Page Updated on Nov 27, 2019 by Dr. Reyfman (Pain Management Specialist) of Pain Physicians NY

Medical cannabis is marijuana that’s prescribed by a physician to treat a host of conditions, including pain. Pain Physicians NY is New York City’s answer for all things related to medical marijuana and its various uses. If you suffer from chronic neck, back, shoulder or hip pain, you may be able to find relief through medical cannabis. Your pain doctor can explain in detail how the drug may save you from an addictive bout with opioids.

As states continue to grapple with legalizing medical cannabis, it may be hard to believe that marijuana has been used to treat ailments and infirmaries for about 3,000 years. In spite of the fact that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still has not acknowledged the effectiveness of marijuana for treating medical conditions, people who’ve received medical cannabis treatment are more than happy to tell you how it has greatly improved their overall quality of life.

One of the main applications where this type of treatment is having the largest impact is pain management. More than 25 million adults in the United States are plagued by some form of chronic pain, such as back pain. Because living each day in pain is oppressive, chronic pain is often accompanied by bouts of severe depression.

A Beacon for All Who Suffer

One of the worst parts of living with chronic pain is the sometimes-ineffective methods of traditional treatment accompanied by the highly addictive and potentially deadly nature of opioids. Tens of thousands of people die from opioid overdoses each year and the already staggering statistics continue to climb. Additional conventional treatment methods include:

As more states continue the trend of medical marijuana legalization, it appears that medical cannabis may quite possibly be a feasible means of combating the opioid problem in this country. An encouraging number of people are responding favorably to treating their pain with marijuana instead of opioids. Aside from their potential to turn toxic, opioids have a number of negative side-effects, including:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Constipation
  • Erectile dysfunction

The Nature of the Beast

Pain can spring from multiple sources and manifest in a number of ways. Your New York City pain management team may try a host of alternative treatments, from the least to most invasive, including medical cannabis, when appropriate. Conditions that seem to respond remarkably well to medical marijuana include:

  • Pain caused by inflammation or tissue damage
  • Pain due to malfunction or damage to your nervous system
  • Spasticity that results from multiple sclerosis

Traditional pain management methods that revolve mostly around opioids carry a significant number of risks and pitfalls. Attempting to reduce your intake of pain medication or detoxing entirely should only be done with the benefit of medical supervision.

Marijuana’s Not a One-Trick Pony

More comprehensive reports continue to surface that champion the use of medical cannabis. It turns out there are several conditions that are benefiting from medical cannabis already, such as:

  • Addiction to drugs and alcoholism
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Epilepsy
  • Several types of arthritis
  • Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ)
  • Headaches
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • HIV/AIDS related pain
  • Pain from injury
  • Sciatica

As interest and research continue to mount, a more complete picture of how medical cannabis serves to drastically reduce the adverse symptoms of these conditions emerges.

Not All Created Equal

Treatment methods can get a little confusing. So, having the medical knowledge of professionals to help explain your options is vital to your successful treatment. Different strains of marijuana have different chemical compositions. And each method of administration or delivery can affect you differently. Some of the more popular methods are:

  • Smoking
  • Vaporization
  • Consumption through:
    • Infused food, called edibles
    • Tinctures
    • Ingestible oils
    • Pills or suppositories
  • Topical delivery via:
    • Lotions or oils applied to and absorbed through your skin
    • Transdermal patches

In these early stages of legalization, a bit of trial and error may be necessary to determine what works best for you. Obviously, proper dosage is also important. Most medical professionals agree that less is more. Low to moderate doses have proven highly effective for management of chronic pain. And there have been reports of higher doses actually making pain worse. Many pain specialists recommend indica strains to treat pain because it contains more THC than sativa or hybrid strains.

Start Spreading the News

New York State is one of the latest to make legal allowances for medical cannabis. New legislation went into effect on March 22, 2017. It’s important for medical users to follow legal guidelines and medical instruction.

Patients in New York have the luxury of applying for their medical marijuana card from the privacy of their own home. But consulting qualified and knowledgeable professionals is always the best way to ensure that your unique and specific needs are met. Pain Physicians NY has convenient locations in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan for your convenience. The path to pain relief starts with a single step. Call for an appointment today.