Not too long ago in the August 4th version of the San Jose Mercury News, reporter Elliott Almond caught up with NFL Hall-of-Fame quarterback Jim Plunkett to talk about life after football.
His response made headlines. "My life sucks", said Plunkett, now 69. "It’s no fun being in this body right now. Everything hurts."
The years of daily pain pulsating from the neck, back, knees, shoulders, hips and head have taken their toll on a quarterback who played in the NFL for 15 seasons and led the Oakland Raiders to two Super Bowl titles. His body is a patchwork of medical magic: artificial knees; an artificial shoulder and a surgically repaired back. After 18 separate surgeries, Plunkett’s life has been reduced to golf and light workouts.
And Plunkett is hardly alone in his misery. There are thousands of other retired professional football players who deal with chronic pain from their years of physical punishment on the gridiron. They are coping as best they can with physiotherapy and pain-killing drugs. And too often their daily regimen to cope with chronic pain is prescription medications. And often those medications are opioid-based, with all the dangerous side-effects, including the risk of addiction.
Medipure Pharmaceuticals Inc. is currently involved in research and development with partners from around the world that will offer new hope for pain-killing medications that are safe and effective. The Vancouver-based bio-tech company is developing active pain-killing molecules targeting the endocannabinoid system. Through this process they are developing a category of drugs that will be effective at combating pain without the dangerous risk of addictions that are inherent in opioid-based drugs.
Former B.C. Lions place-kicker Paul McCallum played for parts of three decades in the Canadian Football League. He’s taken his share of hits, even while punting and placekicking. But he's also witnessed first-hand the struggles of pro football players both during and after their careers have come to a close.
He believes that professional football should be willing to embrace any new scientific and pharmaceutical solutions that might improve the quality of life for their athletes who are in chronic pain.
"My understanding is that the body has natural endocannabinoid receptors that can be modulated to treat pain and if this helps in positive way, and will also be non-addictive, unlimited numbers of players and their families could benefit, said McCallum."
To learn more about Medipure Pharmaceuticals Inc. and the new vision for treating pain, anxiety and skin conditions, visit us at www.medipurepharmaceuticals.com
Boris Weiss, CEO
Dr. Nihar R. Pandey, CSO