Musculoskeletal Pain

Musculoskeletal Pain

What is musculoskeletal pain?

Musculoskeletal pain is an umbrella term for pain affecting joints, bones, or muscles. When it lasts for longer than three months, it is then referred to as chronic musculoskeletal pain. In severe cases, such chronic pain can have a dramatic effect on the patient’s quality of life and mental wellbeing. Musculoskeletal pain is a common problem affecting up to 30% of adults in the UK.


What are the symptoms of musculoskeletal pain?

Symptoms will often vary from person to person in both regularity and severity, but the common symptoms include:

  • All-over-body ache
  • Muscles twitching or burning
  • Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia/ disturbed sleep

It can also result in knock-on effects on mental wellbeing. Many people living with chronic pain also suffer from anxiety and depression.


What causes musculoskeletal pain?

Musculoskeletal pain can be caused by a range of pre-existing conditions. Some examples include:

  • Conditions related to joints:
    • Mechanical back pain
    • Inflammatory arthritis
    • Osteoarthritis
    • Gout or pseudogout
    • Joint hypermobility
  • Conditions related to bones
    • Compression fractures of the spine
    • Acromegaly
    • Paget’s disease
  • Conditions related to muscles
    • Myositis
    • Tendinitis

There are also other habitual causes that are thought to be linked to musculoskeletal pain, including:

  • The wear and tear of daily activities
  • Trauma to an area, such as through jerking movements, car accidents, falls, fractures, sprains, dislocations, or direct blows to the muscle
  • Postural strain
  • Repetitive movements
  • Overuse
  • Lack of use
  • Spinal alignment problems

What treatment options are available for musculoskeletal pain?

When it comes to treatment, a variety of combined treatments is often required, such as:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Lifestyle modifications to work and home environments
  • Psychological therapies
  • Continued and consistent exercise
  • Painkillers, ranging from over-the-counter medications to stronger ones, such as codeine, tramadol, and morphine

When musculoskeletal pain is caused by an underlying condition, often that condition will need to be treated in order to manage and reduce the symptoms of chronic pain. For example, some conditions such as osteoarthritis of the hip or knees may benefit from an operation when severe.


How can medical cannabis help with musculoskeletal pain?

A study, titled ‘Medical cannabis for orthopaedic patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain: does evidence support its use?’ by Herman Johal, Christopher Vannabouathong, Yaping Chang, Meng Zhu, and Mohit Bhandari, shows evidence of “a statistically significant reduction in chronic pain conditions with cannabinoids” specifically for patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain. 

Medical cannabis has long since been used as an alternative form of chronic pain relief, especially for those looking to avoid use of strong medications, like opioids. Opioids are often a common choice for helping with chronic pain. This study, ‘Cannabis as an adjunct to or substitute for opiates in the treatment of chronic pain’, from 2012 states that cannabis can help lead to a greater cumulative relief of pain than opiates. That means fewer opiates are used and reduces the impact of any associated side-effects and risk of addiction. 

When other forms of treatment prove ineffective, medical cannabis could be an alternative form of treatment that offers much-needed relief. Alleviating symptoms of pain and discomfort can help patients enjoy a better quality of life, regaining independence and strength once more.

Our expert specialist doctors at The Medical Cannabis Clinics seek to raise awareness about how medical cannabis can help those living with chronic musculoskeletal pain. They offer private online video link consultations, where patients can explore treatment options and receive personalised care.

Your prescription can be tailored to suit your individual circumstances and needs, with ongoing support and adjustments made as necessary. Appointments start from only £70. Book a private consultation today and one of our expert specialist doctors will be able to guide you through your treatment options.

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