Postherpetic Neuralgia and Edema

Posted , 3 users are following.

My 91 year old father contracted Shingles in November 2014 and from being totally independent  - living alone and driving a car he had to move into care as has suffered postherpetic neuralgia since. He has shooting pains going down the sciatic nerve in his right leg.  It seems like he has been on every drug known to man and although some of his pain has been alleviated he still has excruciating episodes.  His only means of relief is to stand so can spend hours sitting/standing/sitting/standing.  He has, however, since the shingles suffered edema in his right leg also.  Amazingly he still tries to maintain some independence and tries to walk, however, this is so difficult now that his leg is so heavy and swollen.  I don't seem to be getting any answers as to why he has this Edema.  He never had it before the shingles and although he had it mildly afterwards it is now extremely bad.  I'm wondering whether it could be the medications that he's on and would be interested if anyone else as experienced this and what the cause was.

2 likes, 4 replies

Report / Delete

4 Replies

  • Posted

     Your dad has found as I did that movement is the only real relief that he'll find. Try a stationary bike or a rowing machine it is amazing the relief. Drugs I have found sometimes can help him thru the night. Yes there are other physical problems that can develope and it just don't seem fair but just finding a little piece IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN HELP HIM WITH. GET OUT OF BED I KNOW HOW AWFUL THE PAIN HE HAS TO MOVE. It's hard for someone who doesn't have this to understand that their are few good day's because IT IS 24-7 so asking him how he's doing when you greet him can start to be annoying you should be armed with new family info or who won the lottery or anything but.Theirs a member name Jim that seems to be well schooled in the current meds, he's been very helpful to many members. Upside, as I understand it PHN Can still go away in the time frame that your Dad is in. Stay strong for your Dad.
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thanks for your response and your suggestions.  Unfortunately, Dad's mobility is so incredibly compromised now.  Yes he tries to walk but it is a shuffle.  I am actually a physio aide working in aged care so ensure he keeps mobile, however, he is unable to get on a bike or a rowing machine although I agree that would have been helpful.  Yes he is on drugs 24/7 so is getting sleep, however, at 91 it's a fine line tweaking medication to ensure pain relief yet not causing cognitive impairment.  We actually don't talk about his pain anymore.  We're concentrating on him enjoying his life so I manage to take him in a wheelchair around a nearby lake which I find is a wonderful distraction from his pain.  My question really is whether anybody has suffered edema as either a consequence of the shingles, PRN or the relative medication.  We appear to have the pain under semi-control, however, the edema is a shocker and apart from reducing his mobility capabilities I'm concerned with the effect on his organs.


      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      HI Rhonda,

      I have had PHN and trigeminal neuralgia. It is my 6th year with PHN. During this time I have not experienced edema. I would definitely ask an experienced pain doctor if this is  a side effect of his meds or  is this from lack of movement. I did experience atrophy in my muscles due to the fact I moved a lot less due to the pain. He is older and I agree, it is difficult to tweek the meds and wean out what is the medication and what is the post herpetic neuralgia. I have found cold ice helps on som eof the areas of pain.

      Hope this helps.

      This information is only from my own limited experience.

      Best to you,


      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Anna,

      Thanks for your response.  I sympathise with you greatly with what you must have gone through for 6 years.  Yes maybe I should contact the original pain specialist and ask his views even if I can't get Dad to him anymore.  Ice sounds good, I'll try that.  

      Thank you so much Anna for your input, greatly appreciated.



      Report / Delete Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up