CBD, also known as cannabidiol, has become quite popular over the years. More and more people are looking to CBD for its many potential benefits. This is because CBD is natural and has little to no side effects on the body. On the other hand, using over the counter medications can have some severe, unwanted side effects. Some people are looking to avoid these unwanted side effects, and here is where CBD may come in. It has numerous potential benefits, from pain relief, reducing inflammation, and managing symptoms of several other conditions. So, can CBD help with sciatica pain?
Nothing is as frustrating as sciatica pain. Dealing with it can be difficult, as the tingling pain from the back, all the way to the leg can be quite uncomfortable and painful. Many people who suffer from sciatica pain even consider surgery as a solution. However, you may be wondering if CBD could help with sciatica pain. Read on to find out how.
What Is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a painful condition that affects the nerves running from the lower back to the legs. The sciatic nerve gets damaged, resulting in sciatic nerve pain. The sciatic nerve branches from the lower back, extending through the hips to the legs.
Sciatica is one of the most clinically diagnosed causes of lower back and leg pain. It typically affects only one leg, and the pain is usually accompanied by numbness, weakness, and even tingling. It can interfere with your regular movements, as the legs and feet feel generally weak. Sciatica pain can also be increased by some simple actions such as coughing and sneezing as the sciatic nerve is usually affected by sudden movements.
The majority of the time, sciatica is a temporary condition that lasts between 4 to 6 weeks. However, there are some instances where it may last longer.
What Causes Sciatica?
Several sources can be the culprit of sciatica. Anything that puts pressure on the sciatica nerve or creates irritation can cause a flare-up. One of the most common causes is a slipped disc from injuries. A slipped disc usually occurs when the soft tissue between the spine and the bones are pushed out of place; hence the spine presses on the nerves. When one of these nerves is the sciatica nerve, it can cause sciatica.
Another cause of sciatica is spinal stenosis. This is a condition where there is the narrowing of the spinal canal resulting in nerves being compressed. Spinal stenosis is usually more common in older people, and the majority of the time, it can be confused with the general back and leg pain.
Another cause of sciatica is degenerative disc disease. It causes the breakdown of the discs that provide padding between the spine and the body’s bones. When these breakdown discs become damaged, they place extra pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing severe pain.
Spondylolisthesis is a condition that causes the bones in the spine to slip out of place, hence causing sciatica. This movement of bones can lead to friction between the nerve and bones. It is one of the most common causes of lower back pain, and most people do not even notice that they have it, as they associate it with general back pain.
Sciatica can cause a lot of pain and discomfort; hence it can impair your ability to go through your daily life effectively.
Risk Factors for Sciatica
Below are some of the risk factors for sciatica:
Being overweight will put a lot of pressure on your spinal column and lead to spinal changes that may end up causing sciatica.
With people growing older, the herniated discs can become stressed and damaged. Also, bone spurs may develop as you get older, leading to irritation of the sciatic nerve.
Having diabetes can damage the nerves and lead to sciatica.
Lack of movement
It is always recommended to be active in your day to day life. However, some people sit for long periods in a day and are more prone to sciatica. This is because the spine is under lots of pressure for a long time without movement.
Some jobs may increase your chances of getting sciatica. For example, having a job that requires you to twist your back and carry heavy loads will put pressure on your spine and can cause injury, leading to sciatica.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol is one of the 100 chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. Unlike its other counterpart THC, CBD is non-psychoactive; hence it will not leave you high and intoxicated. CBD has numerous potential benefits, such as pain and inflammation relief, as it has anti-inflammatory and analgesic qualities. It also may be used to combat symptoms of anxiety and depression, common results of those with chronic back pain. It might also help with sleep, thus making you more relaxed.
Using CBD for Symptoms of Sciatica
As previously mentioned, sciatica can be caused by bone spurs or herniated disc pushing on the sciatic nerve. The only solution to fix this issue would be to get surgery for complete treatment. However, CBD may help alleviate sciatica-related pain.
Using CBD for sciatica is relatively new, as there is still ongoing research on the subject. However, CBD may show promise to people dealing with sciatic nerve pain symptoms.
Sciatica usually creates two types of pains, nociceptive and neuropathic. CBD may help alleviate both these types of pain. How might this happen?
The body has an endocannabinoid system responsible for ensuring a homeostatic balance in its processes. CBD is thought to work with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the cannabinoid system to help restore the natural balance in the body. The body has its own cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids, that play a vital role in maintaining this balance. However, an increase in the cannabinoids may help the endocannabinoid system to target pain and inflammation throughout the body. Since CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, it could help to reduce inflammation. This may be helpful in managing sciatica pain as it could reduce the pressure being placed on the sciatic nerve.
Since CBD might also have analgesic properties, it could help to alleviate pain. Which in turn, might help speed up recovery and help you with daily activities.
There is still limited research on how CBD helps to deal with sciatica pain, but the reports are quite promising. With further studies, there is hope that CBD will make numerous strides in managing sciatica pain.
How to Take CBD for Sciatica
People have different preferences when it comes to how they take CBD. Some prefer taking the capsules as they are simple, while others prefer taking CBD oil. The good news is that it does not matter what form you take CBD in, as it may still be useful in dealing with the symptoms of sciatica.
CBD oils and tinctures are easier to control and customize the dosage. This is because you can measure the exact amount you need to use. You will then need to place them under your tongue and hold for around 60 seconds. This way, the CBD oil will enter your bloodstream quickly and provide fast relief. You can also add it to your favorite food and drinks by blending it into smoothies and baked products.
CBD capsules are easy to use, as you do not need to measure your dosage, you’ll know exactly how much is in each capsule.
CBD topicals are lotions or salves that you will have to rub on your body’s affected part. However, they do not provide long-lasting relief. Still, it comes quickly and may last up to a couple of hours. CBD topicals are recommended to deal with symptoms of sciatica as they may help with the isolated area experiencing pain. Other CBD topical options also include serums, creams, and patches.
CBD is not a cure for treating sciatica pain, but it may be a great addition to your sciatica routine, as are exercises and stretching.
What to Consider When Taking CBD for Sciatica
CBD is safe, even when taken in large doses. However, this does not mean that it is always recommended to consume large amounts. There are some precautions that you should take when taking CBD.
It is recommended to always start with small doses when taking CBD, and increase it with time, based on how you react to it. Start with minimal amounts, and note how your body responds. With time, you can up the dosage based on your results.
When taking CBD, it is also recommended to talk to your doctor before you begin experimenting with it. Why is this so? As much as CBD is natural, it can interact with some medication and cause unwanted side effects. Therefore, if you are on any medication, it is crucial to talk to your doctor as they will help you monitor your health and advise you on whether you should go forward with it.
It is also crucial to note that everyone is different; therefore, what works for you may not work for someone else. This also holds true to CBD, as some people may react to it differently than others.
As seen above, CBD may be able to provide relief to those suffering from the symptoms of sciatica. Although there is still insufficient research on the use of CBD for sciatica, it may offer some hope. Before using CBD, ensure you talk with your doctor to ensure that it is the right method for you.