How CBD Can Help With Sciatica Pain?
CBD is a compound found in the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa) or more commonly known as the marijuana plant. This compound is known to be beneficial in relieving sciatica pain. Unlike hundreds of other compounds present in this plant, CBD does not give you a high. It is found to be safe for consumption with no known side effects reported to date.
Sciatica pain is caused by the damage or inflammation of the sciatic nerves. This nerve is considered the longest and widest and it’s present on the lower back, hips, buttocks, and till the knee of each leg. It is caused mainly due to slipped or herniated discs, which could put pressure on these nerves leading to inflammation, pain, and numbness. Studies show that almost 40% of the population would get this at least once in their life and the frequency would increase with age. Generally, this pain would leave within a few hours or days.
Causes For Sciatica Pain
Sciatica pain is mostly caused by herniated discs. This gets the sciatic nerve pinched and puts it under pressure which leads to inflammation and pain. Here are possible causes for this condition.
- Spinal injury – this might damage the nerve which might lead to sciatica pain.
- Bone spurs or growths – these growths or defects might put the nerve under pressure or it might get pinched which will damage it or lead to inflammation.
- Narrowing of the spinal canal – this would put the nerve under pressure and thus leading to pain.
- Obesity could put pressure on the spine – being overweight will have its toll on the spine which might lead to sciatica pain.
- Occupations were twisting the spine, lifting heavy weights, and vibration of the whole body frequently.
- Prolonged sitting – studies have found that people who sit for long hours without movements are more likely to get sciatica pain than people who are more active.
- Diabetes – high blood sugar levels are known to damage nerves and this could increase the chances of having sciatica pain.
Measures To Prevent Sciatica Pain
Taking care of your back, body weight, and general health by exercising regularly can help in preventing sciatica pain. Exercise is the most efficient way of preventing this condition. Though it’s not always possible to prevent this condition as it can always return, following these measures could reduce the chances of getting it.
- Regular exercise – this is considered one of the best measures for preventing this pain. You can follow various methods like aerobic exercises, strength training, isometric training, and flexibility training like yoga and tai chi. Keep your back and core strength and work the muscles in your abdomen and lower back. Pick any exercise you love to do, it can be cycling, walking, or any martial arts. Keep yourself healthy and strong.
- Maintain a good posture – this is important in maintaining a healthy spine. Always keep in mind to be in good posture while walking and sitting. If you have to sit for long hours make sure you get a good seat with lower back support and ergonomics. You can keep something like a pillow to support your lower back if necessary. Make sure that your monitor is at your eye level without requiring you to bend your head up or down.
- Increase core strength – a stronger core can support and improve spinal health. Work muscles in the abdomen, back, sides, pelvis, and buttocks as these are all part of your core. When you work these muscles and strengthen them, it will help in supporting the spine and preventing sciatica pain.
- Move more – sitting for long hours straight would put a lot of pressure on your lower spine, its discs, and ligaments. It’s advised to take frequent breaks if your work requires you to sit for long hours. You can also try standing desks.
- Take care of your body – don’t lift too heavy objects without help, and don’t twist while lifting. Manage your weight, being obese puts pressure on your spine and increases the risk of getting sciatica. Eat well and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
What Is CBD?
CBD also known as cannabidiol is a phytocannabinoid that is derived from cannabis species. It is known as hemp oil and is the second most common active ingredient in cannabis after THC. This compound is used to reduce pain, anxiety, and inflammation. This is derived from the hemp plant and among the hundreds of compounds present in these plants, this compound does not give you a high and does not have any psychoactive properties. It is known to provide relief for anxiety, pain, and depression and to promote better sleep. It is being used in a wide variety of products these days like toothpaste and food items for its beneficial properties.
How CBD helps with Sciatica Pain
CBD is found to be helpful in reducing pain and inflammation and these are the primary reasons why it’s used in treating sciatica. The exact process of how CBD provides relief from sciatica is still being studied. People who take prescription medications like opioid pain medications, steroids, and injections know the side effects and addiction these medicines come with. This increases the popularity of CBD-based medications as these are natural, non-habit forming, and have little to no side effects.
CBD stimulates the endocannabinoid system, which helps in reducing pain and inflammation in the body. Though more studies are needed on the effects of CBD on sciatica pain some show positive results in reducing the damage or pain. This could make CBD a better and more natural alternative to painkillers and opioid medications.
Opioid medications are derived from opium plants or poppies. These help in reducing pain and make you feel good. Higher doses of this could be even fatal. The pleasure these medications provide makes them addictive. Since CBD does not have any such psychoactive properties unlike THC, it is not addictive while at the same time effective in suppressing or reducing pain. CBD only contains 0.3% or less of THC. There are pure forms available that wouldn’t even contain even these smaller amounts of THC.
Is CBD Safe For Use?
CBD is considered safe when taken in appropriate dosage or as recommended by a healthcare professional. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a CBD product called Epidiolex, which is used for epilepsy. If you are planning to use a CBD product, it’s advised to consult a doctor first especially if you are taking other medications. It could interact with other medications and is also known to have side effects like dry mouth, diarrhea, drowsiness, fatigue, and reduced appetite. Since this compound does not produce high or any psychoactive properties, it does not cause addiction in users. If you take higher doses of this compound, it might show up as abnormalities in liver tests.
Benefits Of CBD
CBD has been gaining a lot of attention in the healthcare sector in recent times, but these plants have been used in traditional medicinal practices for thousands of years. Now CBD extracts are being used in a wide range of products and it’s gaining popularity all over the world. Here are some of the health benefits.
- Pain relief – it helps in reducing pain by stimulating endocannabinoid receptors. It reduces inflammation and interacts with neurotransmitters to provide pain relief.
- Anxiety relief – studies have found this compound to be beneficial in improving symptoms of anxiety and depression. It has also been used successfully for treating children with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). More studies are being conducted on its effects on mental health.
- Heart health – this compound is known to be able to lower blood pressure levels. Though more studies are needed, CBD is found to reduce stiffness in the arteries and thereby help in improved blood flow.
- Skin health – it is used in various skin care products for its ability to reduce inflammation, production of sebum, and the ability to inhibit the activation of cytokines.
- Epilepsy – a CBD-based product called Epidiolex got FDA approval as it helps in treating seizures. Clinical trials have found this medicine to be effective in reducing seizures caused by Lennox-Gastaut, tuberous sclerosis complex, or Dravet syndrome.
- Brain health – studies have found this compound to be able to protect brain cells from free radical damage, reduce inflammation, and help in generating new brain cells.
How Is CBD Taken?
CBD is now available in a variety of forms. It is added to various kinds of products like skin care, toothpaste, and bath soaps. As for medicinal use, it can be bought in the form of oils, extracts, patches, ointments, and sprays. For external uses, you can apply such products as oil, ointment, or lotion on the skin. Tinctures and capsules can be taken via the mouth and patches can be kept on the skin which would penetrate into your bloodstream.
Dr. Edward Zelman
Dr. Edward Zelman works as a Neurologist with the expertise of over 15 years, helping more than thousands to get back in complete health through his research-proven treatments. He earned his Masters from Harvard University and completed his Ph.D. from Columbia University. Dr. Edward Zelman is one of the notable names in the medical industry for his work in pain management, chronic disorder, and so on. He is also a former faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). At present, Dr. Edward Zelman is researching safe and effective natural remedies that can restore as well as maintain the youthful functioning of the body.
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