Arthritis is a very common condition which affects more than 10 million people of all ages, throughout the UK, though it is most common in older people.
The condition causes pain and inflammation of the joints and can be debilitating if severe. There are several types of arthritis, but the most common forms are rheumatoid arthritis, which initially affects the outer covering of the joints and osteoarthritis which first affects the smooth cartilage lining of the joints.
Rarer forms of arthritis include psoriatic arthritis, lupus and others. At colder and wetter times of the year, symptoms of arthritis can be exacerbated. At Integro Medical Clinics, we are experts in helping our patients to relieve the pain of their arthritis symptoms, using cannabis medicines as a treatment option.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and affects nearly 9 million people. It generally develops post mid-40’s or later. It affects the smooth cartilage lining of the joint and makes movement painful and feel stiff. Once the cartilage lining starts to roughen and thin out, the muscles, tendons and ligaments may have to work harder, causing further swelling, inflammation and pain around the joint. Severe loss of cartilage leads to bone rubbing on bone, which alters the shape of the joint and can change the shape of the joint. You normally find this type of arthritis in hands, hips, knees and spine.
Rheumatoid arthritis affects over 400,000 people in the UK, with women 3 times more likely to be affected than men. In this type of arthritis, the body’s immune system targets the affected joint, which leads to inflammation, pain and swelling. This can lead to the weakening of cartilage and then bone, and change the joint shape, sometimes causing the direction of the fingers to drift sideways. Those who suffer rheumatoid arthritis can also develop problems with other tissues and organs. Cannabis medicines not only have an anti-inflammatory affect but in this form of arthritis they can actually rebalance the bodies endo- cannabinoid system and help manage the immune system response.
The symptoms of arthritis can vary greatly, depending on the specific type of arthritis you have. This is why it is important to get an accurate diagnosis so that we can manage your symptoms you in the most appropriate and effective way possible. Some early symptoms can be recognised as the following:
As there are several forms of arthritis, it is important to obtain an accurate diagnosis before undergoing any treatment for this condition. However, some of the commonly used arthritis medications (some of these medications can induce unpleasant side-effects) include the following:
Medical cannabis can often provide a welcome relief to the pain of arthritis and succeed when traditional treatments can fail. Various studies have concluded that cannabinoids have been able to improve the symptoms for those suffering with osteoarthritis and offer significant improvements to the quality of life. Cannabinoids offer anti-inflammatory properties which can help to reduce the symptoms of arthritis. Cannabis medicines offer significantly less side effects than many traditional medications such as opioids.
Your specific arthritis condition will be assessed during a no obligation consultation and examination, here at Integro Medical Clinics. After a thorough examination and medical history check, your clinician will make recommendations for pain management using medical cannabis, if they feel that this route will likely reduce your pain and help you to improve your quality of life.