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Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is defined as pain which continues for over 3 months, which would give adequate time for healing after a specific physical event or illness.

Chronic pain not only affects us physically but can have a significant impact on our mental health and general wellbeing day-to-day.

The condition can vary amongst different patients, but in some cases, chronic pain can lead to complete loss of quality of life and independence. Almost half of those who suffer with chronic pain will also experience symptoms of depression. 1 in 4 people can experience chronic and ongoing pain.

What conditions are usually associated with chronic pain?

Chronic pain can be generalised or more localised. There are numerous conditions where patients may experience chronic pain;

  • Neuropathic (pain with the nerves)
  • Fibromyalgia (pain which is widespread throughout the body)
  • Musculoskeletal (mechanical pain)
  • Chronic headache
  • Myofascial (muscles and connective tissues)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Parkinson’s
  • Back pain
  • Surgical trauma
  • Advanced cancer
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Motor Neurone Disease
  • Endometriosis
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Temporal Mandibular Disorder
  • Ehlers Danlos syndrome

What are the symptoms of chronic pain?

Symptoms of chronic pain depend on the actual cause for the discomfort. Pain may be mild, severe, continuous or come in sporadic waves. The three most common locations for chronic pain are the head, back and joints. Those who suffer with chronic pain can experience extreme psychological, social and economic detriment.

Other symptoms associated with chronic pain can include the following:

  • Burning sensations
  • Insomnia or poor sleep quality
  • Loss of stamina and flexibility, due to decreased physical activity
  • Mental health problems
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea

Are there medications to help with chronic pain?

Currently there is no one specific cure for chronic pain. Patients may try pain medicines to help with the pain but these medicines are often ineffective. Stronger pain killers such as opioids can present unpleasant side-effects and can even cause dependency and mental health issues. Cannabis medicines, however, have been found by certain patients to be incredibly helpful in the management of pain and do not cause unpleasant side effects such as constipation or mental health issues such as brain fog and have a far lower risk of dependency.

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Frequently asked questions

How can medical cannabis help with chronic pain?

Cannabis medicines are able to block the transmission of pain messages in nerves running from the brain stem to the pain centres of the brain, to reduce pain. Patients suffering from chronic pain can exhibit a significant reduction in their pain symptoms after being treated with cannabis medicines. Cannabis medicines are being put forward by medical experts as an alternative to the use of opioids and can help lead to a cumulative relief of pain. This means that fewer opiates are used and the impact of those side effects, associated with opioids are greatly reduced.

When traditional forms of medical treatment are ineffective, cannabis medicines can be an effective alternative form of symptom management, which can offer much needed relief to the patient. It not only reduces the symptoms of pain, but can help patients to enjoy a far better quality of life, regaining their independence and physical and mental strength.

Am I suitable for pain management for my chronic pain, with medical cannabis?

The cause and symptoms of your chronic pain will be assessed during a no obligation consultation and examination, here at Integro Clinic. We will identify the type of pain, severity, functional impact and context. If you experience musculoskeletal pain, you may benefit from X-rays of the affected areas. In cases of neuropathic pain, nerve conduction studies as well as electromyography may be used, to identify the nerves that are affected. After a thorough examination and medical history check, your clinician will make recommendations for pain management or other investigations, depending on the underlying cause of your chronic pain. Following this initial assessment, we can provide a plan, which may include cannabis medicines as an option for pain management, for your unique requirements.

When conventional treatments reach their limit, our work begins.

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