person in pain from shingles

From Dr. Natalie Meiri’s Clinical Pearl Stories:



 Relief From Shingles Pain and Post-Herpetic Neuralgia: Chiropractic Care is Effective

This is my clinical pearl story about Relief From Shingles Pain and Post-Herpetic Neuralgia: Chiropractic Care is Effective. I helped this patient with more than her low back degenerative problem since it was complicated by shingles.  She was a 50 year old female patient. To be HIPAA compliant, I will call her Ester instead of her real name. 

Ester’s back pain had come on insidiously (came on gradually) without any history of trauma.  She did report having several bouts of back pain that self resolved over the years. Recently, she was under a lot of stress from worrying about her family and was exhausted from working over 60 hours a week. Then a few days ago, she bent to grab something and her back pain started. Ester had severe pain in her lower back combined with leg pain.  She also felt her right leg was weak.

Ester’s Examination and Imaging

Upon examination I did find weakness in her leg with muscle testing. And numbness on the side of the lower leg with sensory testing. She also tested positive for other orthopedic/ neurological tests for her condition.  I explained to Ester that she had a radiculopathy (inflamed nerve root).

Her x-rays taken in my office showed some moderate degenerative arthritis in her lumbar spine. To diagnose that her radiculopathy was due to a disc problem (“slipped disc”), she would need a M.R.I. (Magnetic Resonance Imaging).  I would order a M.R.I. of her low back in a month or after 12 visits, if her pain wasn’t significantly decreased with treatment.  I also referred Ester to her dermatologist due to a rash that appeared in her low back within her first week of  treating with me.

Her dermatologist diagnosed the rash as a Shingles rash.  Within a month I did order a M.R.I. due to the severe pain, even though she was gaining strength back in her legs.  The M.R.I. showed a herniated disc in her low back. Ester’s diagnosis was now lumbar (lowback) disc syndrome (lumbar degenerative disc disease). She continued treatment with me and recovered from her lumbar disc syndrome. 

Ester’s Treatment and Outcome

Ester received chiropractic adjustments/ manipulation to her cervical (neck), thoracic (mid back) and lumbar (low back) spine along with soft tissue work (myofascial release, pressure point and various post isometric relaxation procedures) and exercises to continue at home.

Ester did take a prescription drug for her shingles rash which in time also healed.

Unfortunately, Ester went on to develop post-herpatic neuralgia, a complication of shingles.  She chose the drug-less and nonsurgical approach of chiropractic care and continued care with much improvement over time.  She continued chiropractic care on a as needed basis after a few months.


Dr, Meiri adjusts a patient

What is Shingles?

Shingles is a viral infection that is not life threatening. Typically, pain, itching, or tingling in the area will develop. This may happen several days before the rash appears. Although shingles can occur anywhere on your body, it often appears as a single stripe of blisters that goes around either the left or the right side of your torso. The blisters usually scab over in 7 to 10 days and fully clears up within 2 to 4 weeks.

Shingles is caused by the same virus which causes chicken pox called the varicella-zoster virus. After you’ve had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive in nerve tissue near your spinal cord and brain. Years later, the virus may reactivate as shingles.  Shingles is triggered by a weakened or compromised immune system. Emotional stress is considered a trigger for shingles because it has been shown to weaken the body’s immune system. This can happen in those who face chronic work or life stress.

What is Post-herpetic Neuralgia?

Post herpetic neuralgia is the most common complication of shingles. The condition affects nerve fibers and skin, causing burning pain that lasts long after the rash and blisters of shingles disappear.

The risk of post-herpetic neuralgia increases with age, primarily affecting people older than 60. There’s no cure, but chiropractic can ease symptoms.

Shingles triggers a painful rash on your skin that follows nerve pathways, causing a massive amount of inflammation and agitated nerves. A trip to the pain management clinic for the pain is understandable, but it’s not the solution. All they can do is pump you full of drugs and wait out the virus.

A chiropractor however, can manipulate your spine, putting everything back in place. Realigning your spine alleviates pressure off your nerves and helps your body to fight inflammation. This speeds up recovery time and allows your immune system to function optimally.

Chiropractic provides fast and natural relief

Furthermore, getting regular chiropractic care can help prevent the onset of shingles. Chiropractic care can help reduce your  stress level, which may be the biggest factor in causing shingles.  Stress leads to misalignments of the spine, which causes nervous system dysfunction.

The anatomical and physiological connections between the immune system and the nervous system suggests that the nervous system plays a role in the modulation of the immune response. Recent scientific developments now lend support to the idea that Chiropractic correction of the misalignment (chiropractic subluxation) can aid the immune responses of the body by reducing nerve interference.

Are you looking for a chiropractor in West Palm Beach? Dr. Natalie Meiri can definitely help you.  Find out more about Relief From Shingles Pain and Post-Herpetic Neuralgia: Chiropractic Care is Effective. Call 561-253-8984 today.



Meiri Chiropractic