Month: March 2017

Medical Marijuana for Chronic Pain Starting on…

On December 1st, 2016, the New York State Department of Health announced that chronic pain: “will be added as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.” This major development would enable us to treat chronic pain with medical marijuana. Prior to this, patients would need to have another qualifying condition, like neuropathy or cancer, in addition to a symptom of chronic or severe pain, to obtain medical marijuana. Since most patients with chronic pain do not have one of these conditions diagnosed, the news is significant. Nearly 40% of Americans have chronic pain, compared to around 2% who have a diagnosis of neuropathy. At the...

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Medical Marijuana for Neuropathy

Medical Marijuana for Neuropathy Neuropathy qualifies for medical marijuana in New York, however the conditions that qualify as neuropathy are less certain. In general, neuropathy means a nerve disorder but the law doesn’t explain what “Neuropathy” means and the medical definition isn’t always clear either. There are different types of neuropathy and different verbiage is used to describe neuropathy. One may refer to a nerve disorder in the wrist as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or as a “distal median neuropathy.” In a neurology text, Guillain–Barré syndrome may be referred to as a lumbosacral polyradiculoneuropathy, or polyneuropathy. So, if you ask two doctors “What is neuropathy?” you can expect to get completely different answers. This lack of clarity also extends to what conditions are considered to be neuropathy. Is a disorder of the nerve roots deemed Neuropathy, Radiculopathy or both? While the definitions rarely affect the management of a disease, they are nonetheless important for facilitating access to medical marijuana treatment in New York – important for those who need it to alleviate disabling pain and important for the providers who want to comply with the law. Basic Anatomy of the Nervous System The nervous system has millions of neurons or nerve cells. The Central Nervous System includes the brain and spinal cord and is made up of central nerves. The peripheral nervous system has nerves that extend outside of the spinal...

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