A medical marijuana doctor says that chronic pain is characterized by pain lasting for at least 12 weeks and maybe even longer for some patients. It can make you feel a dull or sharp pain that leads to an aching or burning sensation in the affected areas. To understand the condition better, let’s discuss its causes, symptoms and treatment options in the following section.
Conditions causing chronic pain
In many cases, it’s caused by an injury, including a pulled muscle or a back sprain. Chronic pain can also develop due to nerve damage, which can make the pain longer lasting and more intense. For many sufferers, treating the underlying cause may not also relieve the pain.
However, some people can also experience chronic pain even without an injury. In these cases, the cause of chronic pain may not be fully understood. For them, the condition may be due to an underlying health condition that includes at least one of the following.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome: It is characterized by prolonged and extreme fatigue that comes with pain.
- Fibromyalgia: It is another health condition that can cause chronic pain usually widespread in the muscles and bones.
- Endometriosis: This health disorder occurs when one’s uterine lining grows on the outer portion of the uterus.
- Temporomandibular joint dysfunction: This condition causes painful jaw popping, clicking or locking.
- Inflammatory bowel disease: It is a group of painful medical conditions, which cause chronic inflammation in one’s digestive tract.
- Interstitial cystitis: This is a chronic disorder characterized by bladder pain and pressure.
- Vulvodynia: This vulva pain may occur with an unknown cause.
Other conditions that can cause chronic pain
- Mood changes
- Loss of appetite
- Sleep disturbance
Symptoms of Chronic Pain
After the causes, let’s discuss the symptoms of chronic pain, a type of pain that lasts for at least 12 weeks.
It is a very different pain than acute pain, which is a normal sensation of a person with an injury or a possible injury because it can persist for months.
This condition can limit your movement and reduce stamina, flexibility, and strength. And due to limitations and inability in performing important functions and enjoyable activities, it can also lead to despair and disability.
So without even saying, chronic pain can affect not just your physical but also your mental health. The following are only some of the most common symptoms of chronic pain.
- Loss of flexibility and stamina due to reduced activity or movement
- Burning pain
- Mood swings that can lead to anxiety, depression, and irritability
- Joint pain
- Sleep problems
- Muscle aches
Various Treatment Methods for Chronic Pain
The following are the most common treatment methods for chronic pain.
Traditional Treatment Approaches
Nerve blocks, medications, electrical stimulation, and surgery are some of the most common treatment approaches for chronic pain.
There are also available less invasive methods to deal with it. Some of these include biofeedback, relaxation therapies, psychotherapy, and behavioral motivation.
Most of these treatment methods can work to manage and treat chronic pain. But for additional relief, many sufferers opt for alternative medicine and complementary methods. A few of these include massage therapies, meditation, tai chi, acupuncture, and other treatments.
Chronic Pain Self-Management
It is another treatment approach involving a program wherein you become the main participant in your pain treatment.
As the sufferer, you will be engaged in making the decisions, solving a problem and taking action to manage the pain.
There are many types of self-management programs, but most of them use a plan wherein you will need help in learning how to do, feel and think better despite your condition. You will also be taught about improving communication with your doctor or healthcare provider.
Medical Cannabis (Marijuana) as an Alternative Chronic Pain Treatment
Medical Marijuana available at a cannabis dispensary can be an alternative treatment to opioids. It can be consumed or used as an oral spray to experience pain relief and may even be a better option because of the reduced side effects and improved life quality of patients.
Medical cannabis is also a safe analgesic, offering excellent pain relief without the side effects.
MMJ is also a much safer option because it also offers pain relief without increasing one’s chances of developing addiction than on opioid can. Compared to opioids, cannabis offers lower addiction potential and may even help reduce a patient’s opioid use, according to a study published in the Journal of Pain. 👉 Be sure to read the complete A to Z Guide to CBD Oil too!
Certain studies also revealed that medical marijuana could improve chronic pain symptoms and spasticity in multiple sclerosis patients.
Affordability is another benefit that medical marijuana patients can get for pain relief. Scientists back in 1975 reported that THC in medical marijuana worked effectively to treat cancer pain.
Medical marijuana has gone a long way in terms of its health benefits especially on chronic pain, one of the most studied and researched potentials of Medical Marijuana aka MMJ.