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Why does post herpetic neuralgia cause pain while sleeping?
Jun 18, 2005

Hi

I have had a chronic case of post herpetic neuralgia for some time now, and some days I hardly notice the pain. While sleeping, however, I usually wake up experiencing rather unbearable pain (which responds quite well to analgesics at that point).

I do not understand why the chronic pain which is often associated with post herpetic neuralgia is notorious for tending to be especially bothersome during sleep. It seems logical to me that during the sleep one would be more relaxed, and thus the resultant nerve pain would be LESS rather than MORE severe. Can you explain why the reverse seems to be the case?

Thanks!

Response from Dr. Henry

I am somewhat stumped trying to give a solid scientific explanation. Sometimes when the body is otherwise calm and not distracted pain in a region becomes more noticeable. If anyone out in cyberspace has a good explanation please post it! KH



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