An increasing number of people are becoming aware of CBD and its potential health benefits. From treating mild pains to managing chronic conditions, CBD has attracted a considerable amount of attention within the natural medical community over the last few years.
CBD is thought to have many healing properties, making it an excellent option when choosing daily supplements. Using CBD oil for sciatica is a relatively new idea but one that has a great deal of potential and could change the way that people manage the effects of the condition.
So, what exactly is sciatica, and how could CBD help you to manage the symptoms?
What Is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a condition whereby your sciatic nerve becomes damaged or irritated, resulting in sciatic nerve pain. The sciatic nerve runs from your hips down to your feet, affecting the areas from your lower back to your feet.
Sciatica can cause pain in all of the areas that the sciatic nerve travels through or be limited to specific areas of the body, such as the feet and lower legs. Other symptoms of sciatica include tingling in the affected areas or a numb sensation. Your legs and feet can also feel weak, making regular movements feel much more laborious.
Simple movements such as sneezing and coughing can increase the pain caused by sciatica as the sciatic nerve is shaken by such sudden movements.
In most cases, sciatica is a temporary condition that lasts from between 4 to 6 weeks. There are cases, however, where sciatica lasts much longer.
What Causes Sciatica?
Sciatica is caused by something pressing or producing friction on the sciatic nerve, causing it to become irritated. There are many different things that can cause pressure on the sciatic nerve that have been linked to sciatica causes.
The most common cause of sciatica is a slipped disc resulting from an injury. A slipped disc occurs when the soft tissue between the spine and other bones is pushed out of place, causing the spine to press on nerves. When one of the nerves in question is the sciatic nerve, it can cause sciatica.
Another very common cause of sciatica is spinal stenosis, which refers to the narrowing of the spinal canal. Spinal stenosis results in the nerves within the spinal cord becoming compressed. Spinal stenosis tends to occur mostly in older people and is often mistaken for general back and leg pain.
Sciatica can also be triggered by spondylolisthesis, a condition that causes the bones in your spine to slip out of place. The movement of bones can result in friction between the sciatic nerve and the bones. Spondylolisthesis is most common in the lower parts of the back and is one of the leading causes of lower back pain. Many people do not even realize that they have spondylolisthesis, believing that they just have general aches and pains in their lower back.
A condition known as degenerative disc disease causes the breakdown of the discs that provide padding between the bones and spine. When these protective discs become, damaged extra pressure is placed on the sciatic nerve, causing pain and discomfort.
Sciatica Treatment at Home
There are a number of risk factors that can increase your chances of developing sciatica, some of which you might not expect. Being overweight, a lack of exercise, and pregnancy are some of the more well-known risk factors. Things such as wearing high heels on a regular basis and sleeping on a mattress that is either too hard or too soft can also increase your chances of sciatica and are not factors that people often consider.
But how can you treat it?
Sciatica is usually a temporary condition and one that can be easily treated and managed at home.
Many people mistakenly believe that resting is the best way to speed up recovery and ease the symptoms of sciatica. The opposite is, in fact, true; spending long periods of time either sitting or lying down can actually slow down recovery.
One of the most important things to try and remember when treating sciatica at home is to encourage blood flow to the most painful areas. Alternating between heat and ice therapies not only provides instant pain relief but also reduces inflammation and helps blood to flow freely. Heat also reduces muscle spasms, which are often one of the main symptoms and causes of pain in cases of sciatica.
The last thing you really want to be doing while in pain is exercise, but a gentle workout can help to speed up recovery and reduce pain. Sitting or lying down prevents blood from flowing freely to affected areas and also allows for muscles to stiffen, making movement feel more challenging.
Going for a short walk or a light workout at the gym helps to loosen your muscles and keeps blood flowing through your lower legs. Regular back stretches can also help to strengthen affected areas and to prevent your muscles from becoming stiff and painful.
It is important to avoid strenuous exercises as this can increase pain and aggravate your muscles. When exercising with sciatica, it is important to judge your limits and to find a balance between staying active and not pushing your body too far.
Refresh Your Posture
When managing the symptoms of sciatica, it is important to pay extra attention to your posture. Bad posture, both when walking and while sitting, can increase symptoms and even trigger sciatica.
Sitting in the exact same position for too long can cause pain to spike and is especially problematic for people who work in offices and spend most of their day sitting in the same chair. Varying your posture and the way you are sitting every 20 to 30 minutes can help to prevent your muscles from becoming stiff.
Using a chair with excellent back support helps to prevent pressure building on your spine and lower back and can reduce pain from worsening throughout the day. Equally, sleeping on a mattress that supports your back and matches your weight and sleeping habits can help to reduce symptoms and prevent sciatica.
When walking and performing routine daily tasks, it is important to ensure that you are standing straight and not favoring one leg over the other. While it might be tempting to walk in a slightly bent position or to shift your body weight to parts of your body that are not affected by pain, bad posture can slow down recovery. You can even cause further injury to the parts of your body that you are favoring, making it harder to stay active.
NSAIDs such as ibuprofen are recommended for managing pain during severe cases of sciatica. Pain relievers such as naproxen and ibuprofen not only reduce pain but also bring down inflammation, reducing the pressure that is being placed on the sciatic nerve.
Taking over-the-counter medications to reduce pain can make it easier to perform simple exercise routines and help to strengthen and loosen muscles and joints. Staying active is key to recovery, and your doctor may, therefore, recommend using pain medication to help you stay as productive as possible.
Sciatica can last as little as a few days or as long as six weeks. In more prolonged cases, over-the-counter sciatic medications should not be used for more than a few days at a time, as they can cause damage to other areas of your body and become addictive.
Can CBD Help With Sciatic Nerve Pain?
Using CBD for sciatica is a new idea, but one that has proven to be extremely useful for many people struggling to manage the symptoms. Taking cannabis for nerve pain and other pain-related conditions is not a new idea. There have been many studies that have looked into the effects that CBD can have on pain and whether it can be used as a natural pain reliever.
When CBD enters the body, it works alongside the body’s natural cannabinoids to ensure that the endocannabinoid system is working effectively. The endocannabinoid system is the health system responsible for managing many different functions within the human body, including pain and inflammation.
An increase in cannabinoids can help the endocannabinoid to target inflammation and can reduce the pain that is felt from damage and injuries. CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory, helping to reduce inflammation in much the same way as over-the-counter medications can.
Reducing inflammation is essential when treating sciatica as it can ease the pressure being placed on the sciatic nerve. Another massive benefit of CBD is that it can alleviate pain, allowing you to stay active and further speed up recovery.
There is no one right way to take CBD, and it is very much a case of finding a method that works for you and that you can fit into your daily routine. For CBD to be genuinely effective, you need to take a precise dosage on a regularly.
How to Take CBD for Sciatica Pain
Some people find that CBD oil is the easiest way to work CBD into their day, while other people find that they prefer the simplicity of CBD capsules. No matter which forms of CBD you choose, it is essential to find a method that works for you and a dosage that suits your individual needs.
CBD tinctures and CBD oils provide the most amount of control and customization. Oils require you to measure out an exact amount of oil with each use. The way in which you take CBD oil can also be customized.
CBD oils can either be taken on their own or be added to some of your favorite food and drinks. Taking CBD oils on their own is as simple as placing a few drops on or under your tongue and allowing it to naturally absorb into your system. Adding oils to food will enable you to discreetly blend them into treats such as smoothies and baked goods.
CBD capsules are ideal for those who either need a super quick and discreet way to consume CBD or who do not want the responsibility of measuring out their own dosage. Capsules contain a certain amount of oil, ensuring that you receive the same dosage with each capsule.
Another effective way to manage sciatica with the use of CBD is topicals. The pain from sciatica tends to be isolated to particular areas of the body, and CBD topicals allow you to target these areas without affecting the rest of your body. Topical options include creams, serums, oils, and patches.
CBD can also be consumed as a good idea as a midday top-up dose. Most brands offer their own range of CBD edibles with options such as CBD gummies, CBD chocolate, and CBD infused drinks.
Final Thoughts on CBD for Sciatica
There is currently a lack of research and information concerning the use of CBD for sciatica. Most people who choose to try CBD as a form of treatment base their decision on general studies that look at CBD for pain or CBD for inflammation.
While there are many studies that support the idea of using CBD as a natural treatment method, it is difficult to know the precise effects that it has on sciatica. For those who are faced with sciatic nerve pain, however, new treatment options such as CBD could prove to be extremely useful.
CBD is currently thought to be a great natural supplement option and one that can have a positive impact on many areas of your health. So, while future studies might prove that CBD is not an effective method of treatment for sciatica, it at least helps to boost your immune system and allows you to manage pain using natural methods.