How Do You Qualify for a MMJ Card With a Damaged Spinal Cord?
May 26, 2018 | DAMAGED SPINAL CORD
What Spinal Cord Injuries Can Do
The spinal cord forms a pathway for communication between your brain and the rest of your body. It works in conjunction with the brain to control movement, sensation, behavior and a range of unconscious processes.
A damaged spinal cord can significantly impact your quality of life. Symptoms can range from: limited mobility, impaired motor functions, spasticity and reduced sensation throughout the body to poor bowel/bladder control, sexual dysfunction, and chronic pain. The severity of spinal injury is often judged in terms of completeness. An injury is considered to be complete when the patient loses all feelings and motor functions below the impact point of the injury. This form of paralysis can affect all the limbs of the body (tetraplegia), or it can be restricted to the trunk, legs and pelvic organs (paraplegia). While incomplete injuries are less severe, even minor spinal damage can reduce your ability to carry out everyday tasks for weeks on end.
WHAT CAUSES SPINAL CORD INJURIES?
At last count, spinal cord injuries affect up to 1.1% of the US population, an estimated 347,000 people. Approximately 38% of these injuries are caused by vehicular accidents, with accidental falls coming in close behind at 30%. Other contributing factors include:
· Sports injuries
· Medical/surgical errors
· Medical conditions such as:
o Spina bifida a birth defect in which baby’s spines fail to develop properly
o Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a genetic condition that affects muscle movement and control.
o Spinal Stenosis a narrowing of the spaces between the spine
o Syringomyelia, a fluid-filled cyst that develops in the spine causing damage to the surround areas.
Spinal damage cannot be reversed; modern treatments are largely focused around controlling and managing the effects of the trauma.
HOW MEDICAL MARIJUANA IS USED TO TREAT SPINAL INJURIES
Over the years, medical research has shown that medical cannabis holds significant promise in treating the symptoms of spinal damage. Cannabinoids are chemicals contained within the cannabis plant. These chemicals activate specific cannabinoid receptors located throughout the human body; receptors are particularly concentrated in the central nervous system where the spine resides. Studies show that these receptors play a critical role in regulating pain perception in humans.
Animal tests have shown that cannabinoids may have additional neuroprotective effects when administered immediately after spinal damage. Researchers at the University of Washington revealed that rats subjected to a cannabinoid injection immediately after sustaining spinal damage can experience partial recovery of locomotor functions. Meanwhile, researchers from the Switzerland based Centre for Spinal Cord Injuries concluded that orally administered THC capsules can be an effective and relatively safe method of treatment for spinal damage related spasticity.
Currently, patients with spinal damage are only eligible for medical marijuana certifications in New York if they can show “objective neurological indications of intractable spasticity”.
WHAT IS INTRACTABLE SPASTICITY?
Over 80% of people who suffer from spinal cord damage experience some form of spasticity. If you have sustained a spinal injury or developed spinal damage through a medical condition then you may have symptoms of spasticity.
Spasticity impairs your body’s ability to coordinate and control muscular movements. This can lead to:
· Involuntary muscle spasms and exaggerated reflex reactions.
· Involuntary motions throughout the body, including the bowels.
· Involuntary tightening of the muscles.
· Rapid muscle contractions.
· Locked/stiff joints.
As these symptoms worsen, patients often experience severe pain and increasingly restricting motor functions.
If any of these indications seem familiar, then you may be eligible for medical marijuana certification in New York. Contact our representatives at Medical Marijuana Recs NY for a free consultation. Our expert medical practitioners, under the guidance of Lauraine Kanders NP, help qualifying patients start the medical marijuana certification process today. Same day certifications possible.
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