Shingles or herpes zoster occurs once the virus causing chicken pox reawakens in the roots of the sensory or the cranial nerves. The initial signs of shingles include a distinct, one-side, blistering rash. Even though most cases involve the head or trunk, shingles occasionally affects the knee especially among those who recently sustained injuries or trauma to the area.
The knee pain caused by shingles can arise at the same time as a blistering rash or pain might be present before the appearance of the rash by 2-3 days. In rare instances, shingles develops in the absence of the rash.
Close look on shingles
The pain that arises before the appearance of the shingles rash is described as burning, tingling or increased sensitivity. After the manifestation of the rash, the discomfort typically increases and can even become debilitating.
The pain can be described as burning, stabbing, aching or even electrical. The pain can be continuous or sporadic. It might be incited by gentle touch or other stimuli that would not generally trigger pain or can occur spontaneously.
What are the associated symptoms?
Since the knee is an unusual location for the shingles pain, the manifestation of a rash serves as a vital diagnostic clue. It is vital to check for 2-3 mm, elliptical-shaped blisters that are filled with clear fluid that run in parallel with the skin folds. The blisters develop on the base of reddened elevated skin.
The doctor might prescribe antiviral drugs to lessen the seriousness and length of discomfort from shingles as well as the potential for post-herpetic neuralgia.
Since the medications ideally work if initiated within 72 hours of the start of the symptoms, the individual should get in touch with the doctor right after something wrong is noticed.
In case the pain is severe, the doctor might also prescribe pain medications such as tramadol or fentanyl. Steroids are generally reserved for cases of shingles that affects the face particularly the eye, spinal cord or the brain.