Often misdiagnosed and misunderstood, fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome characterized by widespread muscle and joint pain as well as fatigue, sleep and cognitive issues. According to the Mayo Clinic, researchers believe that fibromyalgia increases painful sensations by affecting the way the brain processes pain signals. The condition is most likely to occur in women and is sometimes triggered by a traumatic event, a mood disorder or another painful disease, such as arthritis or an infection.
Current Treatment for Fibromyalgia
The National Institutes of Health estimates that 5 million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia. There is no known cure and the disorder is difficult to treat.
The symptoms of the disease are so life altering that Dan Bennett, an interventional spine and pain surgical physician in Denver, Colorado, and chairman of the National Pain Foundation, has said, “Fibromyalgia is devastating for those who must live in its grip. There is much we do not understand. We need innovative ‘out of the box’ solutions that change the face of this disease,”
Medical Marijuana and Relief
A 2014 online survey of over 1,300 fibromyalgia patients conducted by the National Pain Foundation and National Pain Report found that “medical marijuana is far more effective at treating symptoms of fibromyalgia than any of the three prescription drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat the disorder.”
In addition, a recent study of 26 patients concluded that medical cannabis treatment had a significant positive effect on those suffering from fibromyalgia, with few adverse effects. In fact, all the patients reported a significant improvement in every aspect on the follow-up questionnaire, and half the patients stopped taking other medications for fibromyalgia altogether.
Besides relief from the debilitating pain caused by fibromyalgia, patients using medical marijuana have also seen relief for many of its associated symptoms.
The information provided should not be used as a substitution for physician knowledge. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment with medicinal marijuana.