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Posted on 02/14/2019 in Back Injury

Medical Marijuana for Chronic Pain

Medical Marijuana for Chronic Pain

When you’re suffering chronic pain that other treatments don’t address, find medical marijuana doctors in New York City for effective marijuana treatment. Only a marijuana doctor can prescribe this drug, but your medical marijuana doctor knows it can be effective and safe if used as directed. Marijuana doctors can now legally prescribe marijuana for chronic pain in NYC.

As many as 33 percent of Americans live with chronic pain — pain that continues for more than three months. And about 11 percent of adults in the country have chronic pain that’s severe enough to disrupt their normal routines. Those who suffer with chronic pain use more health care resources, draining family assets and leading to depression.

The problem with chronic pain — like back pain, hip pain, knee pain or ankle pain — is that the cause can be difficult to diagnose. Broad-spectrum pain relievers, including opioids, often are prescribed by the best pain medicine doctor in Manhattan to help you move past the pain, but you may not want to take the risks of their potential side effects.

Alternative Treatment from Medical Marijuana Doctors

A search for effective treatment without the addictive side effects led to the use of marijuana for medical purposes. While it’s never the first treatment option, the cannabis in marijuana has shown enough promise to be considered an effective treatment for chronic pain. The Journal of Pain published a study concluding that cannabis:

  • Decreased the dependence of opioids by nearly two-thirds
  • Reduced the side effects of other treatments
  • Actually enriched patients’ quality of life

For pain that’s beyond what even prescription non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (or NSAIDs) can handle, marijuana offers hope for a pain-free life without the threat of addiction. Cannabis has few side effects, all minor. And marijuana doctors note that cannabis can be administered in a number of ways.

Marijuana Treatment for Chronic Pain

Medical marijuana doctors and researchers in New York haven’t determined why cannabis reduces pain. One theory is that your body already produces similar chemicals, which are dispensed to fight pain and inflammation. So, your body is ready to accept the cannabis chemicals released into your bloodstream because the receptors are already there.

Your marijuana doctor can determine your dosage and provide you with the required card that makes you eligible to purchase medical marijuana in New York State. As in 28 other states, you need a state-specific card to get products from the dispensing facility of a registered organization. As of December 2017, your NYC medical marijuana doctor cannot prescribe cannabis as a plant, but other options include:

  • Ointment
  • Lotion
  • Patch
  • Tablet
  • Lozenge

Types of Chronic Pain Treated

Medical marijuana doctors in New York State must pass a Department of Health course and register with the state before they can prescribe the drug. You, as the patient, can only qualify for medical marijuana treatment if you suffer from a “severe, debilitating or life-threatening condition.” Such conditions include chronic pain from:

  • Lower back pain
  • Osteoarthritis in your neck
  • Rheumatoid arthritis in your knee
  • Neck pain
  • Cancer or cancer treatments
  • HIV/AIDS or HIV/AIDS treatments
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • An accident or injury
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Sciatica

One of the most common reasons cited for prescribing marijuana is chronic pain. It’s a broad-spectrum pain reliever, so unlike a lumbar epidural steroid injection, cannabis works no matter where you’re feeling pain. And in states that allow marijuana doctors to prescribe the drug, like New York, opioid overdoses have decreased.

Known Side Effects and Risks from Marijuana Treatment

Your marijuana doctor prescribes a very low dose when you begin your marijuana treatment, as the drug affects different people in various ways. The average dose is about 2.5 grams. Studies show that a larger-than-effective dose doesn’t change pain-killing strength, only the strength of the side effects. While it’s safe to take as directed, your level of pain relief may be different than another’s experience.

The best medical marijuana doctors in Manhattan know to watch for minor side effects, as well, which may include:

  • A dry mouth and thirst, easily remedied by hydrating more frequently
  • Memory loss in the short term during treatment
  • Emotional elation and euphoria, which doesn’t last and isn’t consistent
  • Both feeling tired and unable to sleep
  • A feeling of anxiety
  • Reddened eyes that make you look tired
  • An exaggerated appetite, which may make marijuana treatment unsuitable if you’re overweight
  • Feeling dizzy or unsteady

Your medical marijuana doctor monitors your progress in your fight against pain, as well as any side effects. Generally, there are no risks when using medical marijuana, as long as you take it as prescribed. Almost all chronic pain sufferers end up needing fewer opioids — or opioids in much smaller doses — as a result of their marijuana treatment.

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