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Medical Marijuana and Scoliosis

What Is Scoliosis?

The human spine is a complex and unique structure that serves a number of important functions within the body. One important function of the spine is that it protects the body from the force of gravity, effectively allowing humans to walk upright by supporting the body. A normal, healthy, human spine is essentially straight when viewed from the back. Scoliosis is a medical condition that causes the spine to become curved from side to side. If viewed from the back, a person who suffers from scoliosis will have a spine that looks more like a “C’ or an “S” instead of a straight line. Scoliosis can be congenital in nature, meaning is was caused by a defect present at the time of birth. Scoliosis can also be classified as neuromuscular when caused as a secondary symptom of another condition such as spina bifida, or idiopathic, meaning the cause is unknown. Although a normal human spine can sometimes have a slight curve, any curve over ten degrees may be classified as scoliosis. Unless the curve is caused as a secondary symptom of another condition, scoliosis typically presents itself in the early teen years. Once a person has passed through puberty, small curves tend to stop progressing while significant curves tend to worsen from that point on. Symptoms of scoliosis include uneven leg length or musculature on one side of the spine, a prominent rib or shoulder blade, and slow nerve action. Traditional treatment for scoliosis depends largely on the severity of the condition. Smaller curves may call for observation as well as physical, occupational and chiropractic therapy while more severe curves often require bracing or surgery. The human spine is a complex and unique structure that serves a number of important functions within the body. One important function of the spine is that it protects the body from the force of gravity, effectively allowing humans to walk upright by supporting the body. A normal, healthy, human spine is essentially straight when viewed from the back. Scoliosis is a medical condition that causes the spine to become curved from side to side. If viewed from the back, a person who suffers from scoliosis will have a spine that looks more like a “C’ or an “S” instead of a straight line. Scoliosis can be congenital in nature, meaning is was caused by a defect present at the time of birth. Scoliosis can also be classified as neuromuscular when caused as a secondary symptom of another condition such as spina bifida, or idiopathic, meaning the cause is unknown. Although a normal human spine can sometimes have a slight curve, any curve over ten degrees may be classified as scoliosis. Unless the curve is caused as a secondary symptom of another condition, scoliosis typically presents itself in the early teen years. Once a person has passed through puberty, small curves tend to stop progressing while significant curves tend to worsen from that point on. Symptoms of scoliosis include uneven leg length or musculature on one side of the spine, a prominent rib or shoulder blade, and slow nerve action.Traditional treatment for scoliosis depends largely on the severity of the condition. Smaller curves may call for observation as well as physical, occupational and chiropractic therapy while more severe curves often require bracing or surgery.

Medical Marijuana and Scoliosis

Scoliosis and Medical Marijuana Use
Not surprisingly, scoliosis can be painful for the sufferer. The more severe the curve of the spine, the more painful the condition may be and the more the condition may interfere with daily activities and enjoyment of life. Traditional treatment calls for therapy, bracing or surgery -- all of which may increase the pain level in the short run. In addition, all traditional treatment methods may cause additional inflammation within the spinal column and surrounding ligament and muscle systems. Anti-inflammatory medications, as well as opiate based medications, are frequently prescribed for scoliosis patients; however, opiate based pain medications carry a high risk of developing a dependency as well as a host of other potentially negative side effects. Medical marijuana is an option for scoliosis patients that offers both anti-inflammatory and pain relief benefits without the negative side effects of some traditionally prescribed medications.
Scoliosis  and Medical Marijuana: Clinical Evidence
The benefits of medical marijuana as a pain relief alternative have been well studied by the scientific community. Numerous studies have looked at the use of medical marijuana as a pain relief medication and found the effects of ingesting or inhaling marijuana to be a legitimate and effective pain relief option. A recent study also looked at the addition of medical marijuana to a pain relief regimen that included opiate based pain medications and found that the addition of medical marijuana allowed patients to reduce their consumption of opiate based medications in 27 percent of the patients while maintaining the same level of pain relief. Another recent study also looked at the ability of medical marijuana to help sufferers with chronic pain. In that study, patients who smoked three marijuana cigarettes a day reported a 34 percent reduction in pain compared to those who did not ingest medical marijuana.
For a scoliosis sufferer, chronic pain is often a way of life. Although bracing and/or surgery may eventually go a long way toward correcting the curve, the pain associated with walking and functioning with a curved spine may be part of daily life for years. In addition, the treatment meant to correct the problem often increases the pain level in the process of attempting to correct the problem. Whether before, during or after traditional treatment, medical marijuana may be useful to help combat the pain of a scoliosis sufferer.
Along with combating the chronic pain associated with scoliosis, medical marijuana may be useful as an anti-inflammatory drug. Along with its pain relief properties, medical marijuana also contains Cannabidiol, or CBD, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. The CBD found in medical marijuana, therefore, can also help to reduce the inflammation caused by the curving of the spine and/or treatments that are aimed at straightening the spine.

Scoliosis and Medical Marijuana Use

Not surprisingly, scoliosis can be painful for the sufferer. The more severe the curve of the spine, the more painful the condition may be and the more the condition may interfere with daily activities and enjoyment of life. Traditional treatment calls for therapy, bracing or surgery -- all of which may increase the pain level in the short run. In addition, all traditional treatment methods may cause additional inflammation within the spinal column and surrounding ligament and muscle systems. Anti-inflammatory medications, as well as opiate based medications, are frequently prescribed for scoliosis patients; however, opiate based pain medications carry a high risk of developing a dependency as well as a host of other potentially negative side effects. Medical marijuana is an option for scoliosis patients that offers both anti-inflammatory and pain relief benefits without the negative side effects of some traditionally prescribed medications.

Scoliosis  and Medical Marijuana: Clinical Evidence

The benefits of medical marijuana as a pain relief alternative have been well studied by the scientific community. Numerous studies have looked at the use of medical marijuana as a pain relief medication and found the effects of ingesting or inhaling marijuana to be a legitimate and effective pain relief option. A recent study also looked at the addition of medical marijuana to a pain relief regimen that included opiate based pain medications and found that the addition of medical marijuana allowed patients to reduce their consumption of opiate based medications in 27 percent of the patients while maintaining the same level of pain relief. Another recent study also looked at the ability of medical marijuana to help sufferers with chronic pain. In that study, patients who smoked three marijuana cigarettes a day reported a 34 percent reduction in pain compared to those who did not ingest medical marijuana.

For a scoliosis sufferer, chronic pain is often a way of life. Although bracing and/or surgery may eventually go a long way toward correcting the curve, the pain associated with walking and functioning with a curved spine may be part of daily life for years. In addition, the treatment meant to correct the problem often increases the pain level in the process of attempting to correct the problem. Whether before, during or after traditional treatment, medical marijuana may be useful to help combat the pain of a scoliosis sufferer.Along with combating the chronic pain associated with scoliosis, medical marijuana may be useful as an anti-inflammatory drug. Along with its pain relief properties, medical marijuana also contains Cannabidiol, or CBD, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. The CBD found in medical marijuana, therefore, can also help to reduce the inflammation caused by the curving of the spine and/or treatments that are aimed at straightening the spine.

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