Why shingles causes long-term pain


Shingles is a disease that is common enough for the pain that characterizes it to be generally well identified by patients or their families.

With shingles, “The older you are, the more severe the pain and the longer it persists, underlines the Pr Éric Serra, head of the Center for the Study and Treatment of Pain at the Amiens University Hospital. After 70 years, more than 30% of patients will have postherpetic pain! ” Permanently installed in a quiescent form in the sensitive nerve ganglia, the varicella-zoster virus can be reactivated more than eighty years after the primary infection and is then capable of multiplying again before spreading along the nerves corresponding to the lymph nodes infected to their nerve end.

Shingles is a disease that is frequent enough – one in five French people is affected – for the pain that characterizes it to be generally well identified by patients or their families, who often make the diagnosis themselves. In some countries, we commonly speak of a “ring of fire” to evoke it: patients experience severe burns, sometimes in discharges …

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