Shingles Definition | Back Pain and Neck Pain Medical Glossary

Shingles Definition

Shingles is an infection of the spinal nerves by the herpes virus causing painful blisters on the skin of the affected dermatome. Patients may experience back pain in the lumbar spine preceding the outbreak of shingles. After the infection subsides, some patients may still experience chronic nerve pain. Those who have had chicken pox are inclined to develop shingles, since the Herpes virus causing chicken pox may remain in the spinal nerve roots and reactivate causing infection along the sensory nerve. Shingles can be effectively treated using topical lotions and antiviral medications.