OPN: A Good Sites to Nose around in

Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2008 11:54:04 -0800
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Subject: OPN: A Good Sites to Nose around in



Tom and other Spinal Cord Injury people should be heartened by this study:


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PubMed articles by:

J Spinal Cord Med. 2006; 29(2): 109–117.
Copyright © 2006, American Paraplegia Society
Treatments for Chronic Pain in Persons With Spinal Cord Injury: A Survey Study
Diana D Cardenas, MD, MHA and Mark P Jensen, PhD

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
Please address correspondence to Diana D. Cardenas, MD, MHA, University of Washington, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Box 356490, Seattle, WA 98195; phone: 206.543.8171; fax: 206.685.3244 (e-mail: dianamac@u.washington.edu).
Received 2005; Accepted 2005.


To determine the degree and duration of pain relief provided by specific pain treatments used by individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) who have chronic pain.


Postal survey.




Participants were 117 individuals who had traumatic SCI, were 18 years of age or older, and reported a chronic pain problem.

Main Outcome Measures:

Questions assessing current or past use of 26 different pain treatments, the amount of relief each treatment provided, and the length of time that any pain relief usually lasts.


The medications tried most often were nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (tried by 71%) and acetaminophen (tried by 70%); these medications were still being used by more than one half of the patients who had tried them. Opioids produced the greatest degree of pain relief on average (mean, 6.27 ± 3.05 [SD] on a 0–10 scale, with 0 = no relief and 10 = complete relief) but were unlikely to be continued by those who tried them. Although 38% of respondents with pain had tried gabapentin, only 17% were still using it, and average pain relief was only moderate (mean, 3.32 ± 3.03 on the 0–10 relief scale). Seventy-three percent of the respondents had tried at least 1 of 7 alternative pain treatments, and the most frequently tried were massage, marijuana, and acupuncture. The most relief was provided by massage (mean, 6.05 ± 2.47] on the 0–10 relief scale) and marijuana (mean, 6.62 ± 2.54 on the 0–10 relief scale). The relief from the various treatments, including most medications, tended to last only minutes or hours; however, pain relief from alternative treatments such as massage, acupuncture, and hypnosis was reported to last for days in 25% to 33% of those who tried these treatments.


Many patients are not finding adequate pain relief from commonly prescribed medications. Alternative therapies should be considered as additional treatment options in this population.

Keywords: Spinal cord injuries, Pain, Chronic, Neuropathic, Musculoskeletal, Analgesia, Gabapentin, Massage, Acupuncture, Alternative therapy

Harm Reduct J. 2005; 2: 18.
Published online 2005 October 4. doi: 10.1186/1477-7517-2-18.
Copyright © 2005 Swift et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Survey of Australians using cannabis for medical purposes
Wendy Swift,corresponding author1 Peter Gates,1 and Paul Dillon1

1National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, 2052 Australia
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Wendy Swift: w.swift@unsw.edu.au; Peter Gates: p.gates@unsw.edu.au; Paul Dillon: p.dillon@unsw.edu.au
Received August 17, 2005; Accepted October 4, 2005.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Small right arrow pointing to: This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.


The New South Wales State Government recently proposed a trial of the medical use of cannabis. Australians who currently use cannabis medicinally do so illegally and without assurances of quality control. Given the dearth of local information on this issue, this study explored the experiences of medical cannabis users.


Australian adults who had used cannabis for medical purposes were recruited using media stories. A total of 147 respondents were screened by phone and anonymous questionnaires were mailed, to be returned by postage paid envelope.


Data were available for 128 participants. Long term and regular medical cannabis use was frequently reported for multiple medical conditions including chronic pain (57%), depression (56%), arthritis (35%), persistent nausea (27%) and weight loss (26%). Cannabis was perceived to provide "great relief" overall (86%), and substantial relief of specific symptoms such as pain, nausea and insomnia. It was also typically perceived as superior to other medications in terms of undesirable effects, and the extent of relief provided. However, nearly one half (41%) experienced conditions or symptoms that were not helped by its use. The most prevalent concerns related to its illegality. Participants reported strong support for their use from clinicians and family. There was almost universal interest (89%) in participating in a clinical trial of medical cannabis, and strong support (79%) for investigating alternative delivery methods.


Australian medical cannabis users are risking legal ramifications, but consistent with users elsewhere, claim moderate to substantial benefits from its use in the management of their medical condition. In addition to strong public support, medical cannabis users show strong interest in clinical cannabis research, including the investigation of alternative delivery methods.

Articles from Harm Reduction Journal are provided here courtesy of
BioMed Central

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