Remedies for a Pinched Nerve
A pinched nerve is not only painful and annoying, but it can be a sign of a much more serious underlying condition. While you might experience a pinched nerve from sleeping in an unusual position or from playing sports, it could also be a sign of overuse or strain.
The pain you feel from a pinched nerve is a warning from your body. You should take this as a sign that you need to slow down and adjust your behaviour.
A pinched nerve is actually the name given to nerve damage. It happens when bones, discs or muscles press down on a nerve or a bunch of nerves, compromising circulation and at it’s worse damaging the nerve. This can result in pain, numbness, tingling, burning sensation or even pins and needles.
There often isn’t a reason to visit the doctor for a pinched nerve as they are unlikely to be able to do anything to help. But if your pain is severe a trip to a good osteopath will be worthwhile. Treatment will be gentle and can often give enormous relief quickly. Below are some remedies for a pinched nerve that you can try at home.
Work on your posture
Pinched nerves in your back, neck or shoulders could be a sign of poor posture. Remember that your head weighs roughly 10 to 11 pounds but when leaning forward looking at your mobile phone that weight becomes 60-70 pounds of strain.
Learning to sit with your shoulders back and your head upright is one of the best things you can do for a pinched nerve.
If you sit at a desk all day or if you regularly use your mobile phone, it’s especially important that you pay attention to your posture. This is because you are more likely to roll your shoulders forward, and this can aggravate a pinched nerve.
Move the affected limb in the pain free range
Even a tiny pain free repetitive movement done for 10-15 minutes can help. You cannot overdose on pain free movement and this often helps reset the muscles and get blood flow into the area to aid healing. You may find even a few millimetres of movement done over and over again will gradually become a larger range of pain free movement.
Try a standing desk
If your pinched nerve is affecting your back and lower limbs, sitting down for extended periods of time could make it worse. You should investigate a standing desk or an adjustable height desk so that you can avoid sitting down for extended periods of time.
A standing desk is great for core strength and could also help your posture. It will also help you to keep your head straight while you are working.
Even if you have a standing desk, make sure you take regular breaks to stretch your legs, arms and neck to prevent stiffness. You should also make sure you have a soft surface to stand on so that you don’t strain your knees in the process.
If there is no way of getting a desk like this then make sure you simply stand up from your desk every 20 minutes. This interrupts the strain of being sat and can be of enormous help in the long run.
Learn some stretches
Some simple stretches can help to relieve pressure on the pinched nerve. Light exercise can also help with pain, and it will help you to sleep better at night. Your doctor or physiotherapist will be able to advise you on some stretches for your situation.
Remember to never stretch too deeply. The aim is not to “fix” the problem, but instead to elongate the muscles and improve blood flow. This can help to speed up the healing process and stop your pain sooner.
Use hot and cold therapy
Alternating hot and cold compresses will help to keep your pain at bay, but it will also help to reduce inflammation. Use a cold compress for 20 minutes up to 5 times per day. You can also use a hot compress directly on the affected area to help with the pain.
Never apply ice directly to your skin and make sure that your compress is not too hot. When you have a pinched nerve, your pain receptors might not give you the correct information. This means that it could be easier to burn your skin with ice or heat without realising.
Keep your legs raised
A pinched nerve in the back can make life very difficult. In order to relieve the pressure, try creating a 90 degree bend in both your hips and knees. While lying down on your back, put a stack of pillows under your legs so that you can rest with your legs elevated. This should help to relieve your pain. If it aggravates the problem stop immediately.
You might find it difficult to sleep like this, so you should try keeping the same bend in your legs but while on your side. A bolster pillow is ideal for this situation as you can support your whole body and keep your legs apart. This can help to prevent further compression of your pinched nerve.
Head to the gym
Exercising might be the last thing on your mind, but this isn’t why you should head to the gym. If your gym has a fitness suite with sauna and jacuzzi, this could help to alleviate your pain.
While both will offer heat, the jacuzzi might be the best option as it will also help to make you feel weightless. This will reduce compression on your nerves and give you some relief from the pain. The bubbles will also give you a gentle massage while the heat helps to reduce inflammation.
Try natural remedies
In addition to over the counter remedies, there are also natural remedies you can try. CBD One offers a range of CBD products which are perfect for managing a pinched nerve. These include CBD balms which can be applied directly to the skin.
CBD is derived from the cannabis or hemp plant. Unlike cannabis, it does not contain the compound THC, which means it doesn’t get you high. It’s completely legal in the UK and many countries around the world.
Research is still ongoing into the benefits of CBD, but it has been found to help reduce inflammation and pain in animal tests. There is also anecdotal evidence that CBD products can help those suffering from sciatic pain.
Arnica gel or devil’s claw are also useful additions to the natural remedy first aid kit that can help and a strong spirit such as whisky can be amazingly good for pain relief – just one for medicinal purposes of course!
Medical Cannabis, CBD, and Nerve Pain: What You Need to Know
Nerve pain is a condition that continues to mystify scientists. It affects people in many different ways, with no real rules as to how it might manifest itself in any given person.
Moreover, the sensation of pain can feel completely different from one sufferer to another. It can affect different parts of the body or may develop randomly with no apparent underlying rationale. As it has proved to be a difficult condition to pinpoint, no treatment thus far has been deemed suitable for all nerve pain.
By no means does this mean nerve pain cannot be targeted. One option that is becoming increasingly popular is the use of hemp-derived cannabidiol oil or CBD oil.
CBD is one of the main active ingredients in the cannabis plant, along with THC. However, it does not have any psychoactive effects. For centuries, people have used cannabis plants to medicate their pain, and now science is backing this up.
Patients have reported great success in relieving their nerve pain when using CBD-based treatments. Some research suggests it could potentially be the future in terms of chronic nerve pain treatment.
We will take an in-depth look at nerve pain, providing an overview of the symptoms, potential causes, and traditional treatment regimens. Next, we will look at how CBD oil works as both a prevention and a treatment option, and discuss the science behind it.
What Is Nerve Pain?
Pain is our body’s way of sending us a warning that something has gone wrong. For example, put your hand too close to the stove, and the pain will cause you to pull it away.
Our nerves relay these signals to our brain, creating the feeling of pain. Unfortunately, in the case of damaged nerves, this warning system can go haywire, receiving pain warnings for no apparent reason. This type of nerve pain is also known as neuropathic pain.
Common Nerve Pain Symptoms
The symptoms of nerve pain can be different from patient to patient. Some of the most common descriptions reported are stabbing, burning, tingling, or prickling. You may experience it all or most of the time. Or, it may only affect you during certain spells, most commonly at nighttime. Nerve pain may affect any area, with the hands and feet being the most common.
Often, sufferers can find no obvious cause of the pain and will wait weeks or months before finally seeking evaluation.
In some cases, it may be triggered by certain body positions or activities, such as waiting in line for an extended period. After a certain point, chronic pain can lead the body to become overly sensitive. This condition is known as hyperalgesia, where something as simple as the touch of a bedsheet can trigger pain.
As it most commonly affects the hands and feet, nerve pain can cause numbing and a loss of sensation. This can make simple tasks extremely difficult to do. People report that it feels like they are always wearing a pair of gloves and struggling with activities such as knitting, typing, tying shoelaces, and even walking.
Causes of Nerve Pain
With chronic pain, getting to sleep can often be a real struggle. Another serious side effect of nerve pain is that it can mask new pain, causing you to miss new injuries. For example, if the pain has caused foot numbness, one might not notice stepping on something sharp.
An incredibly wide range of conditions can cause nerve pain. Some of the most common causes include injury or trauma, cancer, shingles, and diabetes. Also, nerve pain can arise from anything from kidney disease to toxin exposure, as well as from inherited genetic diseases or even infections like HIV.
There are also cases where people suffer for no known reason at all. If you do suffer from nerve pain, it is crucial that you seek medical attention. It could be being caused by a serious underlying issue.
Nerve Pain Can Progress
When left untreated, nerve pain can be incredibly hard to bear. It can also worsen and spread. It often starts at the outer extremities, i.e., the hands or feet, and then progress up to the arms and torso.
With treatment, it can often be adequately controlled. What’s more, if one can successfully identify and treat the underlying cause, they may be able to halt the damage – or even reverse it.
What Are the Traditional Treatments for Nerve Pain?
When possible, treatment of the underlying problem causing the pain is the most critical action. For example, treating high blood sugar in diabetics, or relieving a pinched nerve.
Additionally, the doctor may prescribe medication to target the pain, ranging from anti-inflammatories to opiates. As no catch-all treatment has been approved for nerve pain, the treatment regimen prescribed depends on the nature and type of pain.
Unfortunately, research suggests that traditionally based nerve treatments are limited in efficacy. Moreover, traditional treatment usage is troubled with dosage-dependent adverse side effects.
Common Treatments for Nerve Pain
- Over-the-Counter (OTC) Drugs: Typically, OTC drugs are the first treatment recommended. This category includes common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or topical treatments like gels, patches, and creams.
There are issues with these, though, as OTC NSAIDs may not be strong enough for moderate to severe pain. Also, topical treatments are only really effective for pain isolated in specific skin and joint areas.
- Prescription Drugs: Drugs initially designed for the treatment of other conditions have been found to be effective treatments for nerve pain. Some of the most commonly used would be antidepressants and anticonvulsants (originally used to treat epilepsy). These are often used in combination to enhance their benefits.
Although helpful for some patients, they do not work for all types of nerve pain. For example, they seem to be ineffective for nerve pain caused by chemotherapy or HIV.
Another option is strong opioid painkillers. These would only be used for severe nerve pain, and they carry serious side effects such as addiction and risk of overdose.
- Interventional Procedures: Electrical impulses can be employed to block nerve pain messages from reaching the brain. This can be quite complex, however, and often requires surgery or interventional procedure.
- Alternative Therapies: These include treatments such as acupuncture, massage, meditation, or even aromatherapy, and have different levels of success. Some people find them to be effective, while others report no benefits at all.
- Surgery: As a last resort, surgical intervention may be an appropriate option to free a pinched nerve. An example of this is removing part of a bone to relieve sciatica.
CBD for Nerve Pain: How Does It Work?
The scientific explanation for using CBD as nerve pain treatment is pretty clear. Our bodies naturally make chemicals called endocannabinoids. These are involved in the whole-body system that controls various physiological processes. Such as appetite, immunity, inflammation, and pain sensation.
Endocannabinoids circulate via the bloodstream and cause their effects by binding to our cannabinoid receptors. Currently, there are two well-researched cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. The ones which are important with regard to nerve pain are our CB1 receptors. These are found in nerve endings and the brain and have been linked to the origin of the pain sensation.
CBD works on the body by reducing the metabolic breakdown of endocannabinoids, which our bodies make naturally. These endocannabinoids are involved in modulating the pain pathway. By slowing this breakdown process, CBD indirectly increases the amount and activity of endocannabinoids at the CB1 and CB2 receptors. This, in turn, causes the diminishing of the pain sensation.
What Is CBD?
CBD is one of the active ingredients in the cannabis plant family. The other main one is THC, which gives cannabis its psychoactive effects.
Although CBD is extracted from cannabis plants, the levels of THC usually vary from tiny amounts to virtually none at all (in the highest quality CBD products). Often, CBD products are made from hemp, which is a member of the cannabis family that contains virtually zero THC.
Due to the extremely low levels of THC, hemp-derived CBD products do not have any intoxicating effects. In other words, they do not get you high.
Generally, the effects that people have experienced from CBD products are a calming in mood, relief from pain and anxiety, and an easier time getting to sleep for those that struggle with insomnia.
Cannabis and CBD for Nerve Pain: What Recent Studies Have Said
While FDA-approval and clinical trials are still lacking, the initial investigations into CBD for nerve pain have been promising.
Here is a selection of a few of the most recent studies on CBD for nerve pain (see referenced sources below):
- Several studies have been carried out that have looked at patients with neuropathic pain caused by HIV. Participants in these studies are asked to smoke medical cannabis as a treatment.
- Ellis et al. (2009) found that 34 patients who smoked cannabis reported a significant decrease in the intensity of their pain, as compared to the effects of placebo.
- Abrams et al. (2007) used a similar model of people who suffered from neuropathic pain due to HIV. The research team had 27 patients smoke cannabis and compared them with 28 placebo patients. 52% of the cannabis group reported feeling a greater than 30% decrease in their pain. This was significantly more than the placebo group. They also reported no serious adverse side effects.
- This last study looked at the effectiveness of Sativex, which is a prescription spray (containing both CBD and THC) that some patients use for neuropathic pain. Sativex was given to 63 patients, and their responses were compared with 62 patients given a placebo. The scientists found that more people who took Sativex described a decrease in pain intensity as compared to those who took a placebo.
Final Thoughts on CBD for Nerve Pain
Nerve pain can be a very unpleasant condition. And thus far, medical science has not been able to give us a suitable treatment.
Scientists themselves state that traditionally prescribed treatments have limited effectiveness, and those treatments often come with adverse side effects.
In the end, cannabis-based treatments seem to have a promising future in terms of their potential to treat nerve pain. The science behind how cannabinoids work to counteract nerve pain is clear. Also, the current research appears to support the notion that cannabinoids can successfully treat nerve pain.
If you are suffering from nerve pain and have not been having success with traditional treatments, cannabis and CBD oil could well be worth looking into.
Using CBD for Pain Management
Many people are still reluctant about the beneficial effects of CBD in relieving pain. Even though it is becoming increasingly popular in the medical field, more scientific research is needed to make sure that it is safe. But what do we really know about CBD oil? In today’s blog, let us delve into CBD oil and how it helps deal with pain management.
Table of Contents
- An Overview on CBD
- The Health Benefits of CBD
- How Does CBD Provide Chronic Pain Relief?
- Other Health Benefits of CBD
- The Bottomline
An Overview on CBD
CBD, which is short for cannabidiol, is an active compound that can be found in cannabis plants. While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, however, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. Although CBD is a prevalent ingredient of cannabis, however, it does not exactly cause a “high” or a psychoactive effect. As a matter of fact, in a report published by the World Health Organization, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.
Many scientific research is still underway to prove the safety of CBD. To date, no serious safety concerns have been associated with moderate doses of CBD. In addition, there is no evidence that ties the recreational use of CBD on any public health-related problems. Currently, cannabis is still in Schedule 1 drugs. This means that it still has no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Cannabidiol can easily be obtained in most parts of the United States. Most states have laws legalizing the use of CBD, however, it has varying degrees of restriction.
The Health Benefits of CBD
More scientific research and experiments are needed to have definite answers on how beneficial CBD is. However, CBD has been recommended for a wide variety of health problems. The strongest scientific evidence for its effectiveness is its application in the treatment of some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes. In fact, in 2018, the FDA approved a CBD-based drug for childhood epileptic conditions.
In an article published by Harvard Health Publishing, it says that CBD is commonly used to address anxiety and is beneficial to those who have insomnia. There are studies that suggest that CBD can help with both falling asleep and staying awake. Furthermore, CBD may also limit inflammation in the nervous system which benefits those who are experiencing certain immune system problems.
How Does CBD Provide Chronic Pain Relief?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is estimated that approximately 50 million U.S. adults had chronic pain and 8.0% or 20 million or of U.S. adults had high-impact chronic pain. The most debilitating symptoms of those who suffer from chronic pain are the stiffness and the decreased movement of their joints which can be severe over time. There are some treatment programs and medications that can reduce the pain and the discomfort that comes with different chronic illnesses.
Although many people are already using it, there are still doubts about its effectiveness because of the debates surrounding medical marijuana. However, one of the treatments that are becoming popular in pain management is the CBD oil. It is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant, then diluting it with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil. It is gaining popularity in the health and wellness industry with some scientific studies to support how it can alleviate symptoms of ailments like chronic pain.
Other Health Benefits of CBD
CBD oil may benefit a person’s health in various ways. One of the benefits of cannabidiol is that it relieves arthritis pain. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, researchers studied the potential benefits of CBD oil to arthritis patients. The findings were promising. Researchers have found that indeed it can decrease joint inflammation and serve as a protectant to the nerves. Aside from arthritis, CBD oil also eases other chronic pain conditions. For instance, research indicates that CBD oil is helpful in easing the pain for patients who are suffering from conditions such as multiple sclerosis and cancer. There are also studies that support the positive effects of CBD oil for those who have fibromyalgia pain.
Although CBD is generally considered safe, it may cause unpleasant reactions in some people. The side effects may include tiredness, diarrhea, fatigue, and changes in appetite and weight. It is important to consult a doctor first before trying any CBD-based medications to ensure safety.
Chronic pain is one of the most common reasons as to why people take CBD. If you are suffering from chronic pain conditions and would want a medication that has minimal side effects, then you might consider CBD oil for pain management. Before doing so, discuss it with your pain specialist first.
Regenerative Spine and Pain Institute focuses on developing inpidualized patient treatment plans and increasing patient functionality. Schedule a meeting now!
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