Treating Pain

Treating Pain

Approximately 1/3 of Canadians will experience a chronic pain condition at some point in their lifetime. Chronic pain represents a significant problem for patients and health care providers and places a tremendous burden on society.

It is increasingly being recognized that chronic pain is a complex phenomenon that requires a complex approach that encompasses physiotherapy, counselling and mindfulness, interventions and pharmacotherapy. Few good options exist for the pharmacologic options for management of chronic pain and both physicians and patients continue to rely heavily on opioids despite the limited data to support their long-term use, the significant associated harms and the fact that patients overwhelmingly do not like them.

It is shocking that we are using this class of medication when it does not allow patients to become more functional in their day-to-day lives. It is the widespread use of opioids that has, in part, led to the development of the opioid crisis. The Government of Canada supported the development of Health Canada’s “Opioid Action Plan” which came up with 6 core recommendations, one of the most important being to “support better treatment options for patients”.

It is becoming increasingly clear that cannabis is one of these better treatment options – this is supported by both clinical data and research into the endocannabinoid system.

Type of pain:

  • Arthritis and musculoskeletal disorders (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis)
  • Chronic Pain
  • Palliative care (relief from pain and other distressing symptoms, and the enhancement of quality of life)
  • Post-operative pain
  • Inflammation
  • Hypertension
  • Headache and Migraine
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Spasticity
References:

1 https://globalnews.ca/news/4110583/opioid-deaths-canada-2017/

2 Tilray Observational Patient Study (TOPS), Tilray

Using Medical Cannabis, Volume 3, Issue 2; Cannabis as an Opioid-sparing Agent / Danial Schecter, MD

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