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Help - Cervical Radiculopathy


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So here is my story. 2 1/2 years ago, I go to the doc because I am losing total use of my left arm and hand. Pain, numbness, and especially this intense tingling all stopped me in my tracks. Doc orders an MRI and a week later I'm under the knife with 3 ruptured disks that were impinging directly on my spinal cord. Recovery was long and tough. Fast forward to this past march and its surgery once again. This time the pain is nearly unbearable. Surgery seems successful but weeks later, all my symptoms return but this time on my right side. I am still symptomatic till this day to various degrees.

 

I have tried every socially acceptable medication to no avail. I have been on Percocet since February which is truly a horrible addictive drug. Don't get me started on the hypocrisy I see with medical marijuana and those that view it negatively but have no problem with these powerful addictive opiates being handed out for life in some cases.

 

Anyhow, my family doctor is a DO. he is the best doctor ever. Knowing all my struggles and this continued nerve issue I am facing, living with, he has offered the medical marijuana route. Yesterday I went in and got a plan to get off of Percocet and received his paperwork side of the medical marijuana card.

 

My symptoms include, this intense tingling that I equate with one hitting their funny bone but the feeling being much much more intense, and from the shoulder down to your finger tips. It can last minutes or hours. Plus it creates this weird numbness at the same time, and after this tingling subsides it creates this super intense itching feeling on the top of my hand and fingers to the point where I have scratched the skin right off.

 

In your opinion, would marijuana help me? I'm a little nervous about it, fighting this ingrained feeling of doing something bad which I know is just stupid. I also want you to know that I have had bouts with anxiety and panic attacks in the past. I take celexa everyday, 40mg and have for years. I have no real issues with this medicine, it does seem to help. I have read where Marijuana can make you nervous, panicky, etc. I don't want that.

 

I just want some relief from this darn nerve stuff. What are your overall thoughts?

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A study at McGill University proved its effectiveness for neuropathic pain.

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2950205/

 

It is tough to beat the opiates for immediate relief from acute pain.  If one needs to take pain medicine longterm however, the opiates will eventually do you harm.

 

One can replace the opiates, the muscle relaxers, nerve pain meds, the sleep aid, and likely the anti-anxiety medicine armed with the proper strains of cannabis and high quality cannabis concentrates.  Of course the benefit is that these cannabis meds will not damage your organs like some of the pills can.

 

To enjoy this benefit, you must pay a price.  Our society clearly prefers you take the pills.  Most of your doctors will prefer you take the pills.  Many of your friends and relatives will prefer that you take the pills.  Nearly any employer will prefer you take the pills.  In spite of clear evidence that you are doing better using the cannabis, you will be pressured from many angles to quit doing illegal drugs and go back to the pharmaceuticals.

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I too suffer from serious orthopedic conditions similar to yours. The stuff takes some of the sting out of my pain, and helps me to better manage it if not. There is some pain that is simply beyond help. By all means, please try it and let us know how it works for you.

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For the record, society can walk in my shoes the last 2 1/2 years. Go through major surgeries, fear being paralyzed, 6 months total in a cervical collar, hundreds and hundreds of powerful pain killers and nerve drugs. Society can politely suck it.

 

What type of strain should I be looking at? I'm nervous about the anxiety side of it. I heard it can make that worse?

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Anxiety, if it appears at all, is not uncommon with new users. It typically subsides as they become accustomed to the drug. If you become paranoid, it helps to remind yourself that it is a passing thing. For pain indica dominant strains are largely considered best, but remember that almost all that is out there is hybrid to include both sativa and indica influences. indica dominant strains are also not as apt to cause anxiety. I'll leave it to others to suggest appropriate strains, but it's allllll  good.

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marijuana is a harmless pain reliever. it cant hurt you to try it.

 

unfortunately the reefer madness has brainwashed everyone, including myself.

the stigma around marijuana makes me feel bad that i use it. i feel bad that its federally illegal and i use it.

i felt bad going to a doctor to get my rec. i felt badly telling my family about it.

i feel badly about it when my family asks me about it.

i felt bad when my mom went around calling the rest of the family to tell them about my mmj card. (thanks mom)

but it feels so good when it gets rid of my pain. it feels so good when i'm not angry/testy/mean/irritable due to my pain.

the pain had changed me into a mean person. i was not fun to be around. i wasnt able to have much fun with my pain.

 

has your pain changed you?

i understand your hesitation. its up to you to make that decision.

 

dont go cold turkey on the percosets.

make sure to ask your doc how to wean yourself off of them,

make sure there are no widthdrawl symptoms.

 

assuming mmj works for you. it works differently for everyone, just like all medications.

which is the problem with recommending strains. people react differently to each strain.

you can search on some marijuana review sites.

or california dispensary websites sometimes have info on what strains work for specific symptoms.

 

for anxiety worries, you can get a high cbd strain.

the common consensus currently is that CBD counters the effect of anxiety caused by the THC.

just remember, no one ever died from marijuana, thats a big anxiety killer for me.

 

indica strains will cause more of a body high, and cause drowsiness/couch lock.

sativa dominant strains will cause more of a head high, and do not cause as much drowsiness.

so some people use sativas in the morning and indicas at night.

 

smoking/vaping usually lasts about 3 hours.

eating can last 5+ hours.

the best advice when using 'medibles' is to take a small bite and then wait an hour before eating any more.

this is to make sure you take the amount needed but dont take too much and feel bad.

 

hope this helps! good luck!

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T pain, I feel like you so much. My doc is totally awesome. He is a DO and has been my doc for years. He is super bright, but what's even better is that he is humble, kind, he listens, and truly wants nothing more than to help me. As for the percs, I just got my wean dose today. It's gonna be about a 4 week or so ween down. Doc said very slow equals little to no withdrawals.

 

My wife is on board, so are some friends, I am not sure about other family members and truly don't care what they think. I'm 38 years old and am 21 years past letting them dictate to me what they think I should do. If they understand, great, if not, that's fine too. I'm not asking for anyone's permission or blessing.

 

I am reading some good books at the moment about it all. Is there any titles out there anyone could recommend for newbie?

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I have worn out cartilage in my spine  in my neck area  I get everything you mention and more I wont discuss in an open forum I use hash oil and high grade cannabis to kill my nerve pain I use to rely on 5 pills a day now I'm down to two cannabis is very beneficial to my pain I feel it will; be helpful to you as well good luck.

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heres a variety of books to check out.
i only know about the old classics. havent seen the new books yet.

for growing:
jorge cervantes Marijuana Horticulture

ed rosenthal Marijuana Grower's Handbook


general:
Jack Herer Emperor wears no clothes

ed rosenthal's Marijuana Medical Handbook: A Guide to Therapeutic Use

Granny Storm Crow's MMJ Reference List

 

few more big ones i'm forgetting.

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As far as strains, I've had good luck with most kush's.  Indica dominants work best for my pain but then too I've had some powerful sativas that are almost as effective without the drowsiness.  For a newbie with possible anxiety, those powerful sativas should probably wait until one gets more used to the impact on the body and mind.

 

You can read online and try to find the ideal strain but that is a bit backwards and impractical.  Find out what is available and make your best guess from the available choices.  Look more at the indica/sativa ratio or if available, the thc/cbd ratio, than at the strain name.  If that strain works well, get some more.  If not, get something different.  Experiment a bit but don't let yourself run out of an effective strain if you find it.  If relying on a dispensary, try to locate at least a couple of effective strains as they often are out of the strain that you have finally found works best for you.

 

If you are going to grow, consider keeping a 'mother plant' of your best strain.  It is worth the plant 'slot' to retain the genetics. 

 

Try to find some concentrates for when pain levels get high.  I found that some simpson oil melted in the mouth will help quickly.  Tinctures can work too if you can find a good strong one.  At times of high pain, you will likely not be able to smoke enough of any strain.  I'd be happy to be proven wrong but to date, only the concentrates are as effective as the opiates for breakthrough pain.

 

I wouldn't get too down on yourself for using something that is illegal.  Not all laws are correct, especially when looked at over time.  Laws are enacted by people and people can make mistakes.  Throughout our history we have adjusted laws as the times have changed.  This law will eventually be adjusted too and we are on the right side, imo.  It adjusts more slowly than it should though because of the money to be made by keeping it illegal.

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Not sure who you were asking about trying everything but I'll take the tale for a bit.

 

With my condition, I can almost predict when I am going to suffer with pain for the next day or two or three.  My issues originate in my neck but the pain is most often elsewhere like the back, shoulders, arms, hands and fingers.  The exact location is not predictable for me, but with over use of my arms the onset of pain is all too predictable.  It starts with electric-like jolts down my arms.  They are telling me, 'Quit now'.  If I heed the warning, the pain usually stops there.  If I am in a situation where I need to keep going, like driving toward home or shoveling snow, the jolts/warnings will continue to go off.

 

Not long ago I pushed a drive to try to make it home.  The warnings were coming loud and clear but I ignored them.  Gratefully I made it home and after a bite to eat I hit the hay as I was exhausted.  After sleeping for about 2 hours I was awakened by a loud clanging, like a bell being struck again and again.  Oddly though, the house was dead quiet.

 

The 'sound' was reverberating through my hands.  About every 8-10 seconds the pain would ring again.  Soundless, crashing clangs just pounding again and again.  Sleep was no longer possible as these bells were relentless.

 

I hate the pharmaceuticals but I also know when I need help.  This was going to call for every weapon I had.  I took a vicodin and a muscle relaxer.  I mixed a strong rum and coke (yes, I know.  Save it.) and headed toward the cannabis cabinet.  I took out my favorite pain relief strain, some tincture, some Peanutbutter Oil, and I swallowed an RSO/coconut capsule that I had made.  While swishing the tincture around my mouth and filling the vaporizor I remembered that a relative had given me a 'tens unit' to try.  I put the electrodes on and then some Peanutbutter Oil too.  I vaped nonstop for the next hour or so but the bells rang on through the night and I didn't fall asleep for over 24 hours from that point.

 

So, personally I try everything that I think may help and then some.  If you've got any other ideas short of the bullet, please share. 

 

Discouraging?  Extremely!  Nonstop pain can wear on a person, even the strongest

 

Good thoughts sent from here to any that suffer from chronic pain.  It can make it tough to enjoy life.  Keep searching for the bright spots

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I have bilateral cervical radiculopathy at the C 5-6, C 6-7 levels, along with some troubles at a couple of different levels. It's from stenosis caused by arthritis, probably the result of getting rear-ended years ago. Fortunately I don't have the pain you guys do... yet... though it's definitely causing trouble. What I've read here makes me fear for my future, as arthritis is progressive. Funny thing is that when this started over 10 years ago the doctors didn't even bother to x-ray my neck. I didn't get any real help till I saw a chiropractor. He showed me the x-rays and I could see the problem myself. Two vertebrae were out of whack and arthritis had set in. He kept my neck in good shape for 10 years, but now it's gotten too advanced to get much relief.

T-Pain... I agree in that I've been affected by the brainwashing too. I know mmj can bring great relief, it's legal and moral, yet there's this small voice in the back of my head that keeps saying I'm doing something wrong. Maybe someday it will go away. 

Tonka... I like your attitude, and agree with what the others said about strain selection. Finding the right strain/strains will take some experimentation. Glad you found a good doc. They're hard to come by for us cardholders. 

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For the record i am normally a very happy, positive person. I don’t like negative people as they suck the life out of me (you). However, I also don’t deal well with hypocrisy and nothing is more hypocritical than society telling us what we can and can’t take for medical purposes.

 

Many will say that Medical Marijuana (MM) will be abused, etc. But the level of abuse on the prescription side is astronomical. It’s ok in society to be in pain and be completely addicted to opiates, after all you’re suffering. It doesn’t matter that these drugs long term are not good for you. They are legal, which gives society a nice warm and fuzzy feeling.

 

Also for the record, I am working on my Masters in the psychology field. This field was designed to understand the human mind and all its amazing facets. It was designed to help those suffering. Sadly, this field too has been hijacked by big Pharma. Just take a look at the history of psychological drugs and the amount prescribed say 20 years ago compared to today. You know who the biggest clients are recently? Children and teens. The scariest thought though, is that not one of these drugs has ever been tested on these groups. Not one. We have no idea the long term affects.

 

As for the abuse stance, I don’t accept the premise. Will some abuse this? Sure, but does that require draconian scare tactics? No. What we are dealing with here is societies fear of MM and their stupidity. Its simply deemed bad and those that use it are now bad too. As I have said before. Walk in my shoes, but since that’s not possible, I respectively tell society to kiss my donkey.

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You may find that a topical may work well for you. Apply directly on the hurt areas.

 

A light medible can make the day more pleasant. A small amount containing a low dose, at the beginning. This will not only get you use to the medication, but it will reduce the anxiety and fear that may result from use. You truly want to start light.

 

Start the day with a sativa-blend.  End the day with an indicia-blend should provide a restful sleep. 1-2 puff may be all you need, if smoking.

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Not sure who you were asking about trying everything but I'll take the tale for a bit.

 

With my condition, I can almost predict when I am going to suffer with pain for the next day or two or three.  My issues originate in my neck but the pain is most often elsewhere like the back, shoulders, arms, hands and fingers.  The exact location is not predictable for me, but with over use of my arms the onset of pain is all too predictable.  It starts with electric-like jolts down my arms.  They are telling me, 'Quit now'.  If I heed the warning, the pain usually stops there.  If I am in a situation where I need to keep going, like driving toward home or shoveling snow, the jolts/warnings will continue to go off.

 

Not long ago I pushed a drive to try to make it home.  The warnings were coming loud and clear but I ignored them.  Gratefully I made it home and after a bite to eat I hit the hay as I was exhausted.  After sleeping for about 2 hours I was awakened by a loud clanging, like a bell being struck again and again.  Oddly though, the house was dead quiet.

 

The 'sound' was reverberating through my hands.  About every 8-10 seconds the pain would ring again.  Soundless, crashing clangs just pounding again and again.  Sleep was no longer possible as these bells were relentless.

 

I hate the pharmaceuticals but I also know when I need help.  This was going to call for every weapon I had.  I took a vicodin and a muscle relaxer.  I mixed a strong rum and coke (yes, I know.  Save it.) and headed toward the cannabis cabinet.  I took out my favorite pain relief strain, some tincture, some Peanutbutter Oil, and I swallowed an RSO/coconut capsule that I had made.  While swishing the tincture around my mouth and filling the vaporizor I remembered that a relative had given me a 'tens unit' to try.  I put the electrodes on and then some Peanutbutter Oil too.  I vaped nonstop for the next hour or so but the bells rang on through the night and I didn't fall asleep for over 24 hours from that point.

 

So, personally I try everything that I think may help and then some.  If you've got any other ideas short of the bullet, please share. 

 

Discouraging?  Extremely!  Nonstop pain can wear on a person, even the strongest

 

Good thoughts sent from here to any that suffer from chronic pain.  It can make it tough to enjoy life.  Keep searching for the bright spots

Sadly, that sounds like what my husband goes through.

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