Neuropathy is characterised by numbness, weakness, and burning or shooting pain, all symptoms that can be debilitating for a patient. The condition can be caused by disease or injury and tends to be chronic in nature, meaning patients often struggle for years without relief.
If you have been diagnosed with neuropathy and have not yet found a way to effectively manage your symptoms, MyAccess Clinics may be able to help. Our trained and experienced specialists have assisted many patients through the prescription of medical cannabinoids for neuropathic pain.
What is neuropathy?
Neuropathy, also known as peripheral neuropathy, is a disease characterised by damage or dysfunction to nerves that results in pain, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness.
Neuropathic pain can be acute or chronic in nature, depending on the root cause. Chronic neuropathy tends to be more common and is often associated with other diseases, such as multiple sclerosis or diabetes.
What causes neuropathic pain?
To understand what causes neuropathic pain, you first need to understand how the nervous system functions.
The peripheral nervous system is one of two nervous systems found in the human body, the other being the central nervous system. The peripheral nervous system contains a network of nerves that allows the brain and spinal cord to send and receive messages. These nerves include sensory neurons and motor neurons, which work in tandem to help us function and react to our surroundings. Motor neurons carry messages from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body, and sensory neurons relay information back to the central nervous system. The peripheral nervous system also contains autonomic nerves that help regulate body functions, like breathing, temperature, heart rate, and more.
Neuropathic pain is caused by a disease or injury that targets this peripheral nervous system. Neurons that are damaged or destroyed disrupt the ability of the nervous system to communicate and can cause painful symptoms.
What are the symptoms of neuropathic pain?
Given that there are three types of neurons that make up the peripheral nervous system, the symptoms associated with neuropathy tend to vary.
If your autonomic nerves are affected, you may experience excessive sweating, digestive problems, dizziness, and a drop in your blood pressure.
Neuropathy affecting sensory and motor neurons produce symptoms that are more commonly associated with the condition. These include a gradual onset of numbness, throbbing or burning pain, sensitivity to touch, lack of coordination, muscle weakness, and in some cases, paralysis.
These symptoms can be distressing so it’s best to speak with a healthcare professional immediately if you suspect you may be suffering from neuropathy.
What are the risk factors for developing neuropathic pain?
There are a number of risk factors associated with neuropathy. Some of these can be managed while others are beyond a patient’s control.
These risk factors include:
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Infections, like Lyme disease
- Autoimmune conditions, including arthritis
- Exposure to certain toxins
- Repetitive movements performed over a long period of time (usually related to one’s profession)
- Family history of the disease.
Understanding these risk factors can help you and your doctor to prevent and manage symptoms.
What options do I have to manage neuropathic pain?
The strategies you use to manage neuropathic pain really depend on the root cause of your condition.
If, for example, you have been diagnosed with diabetes and are experiencing numbness and pain as a complication of that, managing your blood sugar levels may help prevent the condition from escalating any further.
It’s best to speak with a medical professional to obtain advice tailored to your specific circumstances. They may recommend any number of strategies to help manage symptoms, including medical cannabis for neuropathic pain.
Can medical cannabis be used to manage neuropathic pain?
In 2018, medical cannabis was legalised as an unlicensed medicine in the United Kingdom. Since then, the medication has been used to help manage symptoms associated with a wide range of physical and psychological conditions, including neuropathic pain. Medical cannabis may be an option for people diagnosed with several types of chronic pain, including arthritis, back pain, migraines, and more.
Medical cannabinoids for neuropathic pain are one of the many treatment options we provide at MyAccess Clinics for patients that meet our eligibility criteria.
How do I book a consultation with MyAccess Clinics?
Before booking a consultation with the experienced team at MyAccess Clinics, patients will need to answer a few short questions to determine their eligibility. These questions reflect the broader guidelines laid out by UK regulations, which stipulate that patients should not be prescribed medical cannabis unless their condition has been diagnosed by a doctor and they have tried at least two other methods to manage their pain without success.
Once your eligibility has been confirmed, you will be able to book an appointment with one of our specialists. They will assess your condition and medical history to determine whether medical cannabis for neuropathic pain is an appropriate option for you.
For more information, contact our friendly team today.