Suffering from acute back pain, John Casey was ready to undergo major spinal surgery until he started taking CBD two weeks before the procedure. He is now back to his active lifestyle – and still hasn’t had to go under the knife.
The 51-year-old from Dover lives with spinal stenosis, a condition which causes bone to grow inside the spinal canal, applying painful pressure on the nerves.
He was diagnosed with the condition three and a half years ago with the pain becoming progressively worse and harder to manage over time.
John lives an active life. As a carpenter by trade and karate instructor in the evenings, his diagnosis came as a blow and caused major disruptions to his life.
His karate teaching became near impossible and he also experienced difficulties playing with his band, as singing caused pain throughout his pelvis, groin and legs.
“I really struggled,” John says. “It was really hard for me to carry on doing that kind of physical activity with my back locking up.
“I became very grouchy and down and it was getting to the stage where I couldn’t demonstrate [karate], and I couldn’t do my private classes. I was really struggling to turn up. It was difficult just walking the dog with my partner, I was hobbling around.”
As recommended by his doctor, John underwent spinal epidural injections a total of four times, which involved general anaesthetic, injections up through the spine and two days off work for recovery.
The first procedure was a big success, giving John three and half months of relief from the pain. Unfortunately, the following three procedures had less and less of an effect. The fourth and final injection gave him only a few days of respite before the pain returned.
“I don’t moan very easily but this pain was really, really getting me down to the point where I thought I need to have spinal surgery. I couldn’t carry on living with the pain. Being an active person, it was really destroying my life.
“It was the last thing I wanted but I decided that I had to book it in.”
John was introduced to CBD by a friend who was looking for a product for his wife who had recently undergone a leg amputation.
At this point, the pain was debilitating, and John was ready to try anything. Despite his scepticism about cannabis-based products, he ordered Canaxen’s 16% CBD oil and started taking the supplement just two weeks before his surgery.
“I was getting the pain every day and it was sometimes hard to walk. I took the first dose at midday and took a second dose under my tongue at about six o’clock before I finished work. I felt great,” he says.
“At first, I thought it must just be a coincidence, but then the next day there was still no pain. It was so much better than any of the epidurals I have ever had.”
John went to see his surgeon two weeks later and spoke to him about the effects that CBD was having on his body. He decided to cancel his operation.
Unfortunately, John hasn’t been able to return to his old karate training routine, however he still teaches regularly and is able to live without pain.
“CBD has given me a pain-free lifestyle,” John says.
“If I go and train, the pain comes back because I’m moving around a lot and pivoting the hip. I can do it for a couple of minutes before it affects me then I’m back to square one and the CBD won’t mask that.
“But it does take the pain away from my day-to-day life doing my job and teaching.”
John adds: “Who knows if the pain will return in the future, but at the moment, my body’s happy and I’m not in pain.”
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