pain so as determine the cause. A treatment plane will then be developed between you and your physiotherapist that will focus on your goals.

With postherpetic neuralgia, your main treatment goals will be to reduce pain around your body and in the affected area as well as help restore your ability to carry out everyday activities. Your physiotherapist at will provide you with a variety of treatments and activities to help you meet your goals. Activities will include; Maximum commitment and adherence to your treatment plan is required to ensure the success of your physiotherapy with Your physiotherapist will provide you with as much information and advice as you need to help you recover from postherpetic neuralgia as quickly as possible.


Postherpetic neuralgia is recurring pain that comes from the nerves and affects a certain part of the trunk. Postherpetic neuralgia is caused by damage and inflammation of the affected nerves and is often associated with a previous episode of shingles. Postherpetic pain is characterised by a constant, burning pain around the affected area. The pain can vary from mild to severe and may feel like a sharp, stabbing pain that comes and go irregularly. Physiotherapy has shown to be a very effective method in the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia. has specialist physiotherapists who will focus on reducing pain, increasing mobility and improving everyday activities that may have been affected by your postherpetic neuralgia. Call now on 0330 088 7800 for more information or to book an appointment please contact us. Or you can also book online today!

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