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Shingles is a blistering, painful skin rash that is common among older adults. It can cause pain in different areas of the body. If you are experiencing joint pain, it could be associated with the onset of shingles.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a rash due to the virus that causes chickenpox. According to MedlinePlus, once you have an outbreak of chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in your body until it appears later in life as shingles 1.
Joint Pain from Herpes
A blistering skin rash is the most common symptom of shingles. Other symptoms that can occur are chills, fever, headaches, hearing loss, joint pain and muscle weakness.
The herpes zoster virus remains dormant and is stored in nerve cells, which may explain joint and muscle pain and weakness. If you have an outbreak of shingles and are experiencing joint pain, it may be associated with the virus.
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The shingles rash goes away on its own over time. Treatment is usually for the pain associated with shingles--either in the area of the outbreak, abdominal region, muscles or joints. Let your healthcare provider know if you are experiencing joint pain that is bothersome.
- The shingles rash goes away on its own over time.
- Treatment is usually for the pain associated with shingles--either in the area of the outbreak, abdominal region, muscles or joints.
The shingles virus is one of many herpes virus strains that is still undergoing research. A vaccine is available to prevent shingles, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccination for adults over the age of 60 2.
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- MedlinePlus: Shingles
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Shingles (Herpes Zoster) Vaccination
- National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Division of Viral Diseases. Shingles (Herpes Zoster): Clinical Overview. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated August 14, 2019. cdc.gov
- National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Shingles Vaccination. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated January 25, 2018. cdc.gov
- John AR, Canaday DH. Herpes Zoster in the Older Adult. Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2017;31(4):811-826. doi:10.1016/j.idc.2017.07.016
- Cohen KR, Salbu RL, Frank J, Israel I. Presentation and management of herpes zoster (shingles) in the geriatric population. P T. 2013;38(4):217–227.
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Shingles: Hope Through Research. Updated August 13, 2019. ninds.nih.gov
- White PF, Elvir lazo OL, Galeas L, Cao X. Use of electroanalgesia and laser therapies as alternatives to opioids for acute and chronic pain management. F1000Res. 2017;6:2161. doi:10.12688/f1000research.12324.1
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chickenpox Vaccination: What Everyone Should Know. Updated August 7, 2019. cdc.gov
- InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. Shingles: Overview. 2014 Nov 19 [Updated 2019 Nov 21].Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279624/
- Albrecht, M. Shingles (Beyond the Basics). UpToDate. Updated June 12, 2019.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What Everyone Should Know About Zostavax. Updated January 25, 2018.
Alexa Brannen found her passion for the Health and Fitness industry after her own weightloss journey. She then earned a degree in Exercise and Health Science and completed an internship at a Medical Fitness Center. She's a certified Fitness instructor and has been writing about health topics for five years.