Conditions
Chronic Pain
Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain medical cannabis treatment

Lower back pain can affect everyone differently, but for some, lower back pain can become chronic, and have a debilitating effect on one’s ability to take part in their everyday activities. In the UK, conventional painkillers, anti-inflammatories, and in some cases opioids, are prescribed to help relieve lower back pain, but recently, medical cannabis has emerged as an alternative treatment choice, and is a popular choice amongst many.

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84%

of those who have used cannabis to manage pain said it was an effective treatment according to US patient survey

120 million

working days are lost due to back pain

2 in 3

people are affected by lower back pain at some point in their life

Number 1

condition treated with medical cannabis in the UK is chronic pain

“The Releaf+ subscription simplifies the entire process of my medical cannabis treatment.“

Nigel, Releaf Patient

October 2023

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Articles on Lower back pain

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22. 09. 2023

Can you get a medical cannabis card for chronic back pain in the UK? 

Medical cannabis is an increasingly popular treatment option for people suffering from chronic back pain. But to legally access it in the United Kingdom (UK), you need a physician registered to the General Medical Council Specialist Register to prescribe you cannabis. That means that, more than likely, your current GP won’t be able to help you get a medical cannabis prescription. NHS medical cannabis patients are not provided with a medical cannabis card, as unlike some other countries, it is not a legal requirement to carry a card. Again, if you are looking for the added protection that holding a medical cannabis card offers, then a private clinic is the best way to go.

12. 07. 2023

Cannabis for back pain management

Back pain. What starts as a small niggle can quickly spiral out of control, leading to a lifetime of chronic discomfort. And while there is a huge range of conventional pharmaceutical options available to help manage and control back pain, the need for new, effective therapeutic allies is ever-present. Opioids are the most commonly prescribed pain relief for chronic back aches, but the potential for addiction and other heavy side effects related to long-term opioid use has led to an increased focus on alternative therapeutic options.

28. 08. 2023

Is medical cannabis a viable treatment for back pain?

Despite advancements in understanding back pain, the lack of effective and lasting treatment options remains a significant challenge. Managing non-surgical back pain has been identified as a primary contributor to the current issues surrounding the overprescription of opioids. Additionally, post-operative pain management poses a complex challenge for patients undergoing spine surgery. Medical cannabis, a plant with potent therapeutic properties, is increasingly recognized for its potential to alleviate the symptoms of a variety of health conditions, including back pain and chronic inflammation.

Symptoms

Long lasting pain

Fever

Legs feel numb or weak

Redness and/or swelling on the back

Loss of bowel/bladder control

If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, you may have lower back pain. Please speak with your GP to find out more.

Treatment options:

Sometimes if your lower back pain does not improve, or becomes more severe, your GP may prescribe analgesics (painkillers) or medicines that relax the muscles in your back. Physiotherapy and manual therapy involving exercise and stretching may be recommended, or CBT to help you develop coping strategies to deal with the pain, or in extreme cases surgery may be recommended.

Paracetamol

Ibuprofen

Anti-inflammatories

Codeine

Diazepam

If you are struggling to manage your symptoms with conventional medicines and have had a lack of success with at least two licensed treatments for lower back pain, medical cannabis may be suitable for you. Use our free eligibility tool to find out now.
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A word from our specialist

"Many conditions that lead to chronic pain often respond poorly to conventional pharmaceutical medications. More and more is being understood about how the endocannabinoid system interacts with the more well known pain pathways to work synergistically with these conventional medications. Chronic pain comes with a variety of associated symptoms such as poor sleep, fatigue, brain fog and reduced appetite – all of which treatment with medical cannabis can improve."

Dr David Tang

Chronic Pain Specialist

Can I get prescription cannabis for lower back pain in the UK?

In the UK, specialist doctors registered by the GMC, like those that work for Releaf, can prescribe medical cannabis for lower back pain to patients who have been unsuccessful in managing their condition using licensed, conventional medications and treatments. 

Lower back pain can be caused by a number of things including standing for long periods of time, poor posture, heavy lifting, and poor diet or lack of exercise, but also by inflammatory conditions, or injuries like a slipped disk or a fractured vertebra, and it can last for a few hours, days, weeks, months, or even years - it all depends on the individual. 

Medical cannabis contains different classes of chemicals, one of which are called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids have the ability to alter, or influence, some of the messages and signals that the brain send around the body, including pain, and the two most prominent, CBD and THC, have collectively shown great potential in alleviating pain at the source, and reducing the perception of pain in the brain. 

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