I am always a bit concerned when folks start bandying about marijuana as pain relief . . . many reasons. Foremost is that I get concerned that people have not actually been properly assessed for why there is a chronic state of pain in the first place. What is chronic pain? What isn’t it? Do you know what types of pain marijuana is purported to relieve? Do you have that type? How do you know?
With an assessment, in the presence of a pain whisper, there can be a strategic plan of attack to address the concern. Unfortunately, marijuana does not address origins of the chronic pain. Can be a pleasant Band-Aid - can be unpleasant with side-effects
The Neuro-Orthopedic Institute (NOI) has excellent books that talk about pain much more knowledgeably than me. “Explain Pain” and “Graded Motor Imagery” have much to say on the topic and go much beyond the dated “gate theory” of pain.
Causes of pain can include
basic motor control issues
muscle trigger points
primitive reflexes that are locking a body into unsuitable patterns of movement
neurodynamic issues and the accompanying physiological changes in nerves that predispose a body to the sensation of pain
body image or midline disruptions
environmental and diet concerns
yes, childhood trauma
vision problems stemming from brain processing irregularities
Have these issues been assessed? Do you even know? More often folks have just seen a slew of medical doctors who do not know what is wrong and hand out diagnostic tests orders and prescriptions that do not necessarily correspond to what a patients is saying. A 10 minute consultation is not going to get to the root of chronic pain.
I have found that actual Chiari-base-of-the-head pain is different than other pain. Do you know the difference? What are you trying to treat? I ask questions, not to get an answer, but to get folks to think about their body and what it might need. Muscle trigger head pain is different from pain caused by a restricted rotator cuff which is different from muscle spasm holding a cervical vertebra in a locked position which is different from cervical motor control issues which is different from visual strain.
Sometimes it is easy to blame Chiari for all our pains. But assessment is where the need lies. The corresponding treatment varies considerably depending on what is revealed in an assessment.
Great what to do. Find a pain whisperer . . . I made that term up. Need to find someone who will talk with and listen to you and ask you a ton of questions. They might give you questionnaires (are they good ones? How do you know?) and sub-classify you into a treatment type or two. Do they do research? Do they track their clients after treatment? If you have multiple trauma to deal with, a psychologist might be brought on board. Maybe blood work. Education and lots of exercises. Even if you do nothing else, walking daily is a huge relief factor.
In my neck of the woods, the rare physical therapist can have the tool set necessary to actually cheer lead and guide someone into a better position in life. Be aware that whatever the actual problem is, it will require ALOT of work to improve the situation. I am exhausted after writing this. May be a toke is in order to restore me to rights . . . just kidding!
It is no fun being your own advocate in a medical system that does not have answers or solutions and we know that people in pain do not have good judgment. (I just heard that last bit on the radio from a lady who wrote a book about back pain called “Crooked”).
Good luck in finding sustainable and meaningful treatment that makes you better in the long-term.