Ryan Palm is a key member of our customer service team at HelloMD. He is also a new contributor to the HelloMD blog, discussing his own experiences with cannabis, back pain and dehydration.
Cannabis Solved My Back Pain…Mostly
The pain relieving properties of cannabis are remarkable and it is for this reason that I choose cannabis as my 1st line option for combatting chronic back pain. I have experimented with over-the-counter medications in the past like Advil and Tylenol and have even used the prescription medications Flexoril and Zanaflex. They all provided a degree of relief, but due to my lack of enthusiasm for swallowing candy coated pills and a few unpleasant side-effects (ohthe grogginess), I was often left with a partial solution to my back pain problems. Once I made the switch to a cannabis maintenance plan, focusing on some stellar CBD strains, I started getting some real, lasting relief from my pain! And then my muscle tissue lived happily ever after…
Except, on some sweaty nights I still found that I woke up with back pain and, much to my concern, even sometimes spinal pain! I racked my brain for the causes… was I hyper extending too much? Not enough stretching? Over time I started to notice two things: The first was that whenever my back hurt the most my lips were very dry. The second was that on my worst days I was waking up with a headache. Quickly, the picture began to become clear. I was finding myself waking up dehydrated!
Dehydration: The Culprit in Chronic Pain
Quickly, I took to the web to confirm my hunch. Article after article confirmed my hypothesis; what a relief I felt knowing that my problem had been identified. Here’s what I found:
- Your back has a series of discs in between each vertebra.
- These discs are the shock absorbers that cushion your bones.
- Each disc is mostly comprised of water.
- If the disc is dehydrated, then its ability to cushion your vertebra becomes compromised.
- As a result “pain, swelling, and even ruptures” can occur.
Before this, I never realized that dehydration had such an impact on your spinal health. I knew the traditional methods of back care, like a daily walk, plenty of stretching, and good posture, but I had not become aware of the enormous affect water had on my back.
Cannabis – Not a Silver Bullet
Once I began monitoring my water intake, especially making sure that I was hydrated before bed, I found my spine was more flexible and in general healthier feeling. The whole experience was a great reminder that, although cannabis works wonders with chronic pain, you can’t just rely on a singular fix for your pain. You need to take care of your entire body. After all, it is the only place you have to live!