Shingles: Episode 50
In this episode: Shingles, not the most typical physical therapy topic but somehow it keeps showing up at the clinic. (00:20)
Chip Review: Doritos – Nacho Cheese (09:10)
Trivia question of the week: If you head south from Detroit which foreign country do you hit first?
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*** At certain points the sound quality of this episode is below our standard (Djimmer had to call in and the internet connection was poor).
Shingles, Herpes-Zoster, Varicella-Zoster Virus. This is the reactivation of chicken pox. Now a day everyone gets vaccinated for chickenpox but when Djimmer and Christiaan were kids the vaccine had not yet been developed. The version of “vaccination” that we received was to be placed in a room with a child who had chickenpox so that we would get it. Since shingles is the reactivation of chickenpox hopefully its presents will continue to decline as chickenpox becomes a thing of the past.
I’m sure you are asking why a couple of physical therapists are discussion shingles. Well, prior to the hallmark rash forming there can be 2-3 days of burning along a dermatome. Dermatomal pain may be present in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. In these cases it may feel a lot like sciatica, cervicalgia, a muscle pull any other radicular pain. Some one who has experienced this before may set up an appointment for physical therapy and when they come in the rash is now presents.
When shingles is seen in a patient it is something that needs to be treated medially. This will include an anti-viral medication as well as potentially some pain medication. Once the rash clears if the patient continues to experience thoracic, lumbar or cervical pain now physical therapy can be initiated and a clear picture of what is causing those symptoms can be found.
Increased age and compromised immune system are common factors in developing shingles. Interestingly enough, and this may contribute to why we are seeing shingles more often, is that prolonged corticosteroid use has also be associated with increase prevalence of shingles.
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