Can you use CBD for sciatic pain?
Sciatic nerve pain causes almost constant tingling or in some cases searing pain anywhere from the lower back through the lower legs.
Unsurprisingly this constant pain can impact people’s lives significantly.
Scientific studies are not yet fully conclusive on the subject. However, we can share our experiences and also some of the facts around how CBD should or could become a beneficial part of successful sciatic treatment.
It’s possible you could be on medications already, but the natural pain relief treatment is worth a try.
What is Sciatica
To begin, let’s discuss sciatica before we learn if CBD oil could be effective.
Sciatica is a painful condition related to the sciatic nerve.
Where is my sciatic nerve?
Good question. In case you didn’t know, your sciatic nerve branches from your lower back. It extends through your hips and buttocks and down each leg.
How does pain occur?
Sciatica pain occurs when the nerve is put under pressure or otherwise agitated. The level of pain can vary quite a bit from person-to-person.
Some people experience a dull, throb-like pain, while others experience a burning sensation.
The pain commonly radiates from your lower back, as we said, through your hips and down into your legs.
You may experience a numb or fatigued feeling. This often can occur only on one side (either side’s leg and hip).
Experiences with sciatic pain can be frustrating because everyday actions, sneezing for example, can cause pain to flare.
What are the causes of sciatic pain?
Sciatica can, unfortunately, be caused by a variety of sources. Anything that either puts pressure on the nerve or creates irritation by rubbing on it can flare up sciatica.
Some of the most common causes are a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, pelvic injury or nerve damage from something like diabetes.
Can sciatica resolve by itself?
Commonly, a physician may not find any specific cause for sciatic pain and it can resolve itself over time. However, many people have it recur again and again.
A bulging, or “herniated” disc is the most common cause of sciatica.
This is when the discs in the back sit between the bones of the spine. It can often occur in people between 30 and 50 years old. They tend to have issues concerning the outer portion of the disc that tears. This can be because of just regular use or an injury.
The inner disc material may extrude and pinch or irritate surrounding nerves (e.g. the sciatic nerve).
Spinal stenosis is a very common cause of sciatic pain, often in older people. It refers to the narrowing of the spinal canal that compresses the nerves. This pressure on the sciatic nerve creates sciatica and can become quite chronic.
Other causes that are rarer include spondylolisthesis. It’s a condition that causes the bones in your spine to slip out of place and press on the nerve.
Unfortunately, it is just as common to not have identified any specific cause. Sciatic pain can last 1 to 2 months.
Despite the cause, the common issue is that there is a pressure or friction irritating the sciatic nerve.
Always contact your physician if you have continued severe back pain or sciatica.
Risk factors of Sciatica
There are several risk factors for sciatica including:
- Age – Discs can become stressed or damaged over time. Bone spurs may develop, in turn irritating the sciatic nerve.
- Obesity – Excess weight will put pressure on your spinal column and contribute to the spinal changes that trigger sciatica.
- Occupation – A job that requires you to twist your back, carry heavy loads or otherwise perform tasks that can create injury or extra stress on your spine.
- Lack of Movement – People who sit for long periods are more prone to sciatica. The spine is under pressure for a greater period of time without relief of movement.
- Diabetes – can often cause nerve damage and create sciatica.
It’s easy to see how there are people who would be susceptible to multiple risk factors.
For example, if you’re older, suffer from obesity, don’t exercise much and suffer from diabetes, you could be in danger.
Here’s some tips that are usable for anyone looking to alleviate sciatic nerve pain. CBD oil for sciatica will be covered in the next section.
Lifestyle tips and treatments to help with Sciatica
Movement and Exercise
It’s certainly not the easiest thing to do when you’re feeling sciatic nerve pain, but movement is key.
Lack of movement and related stress sedentary posture are risk factors.
Getting up, moving around and doing moderate exercise will alleviate some of the stress. This will loosen things up and provide some relief.
Stretch often and easily
Back stretching is an important part of that daily routine.
Don’t push your body too hard, but use your muscles and stretch your back. This will allow your spine to get back into natural shape.
Practicing for yoga can actually help stretch and soothe your muscles.
Pain and inflammation are key elements of the sciatic nerve pain.
CBD use is incredibly useful for these symptoms but you may also want to try some over-the-counter medications as well. Any of the ibuprofen or naproxen products to reduce inflammation and pain may prove helpful.
Generally speaking, many people who suffer from sciatica recover on their own after several weeks.
However, you should always, always, always consult a physician. They may recommend cortisone injections or other treatments.
Typically these may bring some short-term relief, but don’t address the fundamental causes.
How effective is CBD oil for sciatica?
As we’ve seen sciatic nerve pain may be caused by the variety of issues. However, what is created is consistent – inflammation and pain.
CBD oil has been shown to combat both issues significantly. While studies are still being conducted in order to get a scientific consensus, preliminary research is positive. Coupled with that is the anecdotal testimony of thousands who swear by CBD oil.
How does CBD oil work?
Taking CBD (as a CBD tincture or other product) triggers your natural endocannabinoid system (ECS) through two types of receptors. These are the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
This signals to your organs and other systems to restore themselves into a natural balance.
It works to reduce the “overreaction” of your body that is causing it to trigger pain and inflammation.
CBD Oil for Sciatica
When it comes to using CBD oil for sciatica, there are essentially two methods to use and they can be done together.
Using a topical on the skin directly for short-term, focused relief.
Using any other method to ingest CBD on a daily or twice-daily basis to ensure it stays in your bloodstream to do its work almost all the time.
CBD should be used in conjunction with the other lifestyle recommendations and any other treatments recommended by your physician.
Three methods we will describe for internal consumption are smoking flowers, taking CBD oil sublingually and taking a CBD capsule.
How To Use Topical CBD for Sciatica
Using Topical CBD oil for sciatica is a great place to look for relief.
The number of products on the market vary widely in terms of their features, be it heating, cooling, and strength.
You should use them as needed for temporary (2-3 hour) pain relief.
In some instances it can be less practical if the coverage area is particularly large. However, sometimes you need that extra relief of a topical.
Is CBD oil any good for sciatica?
Arguably the best way of taking CBD for sciatica is ingesting it regularly.
These days there are a multitude of ways you can CBD. You can use CBD Oils or tinctures, CBD capsules, or CBD edibles. You can also vape CBD directly using a device that vaporizes the CBD itself.
Let’s look at the most common and effective ways of getting CBD into your system to help treat that sciatic nerve pain – CBD Oil.
CBD oils, or tinctures can be taken sublingually which is a really fast and effective way of getting relief.
Strength is everything
CBD oil comes in many strengths, we recommend people to start off small and work their way up. However, we’ve found optimal results using at least 1000mg strength CBD. This varies from person to person though and it’s important to find the right balance for you.
One dropper, containing approximately 33mg of CBD in a 1000mg bottle, twice a day, should be a great place to start.
For best results, track your reaction to it and adjust accordingly.
Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, isolate
When it comes to CBD Oils and tinctures, or any of the other product types there’s a matter of what CBD to use.
You can usually choose between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or CBD isolate. This is important to remember that the full and broad-spectrum products have more of the additional cannabinoids and terpenes in them so that you get a broader “entourage effect”.
How to Use CBD Capsules For Sciatica
If for some reason you are uncomfortable with vaping or taking the CBD oil sublingually, then CBD capsules may be for you.
Easy as taking a daily vitamin, you can take it anytime day or night just like a pill. Easy to remember and if you’re already taking medication or vitamins, put it into your daily routine.
Summary of Sciatica
As we’ve outlined, the causes for sciatica are many but the issue remains the same.
Pressure and friction on the sciatic nerve causes pain and inflammation. This often radiates throughout your lower back and your legs.
Dealing with this properly involves consulting a physician, or doing some sort of moderate exercise. Of course, you should always try mainstream methods before embarking on a course of CBD.
If all else fails you should attempt using CBD daily either as a topical or an oil (or both if you prefer!).
As is the case for any CBD treatment, your mileage may vary.