I've had chronic arm pain, exacerbated by typing, for the last 9 years.
After all that time, I'm finally having some success with a drug for the pain. It's cannabidiol oil ("CBD" oil), an extract of marijuana that is not psychoactive and contains no THC.
A friend of a friend, a psychologist and journal editor, discovered it after her own long journey of testing possible solutions to her pain, and she has become quite the authority.
This friend found relief from smoking pot--something that never seemed to help me--and wanted to explore other organic compounds with medicinal potential. She enrolled in a course and began studying them, and testing them, and discovered that CBD was effective for her.
For me, it's a godsend. It's not night and day--I'd say it only means the difference between pain that's 3/10 vs 6/10--but the difference is significant and absolutely consistent. It takes about two days of once-per-day use for me to notice the difference, or maybe 3 days of not using it, for me to notice the difference, but the difference is unmistakeable. And believe me, I'm deeply skeptical of others' claims that various remedies are unmistakeable!
It's the best medical thing i've found in 9 years of looking, trying a dozen prescription drugs, seeing 70+ doctors/healers/physical therapists, having every sort of scan imaginable, and paying a network of medical students $1400 to review my case. Maybe the impact is not as large as the total effect of sleeping more, running and biking and doing yoga, but it's on a level with that.
Friends have asked if it is a mood thing, if it calms me physically because it calms me mentally. I don't think so, though there is some degree it makes me feel a tiny bit stoned in a way I don't really like.... not at all high, just a little bit subdued and out of it. It feels noticeably different physically, though that too could just be a product of somehow having a lower level of stress. I don't perceive a lower level of stress with the drug, but it could be there... since stress is hard to quantify.
It feels as though it makes my muscle and soft tissue less sensitive, tense and inflamed. It could be just masking the pain sensations, though I normally notice a cumulative effect from typing which doesn't seem to come back when the drug wears off, the way it comes back if I just take ibuprofen.
It is completely legal and available without a prescription, at least until the pharmaceutical industry lobbies for its version to be sold at a massive markup! I get mine from yankeecaregivers.com as "Folium hemp oil, either 24% or 70% concentrated (both work for me, if I adjust my dose accordingly).
I've found that about 50mg, taken sublingually and held under my tongue for a few minutes, is effective without making me too cloudy.
I'm told there are very few reported side effects, even long-term, and that WebMD states that oral doses up to 300mg per day have been used safely up to six months. Of course, I am not a doctor, and you should consult yours.
(Isn't that annoying? As if anyone really has a trusty career family doctor anymore who reads up on all the literature and doesn't just say the first overconfident thing that comes into his head)