Arachnoiditis is a chronic condition characterized by pain. Because of this, the disorder leads to many difficulties and can even result in permanent disability. Living with intractable pain can also cause other health complications, such as depression and sleeping problems, among others.
Most treatments for arachnoiditis deal with the pain that comes with the disorder. The condition has no cure, so doctors attempt to help their patients live pain-free lives. Unfortunately, conventional treatments are unable to deal with the other health and psychological issues that arise.
Many patients with arachnoiditis are finding relief from medical marijuana. Compared to the prescription narcotics used to treat the condition, cannabis is a safer alternative. It’s relatively non-addictive and has less severe side effects. Because arachnoiditis is chronic and incurable, many patients find themselves hooked on pain medicine. Medical marijuana allows patients to get off these pills and live fuller lives free from unwanted side effects.
Another benefit of using cannabis as a treatment for arachnoiditis is that it can treat other symptoms that accompany the condition. These are complications that other medications are unable to address. If you have this debilitating disorder, it’s time to learn how medical marijuana could improve the quality of your life.
Cause and Symptoms of Arachnoiditis
Arachnoiditis is caused by inflammation of the arachnoid membrane due to injury, infection, compression of spinal nerves or complications from a spinal procedure. This membrane protects the spinal cord. When inflammation occurs, it can irritate these clustered nerves and cause other complications, such as:
- Formation of scar tissue
- Nerve malfunction
- Spinal nerves sticking together
Because of this, arachnoiditis usually presents itself as intractable pain. The types of symptoms vary depending on the patient. If the condition continues, most patients display at least a few of the following:
- Stinging or burning
- Shooting pain
- Numbness or tingling in arms or legs
- Spasms and cramping
- Problems with neurological functions
- Loss of mobility
- Joint pain
- Anxiety or depression
- Sleeping issues
Managing Arachnoiditis Symptoms With Medical Marijuana
There is no cure for arachnoiditis, and though current medications address the pain aspect of the disorder, they don’t help the related issues, such as the emotional and sleep issues. Medical marijuana is proving to be an effective treatment for arachnoiditis because not only does it help treat the nerve — or neuropathic — pain, but it also helps many other complications that arise.
The main reason medical marijuana is effective for a variety of conditions is because the compounds present in the plant mimic receptors in our endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is a series of receptors that are found throughout our body. The ECS influences everything from sensations of pain to digestion to emotional health and much more.
When disorders like arachnoiditis affect our health, the ECS is unable to function optimally. Cannabinoids, the compounds in cannabis like CBD and THC, mimic receptors in the ECS and help the brain and body with certain physiological and psychological issues.
That’s why, although medical marijuana is an extremely effective pain reliever, it can be used for so many applications. For arachnoiditis patients, it can be used to aid:
- Nausea: By calming the digestive system and increasing appetite
- Muscle Spasms: By releasing tension and allowing muscles to relax
- Depression: By boosting the energy and providing a positive outlook
- Anxiety: By calming and de-stressing a patient’s emotions
- Insomnia: By providing relaxation and causing sleepiness
If you have arachnoiditis and would like to pursue cannabis treatments, speak to your doctor first. They know your unique circumstances and can help you make an informed decision. For more information about medical marijuana contact a marijuana-certified doctor near you or reach out to a local dispensary.