Will CBD Help Sciatica Pain? What You Need to Know
Most people will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. The back is made up of many different bones, muscles, ligaments, nerves and tendons. It’s a delicate system that can easily become overworked or injured. Lower back pain can have a serious effect on your quality of life. It can make it difficult to stay in one position for too long. This could mean that driving, working at a desk or riding a bike becomes very uncomfortable.
Sciatic nerve pain is a specific type of lower back pain. Sufferers may feel it as a pain in their lower back, thigh or buttocks. It could be sharp and stabbing or dull and aching. And it could make everyday tasks difficult or impossible. Some people also experience a loss of sensation in their legs, or persistent pins and needles feeling.
What causes sciatica pain?
Sciatica pain is caused by compression of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs from the back, right down the foot. Sciatic nerve pain is often caused by a herniated disc in the spine, which causes pressure on the nerve and inflammation. It can also be caused by the growth of bone spurs which can narrow the passageways where the nerve passes through bones.
What is CBD oil?
CBD oil is one of around 80 known compounds found in the cannabis plant. It stands for cannabidiol. Perhaps the most well-known compound from cannabis is THC. This is the psychoactive compound which is responsible for getting people high. Unlike THC, CBD does not alter your mind in any way in this way, which is why it is readily available over the counter in many health food shops. See past post on health and CBD.
CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the human body. The human body produces its own cannabinoids, and CBD is a phytocannabinoid, which just means that it is a plant version. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for lots of different bodily functions, from regulating appetite to managing pain responses. This is why it is so interesting from a medical perspective. There are currently lots of studies into the potential benefits of CBD oil for a wide range of conditions, including sciatic nerve pain.
How can CBD oil help sciatica pain?
Studies into the effects of CBD oil are still ongoing, but early results suggest that it could help sufferers to manage the pain of sciatic nerve inflammation. The only real cure for sciatic nerve pain is surgery. Back surgery could fix the cause of sciatica, which will allow the nerve to heal and stop the pain. But for those who have occasional sciatic nerve pain caused by a soft tissue injury, for example, rest and relaxation is a better treatment plan. To help people get back on their feet faster, CBD oil could be used to reduce the inflammation and help with the pain.
How do you take CBD oil?
CBD is the extract, and CBD oil is an oral preparation which can be applied as drops under the tongue. You can also find CBD gummies or capsules which offer an easy dosing system. Water-soluble drops are also available, which offer greater bioavailability. You will also find topical CBD products including moisturiser and lip balms.
CBD oil is one of the most accessible ways to take CBD. It’s very easy to find the right dose for yourself by increasing until you are happy with the results. If you accidentally take too much, the side effects are very mild, including dry mouth and lightheadedness. This will wear off in a few hours.
What does the research say?
In a 2007 study, researchers found that CBD was effective in reducing sciatic nerve pain in rats. The rats were given CBD treatment and it was found to significantly reduce inflammation and pain from sciatic nerve chronic constriction. This was a test to consider the neuropathic and physiological impact of CBD oil. Studies into the potential use of CBD for pain management are ongoing, so it’s worth doing your research before choosing a treatment plan.
What other methods could work?
As mentioned above, surgery is often the only real cure for sciatic nerve pain. But back surgery comes with its own potential complications. Those suffering from sciatic nerve pain related to running should rest the affected leg and avoid running until the inflammation has gone down and the leg is no longer painful.
Massage and acupuncture can also provide some relief from the pain. As with any other sports injury, it can help to rest and ice the area to help bring down the inflammation. And finally, some people might turn to NSAIDs like Ibuprofen to manage the pain.
If surgery is not required then there is evidence to suggest that CBD oil could soon become a viable treatment option for occasional sufferers. It’s a much more attractive option for those who want to avoid strong pain medication as it is non-habit-forming. This means that you will not become dependent on CBD.
It’s also useful to note that your body won’t become accustomed to CBD, leading you to increase your dosage. Some drugs, legal and illegal, will require higher doses to achieve the same effects, but CBD is not like this. Once you have found the right dose for you, there will be no need to increase it. This can be good news for those worried about addiction, or recovering addicts who are unable to take other pain medication.
By Paul Gordon