Tag Archives: chronic pain

CBD Oil for Arthritis Pain Relief

Ingesting or applying cannabidiol (CBD) to treat a variety of symptoms, ranging from seizures and inflammation to insomnia and anxiety, is growing in popularity nationwide. Consumers looking to alleviate their health concerns or simply join the trend can now choose to add CBD oil to their morning latte, take it daily in the form of capsules and even gummy vitamins, or feed it to their pets. Concurrently, researchers have been evaluating the possible therapeutic uses of CBD and have found evidence of its efficacy at improving symptoms of chronic pain, epilepsy, type 1 diabetes, and other health conditions.

Recent studies suggest that cannabidiol oil could also be an effective treatment option for arthritis and chronic pain symptoms associated with the illness. Arthritis is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States, causing inflammation, pain, and stiffness in joint cartilage and bones. It is estimated to affect more than 50 million Americans with the primary symptom being chronic pain.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, is a chemical compound derived from the cannabis sativa plant. Unlike THC, another type of cannabinoid, CBD does not induce any of the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana. Many CBD products are extracted from a different kind of cannabis sativa plant – hemp – which is the least processed form and has less than 0.3% THC content.

By attaching to certain receptors, CBD can produce therapeutic effects in the body as it stimulates the production and use of the body’s own cannabinoids – endocannabinoids – to regulate movement, pain, appetite, inflammation, and other functions.

CBD Oil and Arthritis Pain

Preliminary research suggests that CBD may be able to relieve arthritis pain and inflammation however, the majority of these studies have been conducted on animals. In 2011, a study found that CBD significantly reduced inflammatory pain in mice and rats while in 2014, an extensive review reported CBD as a potential treatment for osteoarthritis in animals. Additional research has shown that topical application of CBD has the potential to alleviate arthritis pain and inflammation.

Although these findings are promising and human-based studies are underway, there is a lack of clinical evidence to support CBD as an effective treatment for arthritis pain in humans. However, a recent trial that has yet to be published, found CBD to be successful in treating knee osteoarthritis. As the body of research continues to grow, CBD has the potential to be a more natural alternative to commonly used prescription or over-the-counter pain medication in arthritis patients.

Using CBD Oil

There are various CBD oil products with different amounts of CBD on the market; low potencies and doses are recommended for people new to the chemical. The compound is available in oil or powder form, which is made into creams and gels that can be applied to areas affected by arthritis or capsule form, to be ingested orally.

Because CBD is not FDA-regulated, the amount of CBD in products may vary widely and caution should be advised to patients considering it as an option. Before using CBD oil, it is recommended to consult a doctor and local laws regarding the product to ensure treatment is safe and legal.

The future of CBD oil as a treatment for chronic pain management is promising and it could prove especially beneficial for arthritis patients. If ensuing studies confirm that the therapeutic effects of CBD on animals translate to humans, a new natural alternative method for pain relief may soon replace prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications.

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Yoga Treating Back Pain

A new study indicates that yoga may be as effective for back pain as physical therapy.

The yoga protocol utilized in the study was developed by researchers at Boston Medical Center, with additional input from yoga instructors, doctors, and physical therapists. The study included 320 participants with moderate to severe back pain, all of whom received one of three approaches over a three-month time span: weekly yoga classes, 15 physical therapy visits, and clinical education surrounding ways to cope with back pain.

The findings, published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, are directly in line with new guidelines for treating back pain from the American College of Physicians. concluded that yoga was as effective as physical therapy, and both groups were 20% less likely to use pain medication than those patients solely receiving education.

Dr. Robert Saper of Boston Medical Center, one of the report’s authors, states: “Yoga was as effective as physical therapy for reducing pain intensity. Perhaps most importantly, reducing pain medication use.” At the outset of the study, 70% of the patients were taking a form of pain medication; at the end of three months, the percentage of yoga and physical therapy participants still taking pain medication dropped to 50%.

As opiate overdoses are now the leading cause of death for adults under age 50, the results offer compelling reasons to find approaches for chronic pain that do not involve narcotics–including tai-chi, yoga, and massage. Saper remarks that if research shows that yoga can be as effective, perhaps it should be considered as a potential therapy that can “be more widely disseminated and covered by insurance.”

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