Arthritis refers to joint inflammation and stiffness, which tends to cause severe discomfort and chronic pain. Although there are various therapies and supplements used to help treat arthritis, there isn’t a universal cure. Medical marijuana has shown to reduce symptoms associated with arthritis, including joint tenderness, swelling and decreased range of motion, and thus, improve the overall quality of life of those suffering from this condition.
Recent research suggests a popular shift in the way those dealing with physical pain are treated. Rather than solely relying on conventional medicine, alternative treatments, including medical marijuana, are becoming more acceptable.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine shared a 2016 report by the international, peer-reviewed Journal of Pain Research that found that more and more people are increasingly supportive of the use of medical marijuana. This can be seen in the number of U.S. states that have legalized the drug in some way. As of August 2018, 30 out of the 50 states, including New York, have passed legislation to legalize marijuana, whether for recreational or medicinal purposes.
While medical marijuana is utilized to help treat a variety of ailments, which differ from state to state, the analysis states: “Overwhelmingly, patients prescribed medical cannabis for pain-related illnesses report being highly successful with pain reduction, as well as with reducing their use of other medications.”
Michigan recently added multiple health conditions to its list of disorders and diseases that can be treated with medical marijuana in the state—including arthritis.
According to a 2015 study referenced in the report, which involved surveying medical marijuana users in Arizona: “77% of fibromyalgia patients, 63% of patients with arthritis, and 51% of patients suffering from neuropathic pain reported experiencing ‘a lot or almost complete overall pain relief.’”
A 2013 study specifically examining the effects of medical marijuana for those suffering with knee pain from osteoarthritis—a specific type of arthritis in which cartilage separating bones has worn down over time—concludes the drug “may have therapeutic potential” to assist in treating the condition.
Medical marijuana has positive effects on arthritis sufferers because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
As a result, the drug could help treat not only arthritis, but other inflammatory diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease, too.
Dr. Amir Herman, D.O., of East Northport, N.Y.-based Natural Pain Solutions, explains: “It causes a lot of relaxation of the muscle, so people that have a lot of muscle spasms” could potentially reduce the number they experience.
Dr. Herman also echoes the previously mentioned 2016 report, sharing that many patients “significantly reduce the frequency and the dosage of the other medications that they were taking once they start using the marijuana.”
People with rheumatoid arthritis, for example, typically undergo infusions of medications every six to eight weeks to manage the inflammation. Oftentimes, the frequency of these infusions are reduced by several months once they start taking medical marijuana, since it does such a good job keeping the inflammation down.
Although arthritis isn’t on the list of conditions that can be treated with medical marijuana in the state of New York, chronic pain is—and chronic pain is “a common problem for people with arthritis and other rheumatic conditions like fibromyalgia,” states the nonprofit Arthritis Foundation.
Consequently, if you’ve been officially diagnosed with chronic pain due to arthritis, you could be eligible for a medical marijuana prescription. Contact Natural Pain Solutions today to learn more.