@Red Fraggle: When I had shingles I phoned up NHS Direct (when it still existed), and a VERY grumpy doctor phoned me back. My mom has had shingles 3 times so she said to ask him about the antivirals and he was all, 'No no, there are no tablets for it!' (I know they have to be within like 48 hours, but mine had literally only just come up.) My mom knew there were so took me to the doctor and lo and behold, she gave me some.
I just had to share that because it really pissed me off! I do still get random backache round that nerve, though not very often or intensely.