How To Use CBD for Arthritis Pain

Dr. Andrew Colucci Doctor of Medicine (M.D. cum laude) from Boston University School of Medicine in 2012 – Dr. Colucci is currently a radiologist in MA

originally published on https://www.drugscience.org/cbd-for-arthritis/ On January 18, 2020

2 Min Read

Arthritis—a medical condition characterized by chronic and sometimes debilitating joint pain—is the leading cause of disability in the United States according to the Arthritis Foundation.[1]

Additionally, this condition currently afflicts roughly 54 million adult Americans, with this number expected to rise to 78 million by the year 2040.

In an effort to relieve this chronic pain and improve their quality of life without having to rely on what are oftentimes highly addictive painkillers, many arthritis patients are seeking alternative treatments.

Many are finding these positive results with CBD products.

CBD stands for cannabidiol, a chemical compound found in hemp plants.

The way it works is by interacting with our endocannabinoid system, which is where the CBD attaches to cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2 receptors, specifically) located throughout our body to create a variety of healthful effects.[2]

CBD is different than medical marijuana in that it is nonpsychoactive in nature. So, when patients use CBD to better manage their arthritis pain, they don’t get the high typically associated with this particular drug.

How well does it work as a form of arthritis treatment? Let’s look at the research.

Research has found that CBD products such as cannabidiol oil, hemp oil, and other products derived from the cannabis plant provide a number of positive health benefits for arthritis patients.

For instance, one animal study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that topical CBD can help relieve arthritis symptoms in the knees.[3] This study credits the reduction of pain and joint swelling, at least in part, to CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties.

Healthline adds that, while more clinical trials need to be conducted in this area, CBD oil also appears to offer promising benefits for individuals seeking an effective pain management option for rheumatoid arthritis.[4] And it does so with rather mild side effects, some of which include nausea, fatigue, diarrhea, and changes in appetite.

When choosing CBD products to reduce arthritis pain, there are two terms that are important to know: full spectrum CBD and CBD isolate.

Full spectrum CBD products include cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds extracted from the entire cannabis plant whereas CBD isolates are pure CBD (at least 99 percent) with no other active ingredients.[5]

Which is better for arthritis pain?

Research has found that full spectrum CBD offers more health benefits than CBD isolate due to the synergy that occurs between all of the healthful compounds found within the full spectrum CBD.

For instance, a study published in the journal Pharmacology & Pharmacy used extracts from the cannabis sativa subspecies of the cannabis plant on mice and learned that, when the whole plant was used, it was easier to achieve the desired anti-inflammatory response.[6]

CBD comes in a variety of forms. There are CBD oils and creams, CBD tinctures, CBD gummies, and more. This can make it confusing for arthritis patients to determine which one to use.

The problem with some of these products is that they don’t always provide the desired effect. For instance, CBD gummies have bioavailability issues. This means that your body isn’t able to absorb and use all of the CBD contained within them, essentially lowering the amount of CBD that is available to your endocannabinoid system.

Instead, CBD oil products taken sublingually (under the tongue) don’t have this same bioavailability issues, thus your system can use more of the CBD and you get a better response. In fact, the rate of absorption of CBD oils taken sublingually is 12 to 35 percent compared to oral consumption’s rate of just 4 to 20 percent.[7]

Arthritis patients can also find relief by combining CBD products, ultimately creating a more therapeutic response. For example, using a CBD oil used in conjunction with a quality topical CBD cream can oftentimes provide pain relief.

In addition to choosing the right form of CBD, it is just as important to take the right dose. It’s not uncommon for people to not take a high enough dose of CBD oil and mistakenly think it doesn’t work for them.

Because everyone is different when it comes to dosing, Daniel Clauw, MD, a professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, suggests that arthritis patients start with 5 to 10 mg just at night. [8]

If you aren’t getting the relief you seek, you can then slowly increase your dosage up to 50 to 100 mg per day (split between two doses) to reach your desired effect.View Sources  Last Edited: January 18, 2020

©2020 Copyright DrugScience.org – Advertising Policy

Yoga

Originally published on webmd.com on December 10, 2017 By Jennifer Robinson

Yoga

How It Works

Workout fads come and go, but virtually no other exercise program is as enduring as yoga. It’s been around for more than 5,000 years.

Yoga does more than burn calories and tone muscles. It’s a total mind-body workout that combines strengthening and stretching poses with deep breathing and meditation or relaxation.

There are more than 100 different forms of yoga. Some are fast-paced and intense. Others are gentle and relaxing.

Examples of different yoga forms include:

Hatha. The form most often associated with yoga, it combines a series of basic movements with breathing.
Vinyasa. A series of poses that flow smoothly into one another.
Power. A faster, higher-intensity practice that builds muscle.
Ashtanga. A series of poses, combined with a special breathing technique.
Bikram. Also known as “hot yoga,” it’s a series of 26 challenging poses performed in a room heated to a high temperature.
Iyengar. A type of yoga that uses props like blocks, straps, and chairs to help you move your body into the proper alignment.

Intensity Level: Varies with Type

The intensity of your yoga workout depends on which form of yoga you choose. Techniques like hatha and iyengar yoga are gentle and slow. Bikram and power yoga are faster and more challenging.
Areas It Targets

Core: Yes. There are yoga poses to target just about every core muscle. Want to tighten those love handles? Then prop yourself up on one arm and do a side plank. To really burn out the middle of your abs, you can do boat pose, in which you balance on your “sit bones” (the bony prominences at the base of your pelvic bones) and hold your legs up in the air.

Arms: Yes. With yoga, you don’t build arm strength with free weights or machines, but with the weight of your own body. Some poses, like the plank, spread your weight equally between your arms and legs. Others, like the crane and crow poses, challenge your arms even more by making them support your full body weight.

Legs: Yes. Yoga poses work all sides of the legs, including your quadriceps, hips, and thighs.

Glutes: Yes. Yoga squats, bridges, and warrior poses involve deep knee bends, which give you a more sculpted rear.

Back: Yes. Moves like downward-facing dog, child’s pose, and cat/cow give your back muscles a good stretch. It’s no wonder that research finds yoga may be good for relieving a sore back.
Type

Flexibility: Yes. Yoga poses stretch your muscles and increase your range of motion. With regular practice, they’ll improve your flexibility.

Aerobic: No. Yoga isn’t considered aerobic exercise, but the more athletic varieties, like power yoga, will make you sweat. And even though yoga is not aerobic, some research finds it can be just as good as aerobic exercise for improving health.

Strength: Yes. It takes a lot of strength to hold your body in a balanced pose. Regular practice will strengthen the muscles of your arms, back, legs, and core.

Sport: No. Yoga is not competitive. Focus on your own practice and don’t compare yourself to other people in your class.

Low-Impact: Yes. Although yoga will give you a full-body workout, it won’t put any impact on your joints.

What Else Should I Know?

Cost. Varies. If you already know your way around a yoga mat, you can practice for free at home. Videos and classes will cost you various amounts of money.

Good for beginners? Yes. People of all ages and fitness levels can do the most basic yoga poses and stretches.

Outdoors. Yes. You can do yoga anywhere, indoors or out.

At home. Yes. All you need is enough space for your yoga mat.

Equipment required? No. You don’t need any equipment because you’ll rely on your own body weight for resistance. But you’ll probably want to use a yoga mat to keep you from sliding around in standing poses, and to cushion you while in seated and lying positions. Other, optional equipment includes a yoga ball for balance, a yoga block or two, and straps to help you reach for your feet or link your hands behind your back.

What Family Doctor Melinda Ratini MD Says:

There are many types of yoga, from the peaceful hatha to the high-intensity power yoga. All types take your workout to a level of mind-body connection. It can help you relax and focus while gaining flexibility and strength. Yoga can also boost your mood.

Even though there are many instructional books and DVDs on yoga, it is well worth it to invest in some classes with a good instructor who can show you how to do the postures.

Chances are, there’s a type of yoga that suits your needs and fitness level. It’s a great choice if you want a holistic approach to mind and body strength.

Yoga is not for you if you like a fast-moving, competitive workout. Be open-minded, since there are physical and mental benefits you can gain by adding some yoga into your fitness plan, even if it isn’t your main workout.

Is It Good for Me If I Have a Health Condition?

Yoga is a great activity for you if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease. It gives you strength, flexibility, and mind-body awareness. You’ll also need to do something aerobic (like walking, biking, or swimming) if you’re not doing a fast-moving type of yoga.

If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart problems, ask your doctor what you can do. You may need to avoid certain postures, like those in which you’re upside down or that demand more balance than you have right now. A very gentle program of yoga, coupled with a light aerobic activity like walking or swimming, may be the best way to start.

Do you have arthritis? Yoga can help you stay flexible and strong without putting added stress on your joints. You get the added benefit of a mind-body approach that can help you relax and energize.

If you’re pregnant, yoga can help keep you relaxed, strong, and in shape. If you’re new to yoga or have any health or pregnancy related problems, talk to your doctor before you give it a try. Look for an instructor who’s experienced in teaching prenatal yoga.

You’ll need to make some adjustments as your baby and belly grow and your center of gravity shifts. After your first trimester, don’t do any poses that have you lying on your back. And don’t try to stretch any further than you did before pregnancy. Your pregnancy hormones will loosen up your joints and make you more likely to get injured.

While you’re pregnant, avoid postures that put pressure on your belly or low back. Don’t do “hot” yoga, where the room temperature is very high.
WebMD Fitness A-Z Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on December 10, 2017