When you have spinocerebellar ataxia, or SCA, the part of the brain responsible for muscle movement — the cerebellum — deteriorates. As the cerebellum degenerates, your body has a harder time coordinating actions involving your muscles. This results in tremors, spasms and muscle tightness. All three of these symptoms can cause pain, and it becomes chronic when your symptoms become frequent.
SCA already has debilitating properties that make functioning difficult for patients in later stages of the disease. Many patients have to go through physical or occupational therapy to enhance their independence. Pain gets in the way of recovery and daily living activities, so it’s important to find an effective treatment for SCA-related pain.
Common pain treatments often don’t work well enough or have dangerous risks. Using over-the-counter painkillers for a long time can damage organs like your kidneys and liver. Plus, patients with severe pain may not find them sufficient. And if they upgrade to stronger painkillers like opioids and narcotics, they risk becoming addicted, sometimes to the point of causing an overdose.
So, many patients turn to cannabis medicine to relieve pain effectively and safely. The marijuana plant comes in different varieties called strains, and certain strains are better at reducing pain than others. Find out what strains work best for SCA-related pain and why.
What Causes SCA-Related Pain?
Chronic pain associated with SCA can come from a few sources. Since every SCA case is unique, each patient has different symptoms, some of which directly or indirectly cause pain. SCA-related pain can be caused by:
- Falls and accidents due to coordination problems
- Muscle stiffness and tightness
- Soreness from muscle spasms
- Muscle deformities and posture issues
Because SCA can cause pain in several ways, you must treat it with an approach that has multiple angles. Fortunately, medical marijuana strains let you do just that.
Cannabis Strains for Muscle Soreness and Injury
The following strains help relieve both the pain due to injury and the soreness caused by muscle spasms:
- Harlequin: This strain tackles both pain and inflammation, letting your muscles repair themselves more easily.
- Critical Mass: Critical Mass helps muscles heal and provides a full-body high, making you feel relaxed all over.
- Blue Widow: Blue Widow reduces inflammation and pain while relieving mood issues. It promotes a sense of calm and happiness.
Spasticity-Related Pain-Relieving Strains
When pain comes from the tightness of your muscles and not as an indirect result of spasms or injury, you want to focus on relaxing your muscles. You can do that with strains like:
- Chocolate Kush: Chocolate Kush provides full-body relaxation, nipping muscle spasms in the bud — and fewer muscle spasms means less pain.
- Green Ribbon: This strain offers the best of both worlds by reducing spasticity while keeping you clear-headed.
- Northern Lights: You can find Northern Lights in dispensaries all over the country. It relaxes both the body and mind.
Creating the Perfect Treatment Plan
Thinking of medicinal cannabis as just one medicine isn’t doing it justice — instead, you should think of it as an entire medicine cabinet. You can use different strains throughout the day to enhance effectiveness and minimize side effects. Or, you can take it on an as-needed basis if your SCA symptoms come and go. Patients with multiple symptoms can focus on using strains that cover all their health problems.
Starting the Path to Relief
Interested in trying marijuana medicine to reduce your pain? There are countless medical professionals out there willing to help you get started. Booking an appointment with a cannabis-positive doctor lets you get an evaluation and written recommendation, and visiting a dispensary gives you access to safe, legal medicine under the guidance of trained staff. Search our database today to find locations near you.