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Treatment Analysis of Patients Followed up With Postherpetic Neuralgia in Nothern Cyprus

Mater Sociomed. 2022 Mar;34(1):55-59. doi: 10.5455/msm.2022.33.55-59.


BACKGROUND: Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is a frequent complication of herpes zoster (HZ). Treatment of this chronic pain syndrome and results are often not clear. Tricyclic antidepressants, gabapentinoids and potent opioids are first-line treatments and are highly effective, but their use is limited due to adverse effects that may occur in elderly patients with significant medical comorbidities or interaction due to multiple drug use. There are no head-to-head comparisons of non medical treatments. Dry needling appears comparable to conventional physical therapy for treating PHN.

OBJECTIVE: Our aim is to determine the incidence of PHN in our population and to compare the treatments in patients with postherpetic neuralgia.

METHODS: A search for HZ and PHN was conducted in a general practice research database, comprising 2 general practices (dermatologist and physiatrist) and representing 5600 people. We analyzed a retrospective 37 case with PNH of 170 herpes zoster patient admmited to the dermatology and physical therapy and rehabilitation outpatient clinic between October 2018 and October 2020. Dry needling and physical therapy methods applied in addition to medical treatment in PHN treatment were compared.

RESULTS: In patients with postherpetic neuralgia, both dry needling therapy group and physical therapy group LANSS scores decreased significantly in the first week and in the third week compared to baseline. Dry needling therapy group has also similar results in VAS scores in the first and third week. But in physical therapy group, the VAS score did not show a significant decrease in the first week compared to the baseline, but it decreased significantly in the third week.

CONCLUSION: PHN is a complex, difficult to treat and severe neuropathic pain that affects patients’ daily function and quality of life. Various agents and methods are available to relieve the symptoms of PHN. This study shows as both physical therapy and dry needling therapy are effective treatment for postherpetic nevralgia..

PMID:35801062 | PMC:PMC9229281 | DOI:10.5455/msm.2022.33.55-59


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