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Chronic Pain

  • December 27, 2022

Chronic non-malignant pain, as the name implies, is a pain which is of non-cancerous origin and persists for longer than three months. Chronic non-malignant pain is a worldwide concern that affects productivity and quality of life.  It includes conditions like low back pain, neuropathic pain, headache, osteoarthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis. (https://journals.lww.com/pain/Fulltext/2015/06000/A_classification_of_chronic_pain_for_ICD_11.6.aspx)

It is believed that chronic non-malignant pain costs billions of dollars every year in lost wages and healthcare expenses. Patients with these types of chronic pains usually suffer for countless years; they keep on visiting many doctors from various subspecialties, and become annoyed, embarrassed, and often disheartened. In addition to physical issues, chronic pain is triggered by psychological and socio-cultural issues. (https://journals.lww.com/journalofchristiannursing/Fulltext/2019/01000/Treating_Chronic_Nonmalignant_Pain__Evidence_and.11.aspx)

The primary management therapies for non-malignant chronic pain involve the use of analgesics. The chief aims of such therapies are to improve the quality of life, health issues, and to educate the patient on how to understand and tackle pain. The strongest pain medications currently are narcotics, and they have the potential for side effects as well as causing addiction. Besides medical treatment, certain surgical procedures to cope with pain are also advised for some patients. However, despite medication therapy and procedures, many patients still remain unsuccessful in getting rid of their pain,thus, engendering frustration.

Patients can turn to alternative therapies like marijuana. It offers not only symptomatic relief but also plays a positive role in patients’ insight and their way of dealing with pain. Marijuana does so by its function of removing apprehensive and negative sentiments associated with pain. (https://www.hindawi.com/journals/prm/2021/8857948/)

More recently, a review has documented the analgesic, anxiolytic, and anti-inflammatory activities of marijuana. It provides evidence supporting thepossible use of marijuana for the management of chronic pain. (https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2018.01259/full)