Medical Cannabis and Residual Limb Pain
Residual limb pain is a common issue that is associated with the partial amputation of a limb. This particular type of pain originates in the remaining part of the amputated limb. There are a variety of different causes of this particular condition, which can be directly related to the surgery itself, or it can be the result of a preexisting condition that was present prior to the amputation. It is important for an individual who is suffering with RLP to work closely with their team of healthcare professionals to gain a perspicacity of the cause and origin of their particular instance of residual limb pain, so that it can be successfully treated.
Some of the most common causes of residual limb pain are:
- An underlying disease process, such as an infection or skin problems, or the existence of neuropathy, also known as nerve pain. This is especially true in instances in which the individual is suffering from diabetes or some other type of circulatory problems.
- Surgical trauma, which can include decreased blood supply to the particular area where the pain is being experienced. Additionally, poor tissue coverage at the end of the bone can also produce significant pain
- Neuroma formation
- The entrapment of active nerves within the scar tissue
The first proactive measure that should be taken when engaging this type of pain is to ensure that any existing condition is being properly managed by the healthcare team. For instance, if a person suffers with diabetes, it will be important for them to keep their blood sugar levels under control. In the case of poor circulation, it is paramount to follow the physician’s explicit instructions concerning proper nutrition, medication and exercise.
When it comes to treating the pain itself, while working on engaging the source, cannabis — medical marijuana — is being used as an effective method of treating residual limb pain. For patients who take issue with synthetic pain medications or narcotic pain medications, medical marijuana has proven to be a viable alternative. In fact, cannabis has been used to treat a wide variety of pain that is directly associated with residual pain.
It has been scientifically proven that the analgesic properties of cannabis can effectively lessen the pain in a number of diverse circumstances, making cannabis a very promising method for treating the pain that is associated with residual limb pain.
Not only does medical marijuana serve to provide direct relief for the pain that can be experienced due to RLP, but the natural function of the plant to create a more relaxed physical and mental state can serve to mitigate anxiety and stress that may serve to exacerbate the pain.
The broadening of the legalization of cannabis has provided greater access to medical marijuana, meaning that individuals who are suffering with residual limb pain can now use cannabis in lieu of harmful narcotics to treat their pain.
Residual limb pain can often be excessively severe, and without the proper analgesic to treat the pain, the discomfort can become immensely intense and unbearable; however, the use of cannabis provides an organic option that has been proven to be highly effective.