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Cannabis & Low Back Pain | Health



Life is beautiful and it can also be painful. Chronic pain is the most common diagnosis that patients have which enables them to get a Medical Marijuana card in Arizona. Chronic pain is defined as having pain for at least three months. The Arizona Department of Health Services website:

azdhs.org lists that 88% of all certification forms received from physicians have a diagnosis of chronic pain. More specifically, out of the chronic pain diagnoses, low back pain is the most common form of pain that patients have. Low back pain changes a way a person lives. The mood can be affected by the pain leading to depression and anxiety from not being able to do physical activities which one would like to do. Sleep can be poor, due to the pain keeping one awake, which leads to an exhausted body, continuing the cycle of pain and inflammation. There are many things that can help the pain; Medical Marijuana/Cannabis is one of them.

Patients have taken over-the-counter pain relievers leading to stomach upset and they have had spine surgery, received injections, had nerves “burned” to stop the pain, been prescribed pain meds, muscle relaxers, and anti-inflammatory medications, have had countless chiropractic and physical therapy visits, have done aqua therapy, bought expensive mattresses, sleep with special pillows, have had massages, wear back braces and lumbar support, and apply lotions, patches, ice packs and heating pads to the low back in hopes of gaining a little pain relief.  But, the pain lingers. The pain is made worse by: lifting, bending, twisting, over doing it with housework/activities, standing too long, driving long distances, sitting too long, golfing, walking, lack of sleep, pregnancy, giving birth, having spine surgery to the low back and more.

Many patients who have low back pain choose to use Cannabis because it can provide pain relief. Cannabis can: take the mind away from thinking about the pain, relax the muscles and spasms and help with sleeping throughout the night without (as much) pain. Topical rubs, lotions and patches can help to soothe the muscles and relax them out of spasm.  Sometimes the Cannabis can gently “push” the mind into wanting to stretch the body and to get the body moving and loosened up. A relaxed body can feel less pain. The properties in Cannabis decrease pain, inflammation and muscle spasms.

Keeping the spine flexible with stretching and doing yoga is one of the best things to do for the spine. Massage can offer great relief as well. The back is located on the body where a person can not massage themselves effectively while being relaxed. The back needs attention given from others as well. Staying hydrated by drinking good water keeps the spinal fluid moving and flowing and keeps the spine happy.

Doctor’s Advice: Drink half your body weight in ounces per day of water. For example, a 150 lb person needs to drink: 150/2=75 ounces of water to drink everyday.

Oh, my aching back Pain, Pain, Pain You are there day and night You are there when I laugh or sleep I get cranky from the pain It makes me feel so old But like a race, I keep going slowly I ride my bicycle then ice my back at home I’ll stretch you Epsom salt bathe you Get you massaged So you’re happy I need you my dear back I have places to go and things to do with the people I love I will Take Care of You

To read more articles from Dr. Landino, click here.

Kimberly Landino

Kimberly Landino is currently practicing at All Greens Clinic in Surprise, AZ where she certifies qualifying patients to receive their Medical Marijuana card and experience the therapeutic benefit from using medical marijuana to treat their health conditions. Before this, she practiced family medicine for 16 years in Phoenix, Tempe, Flagstaff and in Tuba City on the Navajo reservation. 

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