HIV medicine

Types of Pain Management for HIV Patients: Part II

massage-486700_1920Holistic Pain Management Options:

There are three different pathway options that positive HIV patients can take and they include: non-medicinal therapies, non-opioid medications, and narcotics. For the non-medicinal options, they are for those who are looking to use their own body’s endorphins to relieve the pain. Treatments include: heat and cold therapy, physical therapy, massages, relaxation techniques, acupuncture, hypnosis, and mental visualization.


For those who do not want to treat their pain with endorphins nor narcotics, than they can use over-the-counter relief or prescribed medication such as Tylenol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil,  COX-2 inhibitors, or natural steroids such as prednisone or hydrocortisone.

Finally, the third options leaves narcotics which are often used in HIV pain management in Los Angeles for mild to severe pain relief. It can include: Hydrocodone, Vicodin, Ultram for moderate pain relief, or Morphine, Fentanyl, OxyContin, Methadone for more severe pain relief.  However, these should not be used if you are thinking about a holistic approach to your pain relief.


There are also topical treatments, anti-depressants and anticonvulsants that may be prescribed depending on the severity of the pain and the cause of the pain. Are you looking for HIV pain management in Los Angeles? Dr. Bryan is the best choice for holistic approaches for pain management. Contact the offices today to learn more.

Types of Pain Management for HIV Patients

5Unfortunately pain can occur at all stages of the HIV disease, and it can affect almost all parts of the body. The pain often becomes increasingly severe as the disease progresses throughout the body, however not all individuals who are HIV positive will experience pain.

In order to subscribe the best HIV pain management system, one will need to identify what type of pain the patient is experience and then match the traditional treatment for that type of pain.

Common HIV Pain Types:

An HIV pain treatment plan can be created once the pain is identified as what type, and what the cause is. HIV pain management in Los Angeles helps with the following types of pain:

  • Abdominal Pain: This can be a side effect of HIV drugs, from infections, from problems with the digestive tract, from inflammation in the pancreas, from menstrual cramps, or even from a bladder infection or urinary tract infection.
  • Joint/Muscle/Bone pain: This is often a side effect of HIV drugs, or is caused from aging, injury, bone disease, or arthritis.
  • Herpes pain: This is a common virus found in HIV positive patients. Depending on which type you have, it can cause chickenpox, shingles, painful rashes, or blisters on sensitive areas.
  • Headaches: This can range from dull to throbbing, with mild to severe pressure. Mild headaches are often a side effect of HIV drugs but they can be caused by other aspects such as stroke, brain infections or sinus pressure.
  • Nerve Pain: This can be caused by HIV, HIV drugs, or other medical conditions such as diabetes.

Alternative Therapies for HIV Positive Individuals to Promote Healing

1It is recommended by the World Health Organization, that all HIV positive patients start immediate anti-retro viral treatment after they are diagnosed. Antiretroviral therapy combines the use of various drugs, often three or more from different classes of drugs, and uses them as a combination therapy for slowing down the virus.

Three or more are used in the process as the virus can easily develop a resistance to the drugs because it multiples quickly. The virus is less likely to build up a resistance since these different classes of drugs use different attack routes. The therapy will not cure the patient, nor will it kill off the virus, but it will slow it down and allow patients to live longer lives. With progress in modern medicine, there have been a reduction in the transmission of the disease, of those getting infected, and deaths from it.

However, because standard antiretroviral therapy requires the use of man-made chemical drugs, there are side effects and this is why patients turn towards alternative methods for HIV, as they can provide relief from the drugs’ side effects.

Treating HIV Symptoms and Drug Use Side Effects

  • A patient can have different categories of alternative treatments done in order to alleviate their symptoms or side effects.
  • The first group is body therapies such as yoga, massage therapy, or acupuncture. These can help reduce pain and treat side effects like nausea.
  • The second group is relaxation therapies such as meditation, as these will help reduce any anxiety the patient is feeling which can help with the overall stress of coping with an illness that is terminal.
  • The third group is herbal medications which may boost your immune system; however, it is important not to take garlic or St. John’s Wort as these directly impact and decrease the effectiveness of HIV treatments.
  • Finally the last alternative method for HIV includes medicinal marijuana to induce hunger, and reduce pain, and supplements such as selenium or soy protein which helps in slowing the progression of the disease and helping a patient gain weight.

HIV Pain Management: Causes of HIV Pain

HIV pain is a chronic condition associated with the disease. Quality of life standards are not met during this time and pain can be mild to severe at times. The pain is directly caused by the disease anaids-159170_1280d can worsen over time. Here are a few causes of HIV pain.

  • Inflammation – When your body is trying to fight the disease, inflammation occurs. This is due to the fact that your body is trying to heal itself by giving fluid to the area affected. Inflammation often hurts and causes stiffness, discomfort and distress. Usually, the pain is a throbbing type, possibly pulsating with stabbing and pinching.
  • Headaches – Headaches can occur as part of HIV pain. They are usually due to muscle tension, stress, inflamed sinuses and the infection to the nervous system. The pain associated with HIV headaches can fluctuate from minimal to severe.
  • Gastrointestinal Pain – Pain from the digestive system includes sore throat and discomfort in the stomach and intestines. Ulcers and cold sores may also develop causing difficulty eating.

HIV pain is a chronic issue that needs specific treatment. Receiving regular care is important in the form of Eastern and Western medicines to improve mind and body. HIV Pain Management in Los Angeles can be found with Dr. Bryan MD.