The pain of shingles varies from person to person. Some people have very little or no pain and other people say the pain is terrible. The less painful shingles can be treated a lot of times with an over the counter medication such as Tylenol. The worst pain can be controlled with codeine. The pain of shingles has been described as stabbing or burning or just dull. How long the pain lasts also varies from person to person. Some people have pain for just a few days and it totally stops. Others have off and on pain for weeks or sometimes even longer like for months or years.