CBD oil and pain: 2- the impact of acute and chronic pain
One of the most common questions we get asked at Peach & Moon Organics is whether CBD will help with pain. We have started answering this question with a blog on the different types of pain, differentiating between acute pain and chronic pain.
In short, acute pain usually comes along with an acute medical condition or illness. Examples include a broken arm, acute appendicitis and dental surgery. There are many more examples such as a short episode of neck pain or a heart attack. Chronic pain persists for an extended period of time. For example, chronic pain resulting from nerve damage. You can read more about the different types of pain here.
Let's take a closer look at the impact of acute and chronic pain on individuals and society.
Although acute pain is a passing experience, there have been a lot of efforts to help fight or reduce the intensity of acute pain. There are a few reasons for these efforts. One of these reasons is that pain causes suffering and we do not want people to suffer unnecessarily. Another important reason is that acute pain can cause further negative consequences. An example is a person experiencing unrelieved acute pain after a chest surgery. The pain left untreated could cause the person to stop breathing deeply in order to avoid the discomfort and pain caused by breathing and then this could lead to serious complications such as pneumonia. Furthermore, there have been a number of studies showing severe acute pain is a direct risk factor in developing chronic pain.
Chronic pain is extremely difficult to relieve and it interferes with work, family life, social life and sleep. Chronic pain is linked to depression and a feeling of helplessness and despair. Chronic pain has a huge impact on those suffering as well as families, and indeed when we look at the bigger picture chronic pain has a negative impact on society. Very often chronic pain is not recognised for the enormous impact it has, and the number of people it affects in South Africa and around the world.
On top of the socioeconomic and emotional toll, the opioid prescription epidemic has emerged as a major crisis resulting in overuse, abuse and addiction. Opioids have shown to be highly effective when it comes to the treatment of acute and cancer pain but they very often fail when it comes to providing adequate relief of chronic pain - this can often lead to a vicious cycle of increases in prescribed doses, leading to dependence without acceptable pain relief.
'Opioids out, cannabis in' (Journal of the American Medical Association) is worth a read if you want to take a look at this in more depth.