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Severe Back/Neck Pain - Medical Marijuana Help?

moonbeammmoonbeam Posts: 1
edited 04/05/2014 - 6:27 AM in Pain Medications
Has anyone had relief from severe chronic neck, shoulder, thorasic and lumbar pain, using medical marijuana?



  • I recommend that you check out these two recent threads and also use the search box at the top of the page and look for some older threads.



  • I will often use an Indica strain of marijuana for neck pain caused by degenerative disc disease, arthritis and several car wrecks. I am 51 years old. My neck pain causes migraine headaches as well.
    The marijuana works quite well for the pain and I recommend it if you can tolerate it. Do yourself a favor and read up on some of the side effects first. Marijuana takes a little "getting used to." I prefer to take cannabis oil over smoking it though as the oil seems to work better and last longer. But I often will smoke it with good results. Sometimes, if the pain is really bad (usually the migraine) the marijuana alone will not work and I will take an OTC with it. Never needed a narcotic or prescription muscle relaxer since using the marijuana though. Good luck.
  • needs to discuss the use of "MM" with their doctor PRIOR to smoking or using it.......otherwise, you can find yourself dismissed from pain management if you don't get an okay prior to using.
    While some states have recently allowed MM , many pm practices have policies in place that do not allow for any use of illegal narcotics and the use of "MM" is still illegal according to the federal government, which supercedes any state laws. So, if you use and have not obtained permission from your provider, you can be and most likely will be dismissed.
  • JMB said:
    I will often use an Indica strain of marijuana for neck pain caused by degenerative disc disease, arthritis and several car wrecks. I am 51 years old. My neck pain causes migraine headaches as well.

    The marijuana works quite well for the pain and I recommend it if you can tolerate it. Do yourself a favor and read up on some of the side effects first. Marijuana takes a little "getting used to." I prefer to take cannabis oil over smoking it though as the oil seems to work better and last longer. But I often will smoke it with good results. Sometimes, if the pain is really bad (usually the migraine) the marijuana alone will not work and I will take an OTC with it. Never needed a narcotic or prescription muscle relaxer since using the marijuana though. Good luck.
    I've applied for my mm card in my state, but I haven't ventured too far into the "finding the goods" part and it looks complicated. My question for you is about cost, cost of cannabis oil, how much do you need to use, and do you build up a resistance over time causing one to have to use more as time goes on? I am so over Norco and not even thinking about venturing into Oxy or opioid patches as suggested by the doc. All of them are killers in their own way and I don't find they really help to get me out of pain and more mobile. I'm 64 and I'm going for the cannabis as a last resort; I will not live on, or die from, opioids! . My pain doc has done two epidurals and three lumber facet blocks The epidural for my neck worked, but not much lasing luck on anything else. Steroids seem to work really well, but that's a whole other poison I'm not going to take. Any information on cannabis strains and oil will be appreciated Thanks!
  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 04/16/2014 - 1:22 AM
    Post edited after reading Sandi's link and Dumbledore's comments - looking at addiction from another viewpoint. I had no idea how addictive Kratom is.

    You only get mildly physically addicted to cannabis. Any addiction issues are psychological. There are mild physical withdrawal symptoms from long term use. Some cannabis has other addictive substances mixed into it.

    Make sure you get the medical strain if trying it. Any other strains could heighten your senses and make your pain worse.

    There is another substance which is legal in the USA called Kratom. (Sandi's post pointed out it is not legal in all States). It is a natural herbal plant - so is cannabis. Kratom. Some people on the site have used it and reported good results.

    EDIT - below I have put the effects of Kratom. It is illegal where I live so had never heard of it before the people on SH started discussing it was good for pain. I have now researched the substance and copied the information below for anyone who wants to follow up.
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,269
    edited 04/15/2014 - 11:04 AM
    Natural does NOT mean that it is safe or without significant side effects. It also has no legitimate medical purpose in the US
  • I have a friend your age who has tried medical marijuana for the same reason. First you need to be aware that many pain management doctors do not approve of its use. If you're in PM & have signed a contract you need to consider this. She simply went to one of the marijuana 'clinics' & explained her situation. They were very helpful & recommended a special 'pain blend'. She finds it helpful particularly with relaxation & sleep.

    Kratom is a very different thing. Please reaserch this before you consider it's use. There are some very bad stories in the UK where they are pushing to have it banned.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • edited 04/15/2014 - 1:06 PM
    When I tried MM years ago I only found it helpful only in that the 'high' makes you spacey and distracts you from the pain, in that sense it worked pretty well.

    So I didn't find any direct pain killing properties aside from the distraction part of it, then again I think distractions provide some of the best pain relief, I just prefer non-drug distractions, i.e. family, friends, work, hobbies, movies, TV, reading.

    Ultimately, to me, the side effects(the high, drowsiness, trouble socializing) were not worth the relief(which was little, in my experience). Though opiods are considered and are in fact, more 'heavy duty' drugs, I still find I'm much more functional, in both pain relief and clarity of mind, on prescription meds than I was on MM. Then again everyone is different so don't take my word as bible, the previous poster seems to have a very positive reaction.

    Also I've heard some people have had great results with relief from muscle spasms, I think the chemical CBD may have to do with this and as opposed to THC, CBD is supposedly non psychoactive. I'm definitely interested in more scientific research into this as I've heard this chemical has done wonders for people suffering from severe epilepsy and MS related muscle spasms.

    Anyone have any more info specifically regarding muscle spasms and MM?

    I've been interested in the idea of this lately as I'm currently bedridden with a flare up of muscle spasms.
  • edited 04/15/2014 - 1:07 PM
    As to the marijuana is not addictive argument, I beg to differ.

    , I beg to differ. I believe it is indeed physically addictive, though very mildly. In my town(Coastal California) there is and was an abundance of 'stoners' growing up, so I'm quite familiar with the plant. Many of the heavy smokers who I knew that quit cold turkey had insomnia and a weak appetite for the first few day to couple weeks after quitting. I believe an australian study recently confirmed this.

    Besides, my argument for physical addiction aside, psychological addiction is still something to take seriously, after all cocaine isn't physically addicting either yet that doesn't mean you can't get seriously addicted to it. I've personally seen first hand the effects of marijuana addiction and while it isn't life threatening, it still can be very detrimental, I've had one to many 'burnout' friends because of the drug. But, from what I've see it takes many months fir people to start to get seriously addicted to the drug so the addiction seems very slow building and also the majority of people don't seem to develop an addiction at all whatsoever. If you're using it in a clinical sense I would think psychological addiction is even further unlikely.

    The reason I'm saying all this is not because I'm against medical marijuana or even recreational marijuana, in fact, I'm pro legalisation, but I think it's important to be realistic about the facts as well. It's an issue that is very blindly polarized, conservatives demonize it but liberals also idolize the drug when in fact the truth lies in between.
  • You are quite right. I did some more research. It can have a weak physical addiction. So addiction is difficult to define - a gambling addict does not have physical withdrawal symptoms. I totally agree with you a psychological addiction - smoking for one, can do as much damage as a physical addiction.

    The truth does lie somewhere in between.

    I guess my response was a gut response as I know a few people who tell me they are addicted to maryjane, and need to smoke it every day to be 'normal'. I have lent them money when I have caved in at times. I have never seen the money again.

    People have borrowed money which I later found out was for gambling, alcohol and heroin. It is strange that I understood gambling addiction, nicotine, herion and alcohol addiction but never thought of MJ as addictive.

    I agree psychological addiction can be just as harmful as physical addiction. I was looking at it from an extremely narrow viewpoint. Thank you for expanding the definition of addiction. I find it interesting, on reflection, that I had related to and accepted so many other physical and psychological addictions but had never classed MJ in that category.
  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 04/16/2014 - 1:29 AM
    Sandi I had never heard of Kratom until people were talking about it on this site. I had no idea it was so addictive. I live in Australia where it is illegal. I copied the effects below on the link you gave me so other people like me are aware of the side effects and potential addictive qualities of Kratom..

    'Pharmacology studies show that mitragynine has opioid-like activity in animals. It inhibits electrically stimulated ileum and vas deferens smooth muscle contraction. Through actions on centrally located opioid receptor, it inhibits gastric secretion and reduces pain response.

    Kratom has been described as producing both stimulant and sedative effects. At low doses, it produces stimulant effects, with users reporting increased alertness, physical energy, talkativeness and sociable behavior. At high doses, opiate effects are produced, in addition to sedative and euphoric effects. Effects occur within 5 to 10 minutes after ingestion and last for 2 to 5 hours.

    Acute side effects include nausea, itching, sweating, dry mouth, constipation, increased urination, and loss of appetite.

    Kratom consumption can lead to addiction. In a study of Thai kratom addicts, it was observed that some addicts chewed kratom daily for 3 to 30 years (mean of 18.6 years).

    Long-term use of kratom produced anorexia, weight loss, insomnia, skin darkening, dry mouth, frequent urination, and constipation. A withdrawal syndrome was observed, consisting of symptoms of hostility, aggression, emotional lability, wet nose,achy muscles and bones, and jerky movement of the limbs. Furthermore, several cases of kratom psychosis were observed, where kratom addicts exhibited psychotic symptoms that included hallucinations, delusion and confusion. '

    Quoted from
    Drug Enforcement Administration
    Office of Diversion Control
    Drug & Chemical Evaluation Section
    January 2013
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,269
    edited 04/16/2014 - 4:54 AM
    is that someone comes across the praises of some "miracle " to cure pain or some other malady, and takes what they read as gospel.......the issue with that, is that a little research/investigation provides much more information and a better balanced reference to the supposed "cures/miracles" .
    Kratom first hit the internet a few years ago as a means for those addicts to avoid withdrawal by using kratom to avoid withdrawal symptoms until they got their new supply of their DOC-( drug of choice), and someone posted about how it also relieved some of their pain, so it started hitting the various forums as a new option for pain .......and it was marketed on various websites as being a "natural alternative" to manage symptoms of pain, muscle spasms etc etc, nausea from chemo, etc you name it , it is the wonder cure...
    Sadly enough people have died from it, used in low doses it acts much as amphetamines do, used in larger doses, it acts as benzodiazepenes and opiates do, and for extended periods of time, it appears to mimic methamphetamine in it's use profile of outcomes with the psychosis, paranoia.....so that's why I cautioned that natural does not equal safe........

  • Sandi when people were last talking about Kratom it was about an article from 'Forbes' online. I believed Forbes to be a respected source.

    I am surprised the journalist who wrote for Forbes wouldn't have researched the addictive qualities of Kratom. and covered the other side. Just shows you can't believe everything you read even in a 'so called' respected source as Forbes.
  • to Forbes, but that is taking the poster's word that that is where they saw the article.......honestly, we don't know anyone is who they say they are, or that sources are valid unless there is an external link, so anyone can say, anything, but that doesn't necessarily make it true.
  • One of the big problems with getting information from the web is people rarely look at the dates that things were written. Remember there was a time when the greatest minds believed the world was flat!
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Yes, you are right, and of course, most of the websites talking about Kratom are the ones who are selling it ( vendors) or drug abuse forums, and now a few of the less reputable websites . Remember, anyone can buy advertising space in any magazine as long as they have the money to pay for it.......so , as we have said, check into things for yourself, and do your research before you buy into the latest and greatest miracle you read about.......
  • Sandi

    I did check and read the the source data. Too many years at Uni taught me to research source documents. It was in Forbes on line, that is why I thought it would be reliable. In a way it was reliable evidence as the author tested it on himself but it was one sided. He only spoke about what happened to him, no side effects etc but didn't talk about the down side and addiction.

    Therefore the article was truthful as far as his experience went, but he did not go deeper into the addictive qualities of Kratom. I thought he should have, if he was reporting in a balanced way. After I read and reread his article I was convinced it was a reliable painkiller, it does mimic opiods in large quantities but has all the consequences of opiod dependence, which I believe he should have mentioned.

    I actually wonder why they do not use it medically as a pain killer as the dependence qualities are about the same as any opiod?
    It is less expensive than opiods so I wonder if any medical research has been conducted on using it medicinally as it seems a less expensive option?

    It is illegal in Australia so it doesn't make any difference to me. I can't use it even if I did all the research.

    Thank you for the link Sandi - I would never have known the downside if you had not passed on the link.
  • I like to make sure that members have as much information about this stuff as possible, if I can locate it......
  • davidboyddavidboy Posts: 2
    edited 07/07/2014 - 8:36 AM
    Hello guys,

    I am glad I found this thread as I am in a very similar situation. I am a 27 year old without health insurance and am considering medical marijuana for:

    -Migraine which I get very sporadically on the left of my head
    -Neck pain from hitting head first into a wall running full speed last October (which has improved the first 5 months but still getting same level of pain the past 4; I feel the pain whenever I look up)

    I have scheduled a consultation with a chiropractitioner for Wednesday and want to know if I should ask him about marijuana use. Are there prescription drugs that a chiropractor would suggest using before so? It seems that MM may be safer than these drugs (especially in non-smoking/combustion methods).
  • I wouldn't suggest that a chiropractor is the doctor you need to see. A neurologist would be a better choice. Most chiropractors can not write prescriptions in most states nor issue a medical marijuana card to my knowledge.
    A chiropractor is also not a diagnostician, and if you have any neck or spine issues , they can worsen a problem if they do adjustments without knowing what may be causing the pain.http://www.spine-health.com/forum/announcements/spine-health-announcements/welcome-message-resource
  • I have a friend who smoked marijuana for his chronic pain and he told me that he literally felt like his nerves were going numb. His normal prescribed pain med narcotics could not help his nerve pain but when he smoked, within about 20 to 30 minutes his pain would be gone. He would only smoke in the evenings and only if he had the nerve pain. He would sleep like a log those nights. He is in Michigan where it is legal in that state.
  • allowing the use of MM, each person needs to check with their personal medical provider regarding whether or not they will allow it's use. Not doing so, can and most likely will result in being dismissed from pain management if you don't.
    Opiates are not meant to treat neuropathic pain. They are meant to treat acute and chronic mechanical pain. Neuropathic pain medications are used to treat nerve related pain.
  • sandi said:
    allowing the use of MM, each person needs to check with their personal medical provider regarding whether or not they will allow it's use. Not doing so, can and most likely will result in being dismissed from pain management if you don't.

    Opiates are not meant to treat neuropathic pain. They are meant to treat acute and chronic mechanical pain. Neuropathic pain medications are used to treat nerve related pain.
    Marijuana is not an opiate. There are alternative drugs which include opiates though. It would be helpful to have somebody qualified to help answer my question.

    Also, I'm not in a pain management program so it doesn't affect me. At the end of the day, I just want to feel better.
  • Davidboy. Of course my first advise would be to see a qualified specialist (board certified spine surgeon) for your neck pain but I completely understand how lack of insurance effects available care in the USA. please don't allow a chiropractor to do adjustments on you. I know of people who have had serious damage done which has resulted in emergency fusions. Even with insurance that's the last thing anyone wants! Even a chiropractor has told me that with physical damage to my spine I should NEVER have an adjustment.

    We can only give our opinions & personal experience. No-one here is a medical proffesional who can give you a "qualified" answer. I've done extensive research on the subject of MM & in my opinion (just an opinion) I would gave it a try...as long as you're not breaking any laws. It's my understanding that if you don't have a history of mental illness (particularly schizophrenia) yourself or in your family it's highly unlikely that you will have any long term negative consequences (based on things I've read). Positive results, particularly migraine, are well documented. If nothing else, it's ability to relax you & take your mind off of your pain could help.
    You probably know about the barriers to research & the politics behind MM. In my opinion it's a shame. I think there could be some very positive uses for MM & the chemicals it contains. I do not believe its a 'magic bullet' or the cure-all that some claim. If I didn't have medical options & lived in a legal state I would try it. It's pretty expensive though. I don't know how it would compare financially to pain management. Some meds, particularly generics are reasonably priced. It's a choice only you can make. Best of luck & please let us know how you get on if you do try it.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • "Even a chiropractor has told me that with physical damage to my spine I should NEVER have an adjustment."

    Good advice. I don't know why chiropractors are even legal. So many of them are out and out sheisters. They kill people too, especially when they mess with necks.

    A friend of mine has even much worse back-nerve damage problems than I do, and he uses med mar., which is legal here. He said it helps him, but just temporarily.
  • neuropathic pain was not directed at you David, it was to the previous poster Ksokol, who said that their friend was not getting relief from using opiates to treat nerve pain.
    I am aware that MM is not an opiate.
  • Willy. Before I became pregnant 5 years ago I worked so hard. I treated my body like an incubator! I spent YEARS researching ways of controlling my pain with natural things that wouldn't hurt my baby. when I was 7 months along I visited a new doctor for a flu shot.... It was the year that swine flu first started & none of my docs had the shot. I was told to go anywhere that had them. Before I knew what was happening this GP (DO) had me on his table & adjusted me. I collapsed in the car park!! I've been in blinding agony ever since. The end of my pregnancy was a nightmare & I was very, very strongly told to take narcotic meds because the new pain he caused was so damaging to me & my baby. It's not just chiropractors that do 'adjustments' without knowing what's wrong with the patient!! I've been adjusted by a sports medicine specialist who caused excruciating pain too.

    I'm talking about when they do things like bend your leg out & tell you to keep pushing up as they try to push it down etc. ugh!!

    Now if a doc asks me to get on the table I find out exactly what they're going to do before I let them touch me. I've been 'caught' too many times now.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • " I've been in blinding agony ever since."

    Dear EngGirl - I'm so sorry to hear that! How awful.

    I've had this numbness and nerve pain in one leg and foot since something unknown (some theories but nothing certain) abruptly hit me in Feb. One of the pain clinics I went to, after two additional epidural shots in my spine (I've had four - with zero effect), dismissed me and sent me to a back surgeon to consult with (he said I don't need surgery because my strength is normal) and a physical therapist. The latter manipulated my back - and that's when my back pain started.
  • Ugh! It took me 3 tries to get a FANTASTIC physical therapist. He studied my diagnostic reports & went through the exercises I had been doing with the others with a red pen, drawing a line through all the moves I should never be doing! To be honest I'd already worked out the things that were causing additional pain. I learnt that my original prescription just said "herniation L5 S1" he said that bone-on-bone & 'Modic changes', bone spurs etc mean certain moves just put stress on my spine. He's really into manipulating his little models to show me what certain actions are doing to my spine.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Glad that you found a good phys. ther., EG. What exercises have you found that agree with you? I'm doing my very best to maintain my physical strength through all this, but like most people in this predicament I'm putting on weight because I lay around so very much now.

    I've been thinking things over and I may have given my phys ther - a nice guy - a bad rap, blaming him for hurting my back, because it just dawned on me that my back starting hurting badly at the time I started the Gabapentin drug...continued on the Gaba thread.
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