Should Chronic Pain Patients Be Rooting for the NFL

Should Chronic Pain Patients Be Rooting for the NFL

By Ed Coghlan.

We don’t run a sports segment at the National Pain Report, a but a sports story that broke this week might have significance for the chronic pain community.

The Washington Post reported this week that he powerful NFL may be willing to work with the NFL Players Association to study the use of marijuana as pain management.

The league wrote a letter to the NFLPA, offering to work with it to study the potential use by players as a pain management tool, the source confirmed.

For the chronic pain community, this could be good news, given the influence of the league. For years, chronic pain patients, especially those who have federal-based insurance like the VA, Medicare and Medicaid have had to fight to gain access to medical marijuana.

The Federal Government still considers marijuana an illegal substance, even though several states—including California—have voted to approve it for recreational use.

NFL players, who essentially are in pain for the entire season if not beyond, have argued that marijuana provides relief and some study is long overdue.

The league may be lightening its resistance, finally.

“We look forward to working with the players’ association on all issues involving the health and safety of our players,” said Joe Lockhart, the NFL’s executive vice president of communications.

The NFL’s letter pointed out a few areas for potential research, including pain management for acute and chronic conditions. The league has previously indicated that it is studying marijuana as a pain management tool on its own.

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith told The Washington Post in January that the union was working on a proposal on a “less punitive” approach to recreational marijuana use.

“I do think that issues of addressing it more in a treatment and less punitive measure is appropriate,” Smith said at the time. “I think it’s important to look at whether there are addiction issues. And I think it’s important to not simply assume recreation is the reason it’s being used.”

Players are currently tested for marijuana and face potential discipline for positive tests. While the punishment is less severe than it used to be, the players—and now perhaps the league—are moving toward a stance where it’s ok to use marijuana for medicinal purposes.

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

There are 9 comments for this article
  1. Judy at 3:52 pm

    IMHO the NFL should be rooting for US, the common people who suffer with chronic pain. There are enough high profile people in the NFL who have no problem finding marijuana…..medical or recreational. If some of them came out in support of legalization for ALL people, for any condition, it would do a lot to move things forward.

    And in response to Sheila Leys-Garcia, medical marijuana does not get you high. But you’re right, it’s not for everyone, but it should be OUR CHOICE, not the governments.

  2. Debbie De Anda at 10:22 pm

    Of course they should because these men know how it feels to have pain

  3. Mark Ibsen at 3:00 am

    NHL has a policy
    Already.
    Great results.
    Go NFL
    Ask Ricky williams.

  4. Maureen at 4:50 pm

    Well then, perhaps a famous person may ‘eventually’ come out of this to be a spokesperson for our CP community…and may heads finally be turned 🙂

  5. spkavyo at 2:15 pm

    Cannabis may be able to substitute for most if not all opioid medications that players now need to go through the nagging injuries and pain that is the result of every game. I spent years reducing, and finally this year ending, use of opioid medications for the chronic back pain I’ve lived with for over 40 years and six surgeries. I have a Spinal Cord Stimulator implanted on my spinal cord for pain relief and I find the cannabis works in concert with the SCS to reduce my pain to a tolerable level. I’ve been lucky enough to live in legal states where you can walk into a dispensary and choose the products that work best for your personal conditition. Flower, concentrates, edibles and topicals all have their place, whether THC or CBD dominate.

  6. Ibin at 10:10 am

    ANY…..influence into ANY pain relief for those of us with lifelong, continuous would be regarded as “good” news. The shear negative impact of the CDC “guideline” adoption (yeah) by 50 all states, impacting millions of people should be enough influence to at the very least, to cause some rethinking, by the experts. the authoritarians that argue that opiate based medication is ineffective for continuous pain or patients are being prescribed “too much”.

    The “governing” medical board in NC has relayed to me, that the adoption of 90 mme daily, maximum, for one and all is just a basic rule of prescribing and that the patients’ well being, physiologically, spiritually, emotionally, and economically is what the patient with pain should “still” be receiving. We KNOW, the patients and providers, , that 90 mme is much more than a referencing ‘guideline”.

    It has been reported that the cannabis plant in MANY forms of use is an effective pain reliever. yet, DOT/GOV still has the plant as a schedule 1, substance and has for years. There are a few representatives bringing forth recommendations to ease the bound by law study into cannabis research. When so many have been so negatively affected by 90 mme maximum, it should not take much thought that continuous, incurable pain IS a very real issue causing disastrous results for experimenting without thinking. With DOT/GOV the only “ball” that seems to get rolling quickly is the golf ball or possibly a soft ball.

    I believe NC cannabis use is very strictly limited to end of life health care or incurable pain generating cancer. I, personally do not know of the positive results of cannabis as a pain reliever but, that being said, most any form of effective, non harm causing pain relief would be better than……90 mme. I DO read and listen to people with continuous pain that cannabis in the form chosen by the patient is an effective method of easing continuous pain. There’s that word again……….chosen. Choices for pain control even with patients that have received effective, non negative health causing issues is NOT in the vocabulary of the authoritarians and DOT/GOV.

    More power to the NFL and NFLPA. That is how the players earn their “living” but, millions of other affected “players” across the USA have….zero choice in the matter of effective, sufficient, pain easement. There is that word again, choice. I am neither pro or against cannabis plant medicinal use but again, I have an open mind. With states ratifying even recreational use of the plant, at least the lock down of appropriate study should have been commissioned BEFORE the unilateral “adoption” of 90 mme, maximum that is causing worsening pain as well as all other values that we, in a “free” country are supposed to be able to access.

  7. Angel at 9:56 am

    Only 14% of the country wants marihuana to remain illegal. 86% want it legalized either recreationally medically or both. This was reported on Drudge Report yesterday, that means people like AG Sessions and the NFL are pandering to 14% of the populace with their pot bans.

  8. Sheila Leys-Garcia at 9:22 am

    This marijuana thing isn’t for everyone who has chronic pain. I don’t want to feel “high” so it’s not for me. I just want to work and live life with a “manageable” pain level.

  9. Jud at 7:07 am

    I think there is or was one football player in the USA who has Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. If this person is still involved with football, his comments on this might be interesting.

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