Sciatica pain is one of those conditions that can be thoroughly uncomfortable and frustrating. Once it starts, it just doesn’t go away and might leave you in great pain and immobile. It can get so severe that many people often opt for surgery. Is there another way that’s less intrusive to deal with this pain?
Cannabidiol, popularly known as CBD has gained great popularity in recent years for it natural medicinal value. More and more; people are steering away from conventional pharmaceutical medications because of their potential side effects and seeking out more natural protocols for dealing with their health issues. CBD has been lauded for having potent anti-inflammatory, pain relieving and other great benefits due to its action on the body.
This is why we will take an in-depth look at the effects of CBD on Sciatica and explore it’s a viability in managing this condition. Join us in this journey of discovery.
What Is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a painful and uncomfortable condition which affects the nerves all the way from the lower back down to the legs. This results from damage to the sciatic nerve, which spreads from the lower back through the hips and to the legs, causing sciatic nerve pain.
Sciatica is one of the most common clinically diagnosed reasons for pain in the lower back and legs. It usually affects just one leg with pain that is accompanied by numbness, tingling and even weakness. The weakness may make you temporarily immobile and simple actions like sneezing or coughing could lead to great agony.
Most of the time, sciatica pain is temporary lasting between 4 to 6 weeks but there are instances where it lasts longer.
What are the Causes of Sciatica pain?
There are several causes of Sciatica pain:
- Pressure or Irritation: Because sciatica pain is caused by interference with the sciatica nerve, any cause of pressure or irritation to it could cause an incident. A slipped disc is the most common cause and it usually happens when the soft tissue between the spine and bones is displaced, causing the spine to press on the nerves. If one of the nerves happens to be the sciatica nerve, one ends up experiencing sciatica pain.
- Spinal stenosis: A condition of narrowing of the spinal canal which usually occurs in old age, therefore being mistaken for general pain the back and leg.
- Degenerative disc disease: This leads to breakdown of the disks which provide padding between the bones and spine, placing extra pressure on the sciatic nerve and resulting in severe pain.
- Spondylolisthesis: This condition causes slippage of the bones in the spine, leading to friction between the bones and nerves and therefore, sciatica. Though it is a common cause of back pain, it is usually goes undiagnosed as most people associate it with general back pain.
Some risk factors of sciatica are obesity, age, diseases like diabetes and lack of proper movement. Some occupations such as those that require you to carry heavy loads and twist your back put extra pressure on your spine and could cause injury therefore predisposing you to sciatica.
What Is CBD?
The cannabis plant has over 100 chemical compounds, one of which is cannabidiol. Unlike its counterpart THC, it is non-psychoactive and will not make you high or intoxicated. As mentioned earlier, it has numerous benefits including anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects and pain relief. It also combats symptoms of anxiety and depression and may relax one and help with sleep.
Is CBD Effective In Managing Sciatica?
Though the severe type of sciatica caused by herniated discs and bone spurs may need surgery or some form of physical intervention, CBD may be used to alleviate severe sciatica pain and bring about some relief.
Sciatica usually leads to two different kinds of pain, neuropathic and nociceptive. The action of CBD may bring relief to both these pains. Here is how:
The body possesses an intricate endocannabinoid system which is responsible for ensuring the homeostatic balance of its processes. It also has its own cannabinoids called the endocannabinoids which help in maintaining this balance.
How CBD works is that it links up with the CB1 and CB2 receptors that are found in the endocannabinoid system, targeting pain and inflammation throughout the body due to its pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. This may help manage sciatica pain and the relaxation of the muscles could even ease the pressure exerted on the sciatic nerve. This relief could speed up the overall recovery from the sciatic trauma and also help one carry out their normal activities.
How to Take CBD for Sciatica
There are different methods of consuming CBD. Below are a few methods, all just as effective:
- CBD oils and tinctures. An effective way of consumption, you can measure it out and hold it under your tongue for approximately 60 seconds to allow the CBD to enter your bloodstream and provide quick relief. You could also incorporate them into smoothies or baked products.
- CBD capsules. Just pop one or two and your good to go. A very simple method of consumption which does not require the arduous task of measuring.
- CBD topicals. These are lotions, salves, creams, serums or patches that are directly applied to the problem area. Though their effects may not last too long, they are recommended for sciatic pain as they directly target the isolated area and bring targeted relief.
What to Consider When Taking CBD for Sciatica
Some important factors to consider while taking CBD are that though CBD is safe, you should monitor your intake, starting from minimal amounts and increasing it based on your reaction. Also, if you are on any other medication, you should talk to your doctor to avoid counter-interaction that could cause you harm. It is also important to note that CBD will have a different effect on each individual. You should therefore base your usage on your own experience.
Though CBD is not considered to be a cure for sciatica pain, the relief it brings may greatly aid your discomfort. Despite the limited research, it is definitely helpful. Ensure you consult your doctor first before starting on CBD.