Treating Sciatica With Medical Marijuana and the Best Strains For It.
Sciatica, which is also medically known as lumbar radiculopathy refers to pain that radiates from the sciatica nerve right through to the lower back, buttocks and legs. Sciatica typically affects only one side of the body and it commonly occurs when a herniated disk, bone spur on the spine or narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis) compresses part of the nerve.
In rare cases, the nerve could also be compressed by a tumor or even damaged by a disease such as diabetes. When this happens, the result is usually pain, numbness as well as inflammation of the affected leg.
The main symptom of Sciatica is pain that radiates from the lower (lumbar) spine to the buttocks and down the back of the leg. The pain may be excruciating, sharp, a burning sensation or even a mild ache. Sometimes, the pain could also feel like a jolt or electric shock. Sufferers of Sciatica may also feel discomfort anywhere along the nerve pathway. Sufferers may also experience numbness, or muscle weakness in the affected leg or foot.
The risk factors for Sciatica include getting older, obesity, prolonged sitting, occupations that require twisting the back or carrying heavy loads as well certain medical conditions such as diabetes.
Although many patients eventually recover from Sciatica, the condition could as well result in a permanent nerve damage in some patients. Most cases of Sciatica resolve within a few weeks with the help of non-operative treatments including, certain medications, steroid injections and physical therapies. More severe cases that are associated with significant leg weakness or bowel or bladder changes often require a surgery.
Treating Sciatica with Medical Cannabis
Can cannabis help treat Sciatica?
Over the years, some researchers have linked medical marijuana in the treatment of Sciatica. The reason is that medical marijuana has been reported to be effective in treating pain. According to a study that was published in the September 5, 2018, online issue of Neurology, medical marijuana could be effective in treating chronic nerve pain. The researchers of this study opined that medical marijuana could act as a pain relief, by reducing the connections between the areas of the brain that process emotions and sensory signals. It is also worthy to note that this study looked specifically at radicular pain, which is a type of pain that radiates from the spine into the legs. Sciatica is a common example of radicular pain.
It is apparent that nerve pain can be difficult to treat and opioids have been commonly prescribed. Opioid drugs are known to have adverse side effects, including addiction and fatal overdose. This explains why a research paper that was published in the Harm Reduction Journal recommended that physicians should evaluate patients who are being treated with opioid for a medical cannabis trial. Similarly, according to another article that was published in the Journal of Opioid Management, medical cannabis could also be used alongside opioid. Such a treatment combination will make it possible for the patients to consume lower doses of opioids to manage their pain.
Moreover, medical marijuana has equally been reported to be effective in treating inflammation, which is one of the symptoms of Sciatica. According to one study that was published in the European Journal of Pain, CBD, a compound in the cannabis plant was reported to be effective in treating inflammation as well as pain. Although this study didn’t focus on inflammation caused by Sciatica, it can equally be used as a basis for more investigations on the subject.
It is clear that very little research has been done on the effectiveness of medical marijuana in treating Sciatica. Thus, there is a need for pharmaceutical companies to carry out an elaborate study in a bid to obtain accurate information on the exact extent to which medical marijuana can treat Sciatica and whether or not this treatment option could result in adverse side effects in the long run.
The Best Marijuana Strains for Sciatica
How To Get a Med Marijuana Card for Sciatica
If you are a resident of a legal state and want medical marijuana to help treat Sciatica or other medical conditions, you will first need to consult with a certified doctor in order to get your med card.
To get started, simply fill out the MMJ patient registration form, press submit and a physician or clinic representative will contact you as available.