What is pain after shingles?

Pain after shingles, or post herpetic neuralgia (post-her-PET-ik-noo-RAL-juh), is a common complication of shingles. Shingles is a disease caused by the varicella zoster virus. The same virus that causes chickenpox. If you have shingles, the virus has probably been in your body since you were a child, but has remained dormant. It may seem strange that a virus could lay dormant in your body for decades. But that’s just what this virus does. And it is pretty common. Nearly 1 in 3 people over the age of 60 will get shingles in their lifetime.

What many people don’t know is that shingles can actually cause long-lasting pain. Shingles symptoms start with a painful, blistering rash that usually forms on a person’s chest or back. However, the shingles rash will go away in time. But once it is gone, you may still experience burning, stabbing, shooting symptoms of nerve pain caused by shingles. When you have shingles, nerves can often be damaged because of your shingles rash.

This can cause a specific type of pain—nerve pain from shingles. The site of your shingles rash usually determines where you are most likely to feel nerve pain.

Pain After Shingles