When people play sports and/or live an active lifestyle, repetitive motions and impacts can wear down a person’s body. Sometimes that wear and tear leads to injuries. A large percentage of athletes sustain musculoskeletal injuries. A musculoskeletal injury is an injury or disorder that affects the human body’s movement or musculoskeletal system (i.e. muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, discs, blood vessels, etc.).
The injuries can come in many forms, including tendonitis, muscle/tendon strains, ligament strains, and ruptured/herniated discs. Sometimes the conditions can be treated by a primary physician, but other times treatment involves surgery. People suffering from musculoskeletal injuries often turn to opioids and other pharmaceutical drugs to help deal with their condition. Opioids can lead to severe addiction, are harmful for the human body, and often are ineffective.
More and more athletes and people that live active lifestyles are turning to cannabis for relief. A recent study was conducted at two trauma centers in Massachusetts which looked at cannabis use for treating musculoskeletal injuries. The study found that cannabis was an effective treatment. Per the study:
Results: The majority of patients felt that marijuana could be used to treat pain (78%, 390) and anxiety (62%, 309). Most patients (60%, 302) had used marijuana at least once previously, while only 14% reported using marijuana following their injury. Of those that used marijuana during their recovery, 90% (63/70) believed that it reduced symptoms of pain; and 81% (57/70) believed that it reduced the amount of opioid pain medication they used.
Conclusions: The majority of patients in this study believed that medical marijuana is a valid treatment and that it does have a role in reducing post-injury and post-operative pain. Those patients who used marijuana during their recovery felt that it alleviated symptoms of pain and reduced their opioid intake. Our results help inform clinicians regarding the perceptions of trauma patients regarding the usefulness of marijuana in treating pain, and support further study into the utility of medical marijuana in this population.
This study builds on other studies that have found that cannabis can not only help those suffering from pain, but also helped reduce the patients’ reliance on harmful opioids. If you know someone that suffers from a musculoskeletal injury, make sure to share the results of this study with them. If you personally suffer from a musculoskeletal injury, and live in a state where cannabis is legal, the Uncle Cliffy team recommends that you consider trying cannabis as a form of treatment.