We all experience pain from time to time, whether it’s from a stubbed toe or a mild burn on the hand. Typically, such pain goes away fairly quickly. However, when confronted with certain health conditions, escaping pain can be difficult.
While it might be tempting to brush aside the idea that you could develop chronic pain, you might not know that one-in-three people are at risk in their lifetime for a condition that can cause ongoing pain for weeks or even years.
Shingles is an infection that occurs when the virus that causes chickenpox reactivates in your body, and it’s most likely to happen in those of us over age 50 and those of us who are immunocompromised by a health condition or treatment. This is because you’re more vulnerable to it when your immune system gets weaker.
The first symptom is usually pain, tingling or burning that occurs on one side of the body, followed by a rash and blisters. The pain can be severe enough to interfere with work and other everyday activities.
While most cases of shingles last about two to four weeks, some people can experience chronic pain long after the rash has healed.
While there is no cure for shingles, getting the shingles vaccine, which is recommended for adults over the age of 50 by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, can greatly reduce your risk of developing this disease and suffering from the pain related to it.