In the second of their new Medical Casebook Series, the team at Integro Medical Clinics explore living with and managing arthritis.
Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in joints.
In the UK, more than 10 million people have arthritis or other similar conditions. It is a disease that can affect people all ages including children, and at this time of year is exacerbated by the cold and damp of the winter months.
Although there is no cure for this condition, cannabis medicines can both help control inflammation and rebalance the body’s endocannabinoid system and regulate its immune response.
There are many different types of arthritis and related conditions, but the two most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Rarer forms include psoriatic arthritis, lupus, and others. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting nearly nine million people. It generally develops post mid-40’s or later.
Initially, it affects the smooth cartilage lining of the joint and makes movement painful and feel stiff. Once the cartilage lining starts to roughen and thin out, the muscles, tendons and ligaments may have to work harder, causing further swelling, inflammation and pain around the joint.
Severe loss of cartilage leads to bone rubbing on bone, which alters the shape of the joint and can change the shape of the joint. You normally find this type of arthritis in hands, hips, knees and spine.
Rheumatoid arthritis affects over 400,000 people in the UK, and often starts at around 40 years of age, with women three times more likely to be affected than men.
In this type of arthritis, the body’s immune system targets the affected joint, which leads to inflammation, pain and swelling. This can lead the cartilage bone to weaken, and change the joint shape to alter, sometimes causing the direction of the fingers to drift sideways.
People suffering rheumatoid arthritis can also develop problems with other tissues and organs.
Cannabis medicines not only have an anti-inflammatory affect but in this form of arthritis they can actually rebalance the bodies endo-cannabidiol system and help manage the immune system response.
“Cannabis medicines can help manage the pain associated with arthritis by rebalancing of the body’s natural endo-cannabinoid pain-processing system. Cannabis medicines may also have some anti-inflammatory effect, helping to soothing the inflamed body tissues,” says Dr Anthony Ordman, Senior Clinical Adviser and Hon. Clinical Director Integro Clinics.
“Integro Clinics Ltd always recommend remaining under the care and treatment of your GP and specialist for your condition, while using cannabis based medicines, and the Integro clinical team would always prefer to work in collaboration with them.”
Sophie Hayes Specialist Cannabis Nurse at Integro Clinics adds: “The insomnia and low mood associated with the pain can also be really helped by the correctly-balanced prescription of cannabis medicines.”
The patient’s story
Martin is a 67-year-old retired Church of England Vicar, whose story of arthritis began with a sports injury when he 15 years.
“When I was playing rugby at school, I suffered a terrible knee injury, which I was treated properly for, but it went on to cause
huge problems,” he says.
“Once I appeared to be better, I continued to play but it became obvious that I had really weakened and damaged the knee. Over time this affected my gait.
“I started to suffer terrible pain from arthritis in my knee, that spread to all my main joints, leading to full knee replacement surgery. You can imagine the chronic pain I was in.”
If this wasn’t enough, Martin was then diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease five years ago. One might imagine that with these terrible adversities Martin could easily be forgiven for feeling depressed or sorry for himself.
However, this is far from the case, and Martin does not like to refer to himself an arthritis sufferer.
Instead, he used his own energy and initiative to effectively manage his arthritis and associated conditions pain through cannabis medicines.
Martin continues: “As soon as it was legalised, I got a prescription and found the purity and consistent quality way better than any of my previous experiences. Within five minutes of vaping cannabis, I can physically see the tension and rigidity of my arthritis relaxing – the muscles and joints begin to ease and open.
“Over time the anti-inflammatory effect of the cannabis eases the inflamed joints and as it accumulates in the fatty tissue, it naturally dials down my pain and little by little it subsides.”
He adds: “In addition, the cannabis really helped with my Parkinson’s symptoms – it stops my trembling, modulates my body temperature and helps make my speech clearer. I am now able to mostly rely upon Cannabis for my pain relief, it won’t completely take it away, but it makes it manageable.”
Read the first in the Medical Casebook Series here
If you would like further information, or to make an appointment for a medical consultation, please contact us at Integro Clinics:
For support groups and charities please visit the following links:
- Research shows ‘remarkable’ effects of cannabis in treatment of skin cancer
- Optimism despite delays: Ireland’s journey toward cannabis decriminalisation
- Medical Cannabis in the Management of Glaucoma
- President Zelensky signs bill legalising medical cannabis in Ukraine
- EU signals increasing shift in attitude towards cannabis reform
- Jersey passes ‘de jure’ decriminalisation of cannabis for personal use
News4 months ago
FSA drops recommended daily dose of CBD to 10mg – everything you need to know
Pain5 months ago
Medical cannabis ‘effective’ and ‘fast-acting’ for neuropathic pain – study
News4 months ago
UK government accepts ACMD recommendations for CBD products
Industry4 months ago
First UK-grown cannabis medicine expected by end of 2023
News5 months ago
The Netherlands to launch cannabis legalisation pilot December 2023
News5 months ago
BBC documentary highlights ‘pot luck’ of access to cannabis on NHS
Science5 months ago
New cannabis research: cancer, Type 2 diabetes, autism, fibromyalgia and skin disorders
News4 months ago
Europe’s first legal cannabis dispensaries to open under sixth Swiss pilot