A holistic approach as an alternative or addition to prescription drugs is the use of cannabinoids. These are the chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. The two most commonly used resins from the plant are marijuana and CBD. Marijuana is the part of the plant that contains THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and causes the user to feel “high.” CBD is the non-psychoactive component of the plant. Both substances have been used for centuries for healing and relieving symptoms for a wide variety of diseases, illnesses, and injuries.
The best treatment is a team approach. Individuals with spinal cord injuries often remain in hospitals and rehabilitation centers for extended periods. The care providers involved may include medical doctors, physiatrists, rehabilitation nurses, physical and occupational therapists, rehabilitation psychiatrists, dieticians, recreation therapists, and social workers. Ongoing care helps to prevent any secondary problems. Sitting or lying in one position may cause pressure ulcers and blood clots, bowel & bladder issues, respiratory infections, and muscle weakness.
Experimental treatments are another option used to alleviate symptoms and improve recovery. According to the American Academy of Neurology, a new treatment involves lowering the individual’s body temperature (causing hypothermia) for 24 to 48 hours to prevent damaging inflammation. Other promising therapies include cannabinoids for nerve regeneration and preventing cell death. Also, CBD for nerve regeneration to reduce harmful inflammation throughout the body, and cannabis for muscle spasms.
Treatment for Spinal Cord Injury
After the initial injury, bleeding, swelling, inflammation, or fluid in and around the wounded area can cause further impairment. Non-traumatic causes of spinal cord injury include inflammation, arthritis, infections, disc degeneration, or cancer.
Incomplete spinal cord damage is the loss of some sensory perceptions and motor functions below the injury. Depending on the location and seriousness, an incomplete injury can cause varying degrees of impairment throughout the body.
At this time, there is no way to reverse severe damage to the spinal cord. The first course of action with spinal cord injury is to immobilize the torso to prevent any further damage. Back and neck braces are often used during recovery and as a means to continually help stabilize the spine. Surgery may also be used to remove any bone fragments or foreign objects or to repair herniated discs or fractured vertebrae compressing the spine.
Types and Levels of Spinal Cord Injury
You can get cannabis for your spinal cord injury with a medical marijuana card prescribed by a qualified physician. The marijuana must be picked up from a licensed dispensary and used as prescribed.
The two main types of spinal cord injuries are complete and incomplete.
However, these reports are based on anecdotal evidence.
Dr Cairns said: “We hope this research will be able to make real impacts for patients and their families, paving a path towards an effective treatment for a greater number of patients.”
“Treatment options have proven ineffective and often introduce significant side effects that further exacerbate the condition,” he said, highlighting a need for new treatment options.
The research team includes Professor Iain McGregor, the academic director of the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics at the University of Sydney, Dr Elizabeth Cairns, a research fellow also from the Lambert Initiative, and Dr Sachin Shetty, a clinician at Prince of Wales hospital who works with spinal injury patients.
This research project aims to use advanced brain imaging techniques to identify and understand the specific changes that are occurring in the brain after spinal trauma that lead to the development of chronic neuropathic pain.
Professor Henderson said: “We will be able to explore for the first time, the effects of CBD on brain function in chronic pain and our ability to determine the relationship between changes in pain and brain structure and function associated with CBD.”
The team of researchers plan to conduct a clinical trial that will give cannabidiol to patients with spinal cord injury-induced chronic pain to determine if it can reduce their pain. The first part of the study will compare brain images of individuals who develop chronic pain after spinal cord injury to those who do not. This will help determine underlying brain changes responsible for the chronic neuropathic pain.