Myelomalacia is a somewhat rare medical condition that occurs when the spinal cord begins to soften (usually due to a lack of blood flow, and typically following some kind of acute injury to the spinal cord).
This can lead to a loss of spinal cord volume.
And this, in turn, can lead to a number of problems throughout the body.
People who are suffering from myelomalacia may experience issues such as pain, muscle weakness, motor function impairment, delayed or inhibited reflexes, and even difficulty breathing.
If your first reaction to hearing these symptoms is to say to yourself:
“Wow, that sounds pretty serious!”
Well, you’d be correct.
See, what Myelomalacia actually does is it affects the sensory-motor functions of the human body.
And when the spine softens, this puts the nerves at an increased risk for danger.
This means that nerve damage as a result of bulging discs and other similar conditions becomes a lot more likely.
The condition most commonly occurs in the neck and lower back regions, but it can occur at any point along the spine.
With that being said, let’s talk a little bit about the treatment for Myelomalacia, and discuss what the options are for people who have been diagnosed with it.
We’re also going to dive into the details of how cannabis could be used as an unlikely treatment option for the condition.
This article just might surprise you.
How Myelomalacia Is Treated
The good news about Myelomalacia treatment is that there are a few different methods to choose from.
The bad news is that if the condition has indeed caused permanent nerve damage, there’s really no treatment available to restore lost nerve function.
So really, it all comes down to this.
If the condition can be recognized before it becomes serious (and before it does serious damage), then the outlook tends to be a lot more positive.
Some people undergo a surgical treatment option for the condition.
The main goals of the surgical treatment are to clear the blockages or compressions that are inhibiting normal blood flow, and then to stabilize the area so that the problem doesn’t reoccur in the future.
For example— if a patient had undergone a shifted spinal disk (to cause the spinal cord softening), then a minimally invasive surgical procedure would involve making a small incision in the back to access the damaged site, carefully removing the disc or bone that’s cutting off blood flow, and then inserting an implant or bone graft to stabilize the area and to prevent the problem from occurring again.
Myelomalacia patients may require pain management while recovering from surgery, but this can be complicated by the addictive and damaging nature of some painkillers.
Nowadays, more and more healthcare providers are trying to find alternative pain management strategies that are effective, but also safe and non-addictive to support a healthy recovery for the patient.
Can Myelomalacia Patients Benefit From Cannabis?
There have been several studies conducted over the past 20 years across various countries where THC and CBD were explored as helpful pain treatment options for people who are living with paralysis.
It has also been suggested that medical cannabis could be used to help alleviate the symptoms of a spinal cord injury or disease.
More specifically, cannabis could be used to help treat neuropathic pain and relieve this pain in patients.
And as it turns out, medical cannabis could possibly be used to treat the pain associated with Myelomalacia.
Cannabis is a preferable option for pain management over drugs like opioids due to its lower potential for addiction and fewer long-term negative effects on the body. Unlike opioids, cannabis can provide pain relief without the risk of developing a dependency or causing severe damage to vital organs.
And this just adds to the growing body of evidence showing that medical cannabis has a wide variety of very relevant and helpful medicinal uses.
There you have it.
An overview of Myelomalacia treatments, and also how cannabis could be used to help manage the pain.
The good news is that there’s still a lot to be learned about the medical benefits of cannabis.
Who knows what the future might hold for this incredible green plant.