One of the most devastating injuries that a person can face is a spinal cord injury. Just imagine a situation in which you lose the ability to feel your arms and legs. This leads to you losing the ability to perform the most basic tasks for yourself. This is what a person with a spinal cord injury faces.
You must have heard about the use of CBD for back pain, today we will be looking at whether CBD and as a bigger picture- cannabis helps people who are suffering from a spinal cord injury.
In the past being diagnosed with a spinal cord injury meant that you invariably would end up with life limited to the wheelchair or the bed. With the advent of modern technology, things have improved. New and experimental treatments keep entering the sphere. There is an experimental treatment in place which uses CBD for nerve generation and another one that uses cannabis for managing muscle spasms. Both have drastically improved people’s chances to manage the symptoms and speed the healing process.
The Impact of a Spinal Cord Injury on the Quality of Life
Any damage to the vertebrae, ligaments, or discs of the spinal cord is termed a spinal cord injury. The most common reason behind sustaining an injury to the spinal cord is trauma. A traumatic blow to the back often translates to a fracture, dislocation, crushing, bursting, or the compression of one or more of the vertebrates. If you overextend your back, you can cause harm to the spinal cord.
After a person sustains the initial injury, there is bleeding, swelling, inflammation, and fluid build-up in and around the area that can cause further impairment, Other, non-traumatic causes of spinal cord injury include inflammation, arthritis, infection, disc degeneration, or cancer.
Kinds of Spinal Cord Injury
There are two main kinds of spinal cord injury that one can sustain- they are complete and incomplete spinal cord injury.
Complete spinal cord damage leads to the loss of all sensory feelings and the ability to control anybody movement below the area affected.
Incomplete spinal cord damage pertains to the loss of some of the sensory perceptions and all motor functions below the area affected. Depending on where you have sustained the injury an incomplete spinal cord injury causes varying degrees of impairment throughout the body.
The biggest symptom of sustaining a spinal cord injury is the paralysis that accompanies it.
Treatment Of Spinal Cord Injury
There is no way to reverse severe damage sustained by the spinal cord at this time. Braces are used during the recovery to help stabilize the spine. The only way to actually treat spinal cord injury is the long-term management of symptoms. There are no FDA-approved medications in the market to deal specifically with spinal cord injury. Instead, the only thing that you can do is manage the accompanying symptoms.
Oftentimes people suffering from Spinal cord-related injuries spend an extended amount of time in hospitals and rehabilitation centers.
This is where cannabis enters the picture.
Cannabis is less of a treatment at this time and is more of a way to manage the various symptoms of chronic conditions.
Cannabis as a Natural Treatment Method
Different research findings have shown that marijuana, THC, and CBD have all proven to
help reduce the side effects and complications caused by spinal cord injuries.
Let’s have a look at all the common side effects of spinal cord injury and how cannabis helps.
Alleviation Of Pain
Pain is the most common issue for people suffering from spinal cord injury. In some cases, this pain can go on for years after the initial injury. This leads to a negative impact on the quality of life as a person is unable to carry out day-to-day functions.
Cannabis is a well-known treatment for chronic pain.
Cannabinoids activate specific receptors throughout the body that help change the perception of pain. Most of these receptors exist within the central nervous system.
For maximum relief, one should mix cannabis with massages. It is true that for instant pain relief, opioids work the best. But in terms of sustenance and long-term usage, nothing comes close to alternative methods of treatment like cannabis and massages.
The effect of opioids can stay for hours at best, but with massages and cannabis, relief sticks around for a couple of days.
A Neuroprotective Response
Cannabis offers a lot more than just pain relief. Researchers now believe that cannabis has the ability to stimulate a neuroprotective response.
A common belief is that the endogenous activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors is essential for spontaneous recovery from a spinal cord injury. This is why the neuroprotective response from cannabis triggers is such an important response for scientists.
If the spinal cord can even partially heal from trauma, the impact on people’s lives will be massive. This is what, in the end, determines the difference between dexterity and non-dexterity.
Reduction In Muscle Spasticity
Paralysis can cause spasticity.
In the event of a spinal cord injury, the flow of nerve messages gets interrupted. Messages thus fail to reach the reflex control center of the brain.
The spinal cord then tries to moderate the body’s response. But, because the spinal cord is not as efficient as the brain, the signal sent back causes the body to overreact. The reactions range from mild tremors to extremely violent movements.
These spasms are not only frustrating but also dangerous.
A study from the University of Arizona states that more than 70% of the people who suffer from muscle spasms find relief via cannabis.
Spinal Cord injury survivors also have sleep issues commonly called sleep apnea. Lack of sleep over a period of time can cause havoc on our health.
Sleep apnea brings with it an entirely different set of issues, which include
- Congestive heart failure
- Type 2 Diabetes
A significant cannabis cannabinoid, THC reduces the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. Cannabis is also the go-to medicine for insomniacs. At best, with marijuana, patients can be sure to get a good night’s sleep.
A particular issue with SCI is the loss of motor function, but with the therapeutic effects of cannabis, this too is dealt with. The comprehensive research is still underway so, as long as it is the symptoms, you can rest assured that cannabis can help you deal with it.
Cannabis, as well as CBD individually, are a great addition to anyone’s wellness routine. For Spinal cord injuries specifically, it is a holistic medication that can go a long way in assisting a person’s recovery of both the mind as well as the body.