Medical Cannabis, Muscle Spasms, and Intractable Pain: Andrew's Story

Meet Andrew, who is a son, a brother, a proud uncle to his niece and nephew, a boyfriend to “the world’s best girlfriend”, and a LeafLine Labs patient from Marshall, Minnesota. As a self-proclaimed “child of the internet”, Andrew likes blogging, being active on various social media sites, and exploring his creative side by shooting and editing videos. Away from his computer he enjoys spending time with his friends, and like many gets lost in conversations trying to figure out this thing called life.

Andrew was born with spina bifida, a birth defect in which the spinal cord fails to develop properly. Complications from a spinal untethering procedure several years ago left him with a nicked nerve in his back, greatly compromising his strength and ability to complete day-to-day tasks, and also lost control of both his bowel and his bladder. In addition to the relentless pain in his back that radiated throughout his entire body, Andrew has suffered from severe muscle spasms in his right leg for over 15 years. After undergoing another surgery in 2014, he was placed on a regimen of extensive, painful physical therapy to rebuild his strength, which left him in such agony that he often slept for days on end as he was robbed of all energy, endurance, and patience while he was hurting. And as opioids are too hard on Andrew’s already compromised digestive system, traditional medicated pain management was not an option.

Rather than increasing dosing of his current medications, as suggested by his podiatrist and neurologist, Andrew decided to look into medical cannabis. After hearing from several physicians that medical cannabis was a treatment option for his pain and muscle spasms, he chose to overcome his own personal apprehension about this medicine and give it a try as so many other treatment options had failed him.

On his way home from his first visit to LeafLine Labs, Andrew was brought to tears – but this time the tears were not from pain, but from relief.

Over one year after his first appointment, Andrew continues to have relief from his pain. “Medical cannabis has managed to see [give me back?] life that I didn’t think I could have,” Andrew says, “It has helped me to go from hurting constantly to almost never.”