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Treating Peripheral Neuropathy in HIV Patients Can Benefit Overall Treatment

A recent study published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes has found that patients who undergo treatment for HIV and who also experience chronic comorbid (when a condition occurs along with a second condition) pain have a more successful treatment when that comorbid pain is also treated than when that chronic pain is not addressed at all.

The study followed 2,334 HIV-positive adults, some of whom were determined to have chronic, comorbid pain. Among those studied, 25 percent reported chronic pain, including knee and back pain and peripheral neuropathy of the hands and feet.

What the researchers found was that when the chronic pain was treated alongside the HIV, the HIV treatment was more successful than when the chronic pain was not treated.

"The research indicates that the untreated comorbid chronic pain may actually worsen the HIV symptoms," says Dr. Nathaniel Weller, a peripheral neuropathy specialist from Scottsdale, Arizona. "That means if you can treat the chronic pain, you may have a more successful outcome treating the HIV."

Weller treats peripheral neuropathy from all causes in his Scottsdale clinic and says although peripheral neuropathy is not well known, the pain from the condition can be debilitating.

"Peripheral neuropathy can cause aches and pains in the limbs, as well as numbness and tingling," he says. "It can even prevent patients from using their hands or walking."

Weller says in addition to the pain medications suggested by the study, peripheral neuropathy patients have more holistic and natural options available, such as light therapy, stem cell therapy and trigger point injections.

"If patients are hesitant to treat comorbid peripheral neuropathy with traditional opioids or pain medications, they may find success with alternative therapies," Weller says.
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Wednesday, 12 December 2018

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