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Tag Archives: opioids

Chronic Pain Management: Is Cannabis the Better Option?

By Anna Wilcox

* This post contains affiliate links

Chronic back pain is one of the most common types of pain around the world.
Approximately 80 percent of individuals in the United States have chronic back pain.
In general, chronic pain can be debilitating. Not only does it limit mobility, but pain can have a significant impact on mental health and relationships. Yet, if interpersonal harms aren’t convincing enough, chronic pain comes with a heavy economic burden.
In general, pain conditions equate to an average productivity loss of $802 per person per year. Of that, back pain equates to losses of $329 per year. Unfortunately, chronic pain is also one of the most difficult symptoms to treat. Currently, opioid pain medications remain some of the most common treatments for chronic back pain.
Opioids are not only responsible for $78.5 billion in additional medical expenses each year, but over 183,000 Americans have died in the past 16 years from the prescription painkillers. Deaths from illicit opioids like heroin are not included in this statistic.

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How does cannabis work for chronic pain?

The need for safe and effective pain management treatments is one of the many reasons Mara Gordon of Aunt Zelda’s goes to work every day. Gordon is the founder of Aunt Zelda’s, a specialized cannabis extraction and dosing organization that has worked with more than 1,000+ cancer and pain patients. To help medical cannabis patients better understand how to use the plant for chronic pain, back pain, and nerve pain, Gordon shares her expertise in one of Green Flower’s most popular talks.
Normally, pain is a natural and helpful bodily response. Without pain signals, you would not be able to know that something is wrong with your body. It’s the reason why you’re able to move your hand away from a hot stove. “Chronic pain is different,” explains Gordon. “Chronic pain is where the pain itself becomes the disease. There is so much inflammation and memory in the nerves of what’s going on that no matter what you do, you feel pain.” Interestingly, it’s this inflammation and nerve memory that makes cannabis such a vital tool for chronic pain management.
The exciting part? We already know a great deal about WHY cannabis is so effective for chronic pain…

Why cannabis is key to chronic pain management

As Gordon articulates, there are five primary mechanisms that cannabis engages in order to heal chronic pain. The five mechanisms include:
1. The ability to blunt pain in the peripheral nervous system
2. Interruptions of pain signals in spinal cord nerves
3. Interruptions in chemical pain signals at the neuron level
4. Reduced inflammation
5. Improved mood and Reduced stress
These mechanisms all involve the way cannabis compounds (cannabinoids), like THC, engage cells in the body. THC is the primary psychoactive in cannabis. Cannabis compounds work by engaging specific cell receptors throughout the body. These receptors include the CB1 (cannabinoid receptor 1) and CB2 (cannabinoid receptor 2) cell sites. These receptors are abundant in the central and peripheral nervous systems, which are responsible for sending, receiving, and processing pain signals. By engaging these receptors, cannabinoids like THC actually block and lessen the pain signals sent and processed by the nervous system.  “This is actually a biological effect…It’s not masking the pain, it’s actually changing what’s happening in the physiology within your body,” Gordon says.
Further, Gordon suggests that one of the most controversial “side effects” of cannabis may be tremendously helpful to those experiencing chronic pain. Gordon suggests that the psychoactive nature of THC is more of a blessing to pain patients than a curse.
“The psychoactive, euphoric effects of THC can help you have a break from the pain,” Gordon explains. This is a major contrast to opioid pain medications, which have a depressant effect that can make patients feel moody, irritable, and generally unhappy.
“It also interrupts the short-term memory, which normally is not a good thing. But, when you are having a lot of pain, interrupting the short-term memory will mitigate the stress response and give you a respite from this experience of constant, ongoing pain.”
While THC tackles pain in several different ways, the non-inebriating CBD works in others.

How does CBD work for pain?

Unlike THC, CBD is a cannabis compound which does not cause the same psychoactive “high” found in cannabis products that contain THC. Still, however, CBD can enhance mood, promote energy, and ease stress and anxiety. “CBD is such a powerful anti-inflammatory that it is 30 to 50 times more powerful than your standard hydrocortisone,” explains Gordon. “It gives tremendous relief the same way as a steroid and even more powerfully, but,” says Gordon, “without the bonus of a shut-down adrenal system, because cannabis does not shut down your adrenal system.” The adrenal system is responsible for manufacturing stress hormones, which help you respond appropriately to stressful situations and also play a role in managing the sleep-wake cycle.
In this sense, CBD can be used as a valuable replacement for anti-inflammatory drugs often taken by patients with chronic pain conditions like arthritis and old injuries.
Regular use of over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs is also associated with an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and stomach ulcer, two major side effects that CBD and other cannabis medicines avoid.

How to get maximum pain relief with cannabis?

Now that you know a little bit about why cannabis works for chronic pain, how do you actually use the plant to promote healing? To better understand how to use cannabis for chronic pain management, watching Gordon’s talk on Green Flower is a must. Gordon teaches cannabis patients how to better use medical cannabis for daily pain management with limited life disruptions. Viewers can also learn more about what types of products may be beneficial for those seeking relief from chronic pain. Filled with valuable and insightful information, Gordon’s talk is a worthwhile watch for anyone who has experienced chronic pain and discomfort.
And that’s not all…
The program is one of hundreds now streaming free on the newly-launched Green Flower, where you can find informative videos with cannabis physicians, scientists, researchers, cultivators, practitioners, and more from around the globe.
You can find everything from dosing to growing, how to treat specific ailments, and much more – all free.
Find answers to your greatest cannabis questions and connect with the cannabis universe through Green Flower today.

Click here to join Green Flower for FREE!

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The Disabled Diva’s Pain Management Plan

 

 

The Disabled Diva’s Pain Management Plan

 

 

 

 

 

If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram you have surely noticed the improvements that I have experienced in the past year.  I have been receiving a lot of messages from followers asking about my pain management plan, so today I am sharing it with you.  There is no ONE thing that has taken my pain levels back to what they were before my chronic illnesses took over my body 24/7, it’s a combination of natural and alternative therapies that work together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For those of you who don’t know me, I was diagnosed with psoriasis in 2001, fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis in 2003, endometriosis in 2004, reoccurring abdominal adhesions in 2005 due to endo and surgical scarring, and degenerative disc disease in 2011.  I followed pharmaceutical protocols until 2012 when my health deteriorated to the point of not being able to walk, sit, or stand for more than 5 minutes without experiencing excruciating pain.  I was also in the emergency room several times a year for extremely painful urinary tract infections.  By 2012 most of my life was spent in bed.  That fall I tried medical marijuana, liked the relief it gave me, decided that I wanted to go that route, but not until I rid my body from all its pharmaceutical toxins.  A funny thing happened after my detox, I experienced a reduction of nerve pain and never again experienced another urinary tract infection.

Once I had detoxed from all my prescriptions I began creating my own pain management program.  To be clear, I am not suggesting you do the same, only you can decide what is best for your body. Click here to find out how I addressed my pain and symptoms one at a time.

*Disclosure: I am not a medical professional and I am NOT issuing medical advice. I am just sharing how I treat my chronic pain. This post contains affiliate links, however all thoughts and opinions are my own and were in no way influenced by the companies.

 

 

Medical Marijuana (MMJ)

I began by using marijuana infused edibles.  While they took longer to take effect than smoking, vaping, or using tinctures, it stayed in my system longer which provided longer lasting periods of relief.  Finally after years of not being able to sleep for more than 4-6 hours a night, that was if I was lucky, I began sleeping a full 8-10 hours every night.  The only exception was when pressure from an incoming heatwave or storm increased my pain.  After a few weeks of using MMJ, I regained use of my left thumb and pointer finger.  Those joints had been so swollen that I hadn’t been able to bend them for years.  After a few months I was able to make a loose fist and a year later I could finally make a tight fist.  Nerve pain was no longer a daily issue, instead it only occurred when experiencing an extreme heatwave or storm.

MMJ did something else that was pretty amazing.  Unlike opioids, MMJ didn’t mask my pain.  Instead it eliminated the reactionary and widespread pain I had experienced since the beginning and reduced the pain felt from my pain sources to a tingle.  This made it possible for me to recognize the sources of my pain, know what areas needed to be addressed, and what I should avoid doing to not aggravate those areas.

 

I also treat my pets with CBD. Click here for my list of preferred brands.

By the fall of 2015 I was able to drive myself to the grocery store, shop at one store without using a wheelchair, and occasionally walk short distances at Disneyland.  By the end of 2016 I could walk through two stores without needing weeks to recover.  The only condition that I didn’t experience any relief with was with my abdominal adhesions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I continue to use MMJ to this day. However, unlike the early years I no longer need it during the day and only use it before bed.  While I still like how easy it is to micro dose with edibles, vaping has become my favorite way to medicate.  I do however use various CBD products occasionally during the day to combat anxiety and depression.  I also use topical CBD oils and lotions.

I review various MMJ and CBD products in The Disabled Diva’s Alternative Chronic Pain Fighting Forum on Facebook.  My favorite CBD vape, topical oil, and capsules are from BioCBD+.

Review of BioCBD+ Capsules

Review of BioCBD+ Topical Oil

Review of BioCBD+ Vape

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food Intake

In 2016 I began recognizing how certain foods were increasing my pain and inflammation levels and began making changes.  The changes I made at first were minor, but helpful.  Last year I began tracking everything I consumed and noted how I felt.  This made it possible for me to recognize even more foods that were causing harm.  I started 2018 determined to get serious about what I ate.  My diet consists mostly of fruits, vegetables, nuts, smoothie bowls, and granola.  I still eat out occasionally, but try to make the best choices when I do.  Funny thing is that by recognizing how certain foods were causing more pain and making sicker, I lost my craving for them.  What I ate was never the cause of my chronic illnesses, but my former diet did make them worse.  I no longer comfort myself with the foods that I used to crave, because there is no comfort in knowing that I am creating more pain and inflammation.  Losing weight is another benefit, again while not the cause of my diseases, losing weight has helped reduce pain and gives my doctors one less thing to blame.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PEMF Therapy

I was introduced to PEMF therapy in November of 2016.  I was skeptical at first, but even though I only used it a few times a week I still experienced pain relief and increased stamina.  It wasn’t until I heard that my device may be able to reduce the pain and symptoms from abdominal adhesions (they were strangling my bowels) that I began using it daily.  Since the end of March 2017 I have used my device daily and when I say daily I mean that I use it from the moment I wake up and until I go to bed.  PEMF therapy with Oska Pulse immediately loosened the hold that adhesions had on my bowels.  Within four months the pain that I experienced in my feet, spine, hips, and sacrum were no longer a daily issue.  In fact, those areas only hurt when I push too far or from high pressure pushing in a heatwave or storm.  After 6 months I was able to walk farther than I had since the fall of 2003.  By January of 2018 I began walking .75 miles a day, then increased to 1.65 miles a day, to now where I am walking 4-6 miles every day!! I haven’t had to use my wheelchair since January and only use my walker when I am at Disneyland and am going to be on my feet for more than several hours.  Click here to follow my journey from the beginning.  Click here to visit Oska Wellness. Promo code DIVA will save you $55 at checkout.  Full disclosure: I am an affiliate of Oska Wellness, but only because the product truly delivers on its promise of pain relief and reduction of inflammation.  This device is what has pushed my pain management to another level.  My daily pain level is between 0-4.  I experience less flares and the ones I do experience are less painful than before, don’t last as long, and I recover from them faster.

 

 

Exercise

Because of the improvements I have experienced from MMJ, dietary changes, and PEMF therapy I have been able to exercise every day.  I begin each morning with a 3-5 mile walk and end each day walking another 2-3 miles.  I am slowly adding other exercises to my routine and have begun to notice significant weight loss. I am down a pants size and am well on my way to reach my goal to become the weight I was before my illnesses took over my life.  My physical abilities didn’t occur overnight.  It has taken a full year to reach this level of physical activity.  I keep myself accountable and offer support, encouragement, and motivation to others in The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddies.

Other helpful treatments

In addition to the four major aspects of my pain relief plan, I also use heat, ice, and massage.  I am always open to trying new things that are holistic, natural, or out of the norm.  I have learned to listen to my body and to work with it instead of against it.  My pain management plan has made it possible to know which areas need addressing on a daily basis.

I have not been healed.  My conditions are not curable.  However, I rarely spend an entire day in bed anymore and I am doing things that my doctors said I would never be able to do again.

I am happy to address any questions you may have.  No matter how you choose to combat your chronic pain, know that there is hope! Don’t give up! Keep searching and trying new things.

 

Make chronic pain your bitch by taking control!Click here to download your copy today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Opioid Crisis and Your Pain Relief Options

 

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  I earn a few cents at no additional cost to you when a purchase is made through my links.  All thoughts and opinions are my own and were in no way influenced by the companies.  I am not a medical professional and am NOT issuing medical advice.

The Opioid Crisis and Your Pain Relief Options

Do you live with chronic pain?  Chances are that you have either at one time in your chronic life taken opioids or currently depend on them to deal with pain.  With doctors being pressured more now than ever to either not prescribe or greatly reduce how much they prescribe opioids for pain relief, chronic pain patients are finding it harder to get the pain relief they desperately need.

As my long time followers may already know, I ditched prescription pain pills in 2012 and began seeking alternative forms for relief.  If you didn’t know this about me, SURPRISE!  Before I go on I want to make it very clear that I am not anti-medication, there are some medications that are necessary and can be life saving.  However, there are also many  that cause more problems than what they do good.  Also note that I am not judging anybody who does rely on prescription narcotics to get through the day, because that was the only option I had for the first 12 years of my chronic life.  I get it.  I also know the shame and frustration of having to ask and beg doctors for a prescription.

Receiving an acceptable amount of pain medication had never been a problem for me until 2010.  It was at this point that point that my doctors began feeling the pressure to limit how much they were prescribing and having to justify who and what they were prescribing them for.  Since mine were needed for pain related to fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, degenerative disc disease, and endometriosis, my doctors suddenly refused to prescribe narcotics unless I agreed to go back on the medications that had been approved for my conditions, medications that instead of helping me had made me sicker.  Prior to that my doctor prescribed more than enough for me to stay ahead of the pain and to get me through my most painful flares.  Not that it really helped because I couldn’t take the amount I really needed without flying higher than a kite or breaking out in hives.

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In 2012 I had had enough.  I was done begging for pain relief.  I was done pushing through pain I didn’t need to in order to save my pills for a really bad day.  The worst part about having to ration my pain pills like that was that I could never get ahead of my pain, I was always 100 steps behind.  This also meant that my pills were basically useless when a severe flare hit, because the amount I would have needed to relieve or reduce my pain to an acceptable level would have killed me.  So I began looking at other options.  In my quest to find alternative ways to reduce my pain and treat my diseases, I sought methods that I wouldn’t have to rely on my doctor or insurance company to receive.

Note that I am not a medical professional and I am not issuing medical advice.

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Master Growers CBD Oral Spray is fantastic for anxiety and chronic pain.  The spray makes it easy to use on the go!

 

Finding real relief with CBD

Prescription pain medications only masked my pain.  They didn’t improve my condition, in fact they actually made me sicker than I was.  I never had urinary tract infections until I began treating my pain with them on a daily basis in 2003.  Soon after I began getting UTI’s 4-6 times a year.  Kidney stones also became a problem after several years.  At the time my doctors wanted to label me with new illnesses. But as they and I both have witnessed in the past 5 years that wasn’t the case at all, since I stopped taking opioids for pain relief I haven’t had one UTI or kidney stone.  No longer suffering from painful side effects made it easier for me to address my real level of pain caused by my chronic illnesses.  Living in California where medical marijuana is legal and affordable I decided to give it a try.

Medicating with medical marijuana (MMJ) was and still is one of the best decisions I have ever made.  Not every friend or family member agreed with my choice at the time, but I didn’t care.  Funny thing is that those who were opposed quickly changed their tunes after witnessing my improvements not just with pain relief but with my conditions as well.  MMJ reduced my inflammation so significantly (70% less!)  that my doctor’s jaw dropped when he saw me just three weeks after I began using it.  Because he is under pressure from pharmaceutical companies he admitted that he would never prescribe it.  However, he did say that he was amazed by how it was helping me in ways beyond just reducing or relieving pain and that I should continue doing what I was.  And so I did.  My good days continued to get better and my bad days weren’t as bad as they had been during my first 12 years.

Not everybody has access to medical marijuana.  It’s either not legal where they live or their state government has ridiculous limitations on who has access and what forms they may use it in.  But you don’t have to live in a medical marijuana approved state or move to California or Colorado to experience the benefits of CBD.  CBD oil is legal and available in all 50 states.  The difference between CBD oil and MMJ is that CBD oil alone does not have the psychoactive effects that MMJ does.

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Triniti CBD offers flavored tinctures for those who aren’t keen on the taste of hemp or MMJ products.

 

Click here to join The Disabled Diva’s Alternative Chronic Pain Fighting Forum to learn about CBD and THC. New members will receive my preferred CBD product list!

Drug Free Pain Relief

I first began using Oska Pulse last fall to combat reoccurring knee pain.  Then earlier this year I began to experience real relief from all of my chronic issues when I committed to using it on a daily basis.  Oska Pulse uses pulsed electromagnetic fields which mimics the natural electric signals produced by the body to promote recovery.  Oska Pulse does not mask pain, it actually addresses it.  The improvements I have experienced have been astonishing.  My doctors had said that many of my symptoms and conditions would never improve.  They were right, if I had continued to follow their pain management plan I wouldn’t have improved.  Thanks to Oska Pulse my psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia are better managed and wreaking less havoc in my life than ever before.  Blown away by my results I began documenting my treatment and have been sharing it with my readers.  Click here to read my series.

Like any new treatment, I had to commit to using Oska Pulse daily and be patient.  Some improvements occurred quickly while others took months.  While I had to wait several months to experience full relief from my lower back pain, it was totally worth it as it is no longer a daily issue.  I am also able to focus my treatment on other areas of my body and spend less time on the areas that used to be my worst.

Oska Pulse comes with a band that allows you to wear your device and go about your life while treating your pain and conditions.  I use mine at home, at the grocery store, in the car, and yes even at Disneyland.

Oska Pulse gave me a new lease on life.  Are you ready to try something new?  Are you done masking your pain?  Do you want real relief?  Then check out Oska Pulse!

While you can’t bill your insurance for your Oska Pulse, you may deduct it from your medical savings account or deduct from your taxes under medical expenses.  Save $55 when you use promo code DIVA and if you need to make payments be sure to check out using PayPal’s payment plan.

 

 

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