CBD and pain management: flight instructor Justin Boer
CBD has helped paragliding and speedflying instructor Justin Boer manage the pain and inflammation associated with a severe spinal injury arising from an accident in 2013.
“I started skydiving in late 2008, and that quickly progressed into paragliding, speedflying and BASE jumping,” says Justin, a former structural designer.
Justin channeled his passion for the sport into opening a training facility out in Portland’s Columbia River Gorge, where he spent his time as an industry leader/ambassador training pilots, and participating in events and demonstrations.
But an event in Idaho in 2013 changed Justin’s life forever.
“I was at a speedflying event in Idaho where multiple pilots launched at the same time. We would swoop down over a pond and see who could drag their feet through the water the farthest,” he says. “But things happen so quickly when flying a small wing. The speedwing I was flying can fly up to 90 miles per hour.”
Instead of skimming the water with his feet as intended, Justin took the spiral dive too deep and came up just short of the pond.
“I hit the bank and bounced back into the water. My first instinct was to swim, and when I moved my legs, I heard and felt a gnarly crack and pop. The spinal injury completely disconnected my lower body, leaving me basically paralyzed me from the waist down.”
The accident shattered Justin’s sacrum and broke his pelvis and his L4 and L5 vertebrae.
Up in the air
Justin was flown to the University of Utah, where he spent almost two months recovering.
“I left hospital not really able to move my legs much,” he said. “I moved back to my folks’ place in Portland, but as the winter began to hit I had the brilliant idea of moving to Hawaii for recovery.”
Justin and his girlfriend spent time with a friend in Maui over the Christmas break and decided to stay.
“I was really starting to get into the recovery side of things at that point. I found being in the warm weather and the ocean helped a ton – it was a huge contributing factor to my recovery.”
Though Justin was beginning to feel and move his lower extremities a little more, he was still experiencing constant core pain that prevented him from doing the sports he loved and living a pain free life.
“Most of the pain other than the nerve pain was deep core pain. They’d fused my spine starting at L3 down to my pelvis, and I could literally feel each individual screw and rod. I needed that hardware out!”
An MRI 9 months after the initial surgery indicated this was wishful thinking. The scan showed almost no fusion or healing.
“I was getting desperate by this point,” says Justin, who began looking into alternative therapies. Acupuncture and apitherapy, where venom from bee stings is used to stimulate a cortisol response, became regular appointments on his calendar.
“I’d go in and get stung by 16 different honey bees. Between that, the acupuncture, PT and a strict diet it was pretty intense!”
Justin would relax in the ocean after the sessions using CBD, which he’d been using frequently since he’d stopped taking traditional pain medication six months after the injury.
“I went back for another MRI after 2 months of stinging – over 300 stings in total. The bone had completely fused. The doctor was astonished. He asked whether it was the bone stimulator he’d given me, but I told him I hadn’t used it at all.” Justin was told to keep it up, and was soon scheduled in to have the hardware removed from his spine and pelvis.
The sky’s the limit
Post surgery, Justin continues to incorporate CBD into his regimen, taking our EcoCaps for his inflammation and our Rix Mix or EcoDripOnyx vape mixture if he has a flare-up.
“I still get some neuropathy pain, and taking a few puffs off the vaporizer almost instantaneously diminishes it. I’ve definitely had some relief with the Platinum and Gold as well, and even more with the Rix Mix.”
That relief has made it possible for Justin to set his sights back on the sky. Justin has been growing the flight school business and has now opened the biggest premier flight park in the US in Horseshoe Bend, Idaho.
“We just recently got approved for our permit, and everything’s starting to happen,” he says. “Let’s see how far we can take this. Thank you CBD Drip!”