Shoulder Pain
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CBD For Shoulder Pain Relief?

Learn about shoulder pain and how CBD can help relieve symptoms associated with pain and inflammation of the shoulder.

Shoulder Pain Relief

Shoulder pain refers to pain and discomfort of the shoulder joint or its various surrounding muscles, ligaments, or tendons. The pain may be dull and achy or sharp, depending on the underlying cause of the pain. If the pain hurts when you proceed to move your arm or shoulder, the shoulder joint is likely affected by a condition or injury.

Shoulder Pain Causes

Shoulder pain appears to be primarily caused by diseases or conditions affecting the shoulder joint and surrounding ligaments and tendons. If the pain isn’t caused by blunt trauma or injury, then you may be experiencing inflammation.

Long-term overuse of the shoulder can result in inflammation and pain, especially due to posture and sports. Incorrect posture when standing or sitting, can put unnecessary stress on the shoulder joint, resulting in inflammation and pain. Improper technique during exercises such as weight lifting or throwing sports can explain the pain and swelling of the shoulder and the surrounding area.

It’s also possible that the pain originates somewhere other than the shoulder; this is known as referred pain. The most common causes of referred pain are heart disease and gallbladder disease. However, practically any disease or condition that affects the surrounding structures in the upper chest could be responsible for shoulder pain as well.

Osteoarthritis causes joint and bone degeneration leading to severe inflammation and pain in the affected area. The disease could be affecting the primary shoulder joint itself or any of the smaller structures found in the shoulder. 

Shoulder Blade Pain

The arm bone and the shoulder blade attach to create the shoulder joint. Additionally, four muscles surround the arm bone to ensure movement of the arm without disturbing the shoulder. The shoulder blade is susceptible to injury and degeneration caused by osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.

The shoulder blade outlines a large muscle known as the supraspinatus at the top of the shoulder and an even larger muscle known as the infraspinatus. The tendon between the shoulder blade, arm bone, and collar bone can sometimes become pinched and inflamed as a result. The fluid sacs that help cushion the tendon could also become swollen and damaged.

Shoulder Pain Relief Treatment

Medication

To help recovery from a shoulder injury or shoulder pain, you should first speak with a doctor to ensure that there isn’t an underlying condition like osteoarthritis that’s responsible for the pain. Your doctor will likely prescribe a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to reduce inflammation and also recommend active rest.

Exercise

Active rest means that you should try to move the shoulder and arms gently instead of not moving it at all. Avoid straining tasks like sports or weight lifting while your shoulder recovers. Alternating hot/cold treatments can also help reduce pain. Certain stretches and exercises could help ensure a speedy recovery.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy first begins by completing basic exercises mean to increase shoulder mobility. This is important because if you allow your injured shoulder not to move, then you could develop a serious problem known as a frozen shoulder. Bending over and moving your shoulders and arms in large circles will help increase your shoulder’s range of motion. Slowly move on to resistance exercises using specially designed rubber bands or light dumbbells. After your shoulder has recovered for a few weeks, you can begin using weight machines or free weight lifting to restrengthen the shoulders.

CBD for Shoulder Pain Relief?

Cannabidiol or CBD is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant. CBD is typically extracted from hemp, which is Cannabis sativa without the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is famous for producing the distinct high associated with smoking or consuming marijuana. However, cannabidiol doesn’t share THC’s psychoactivity, providing pain relief without intoxication. This is very appealing to those suffering from pain who cannot afford to be high or impaired, whether at work, around people, or just driving into town to complete errands.

Currently, the FDA only recognizes CBD for the treatment of seizures from two rare forms of epilepsy under the branded “Epidiolex.” However, clinical studies are revealing that CBD may prove effective in treating a variety of conditions and diseases, particularly due to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. CBD may provide pain relief for those with a shoulder injury or those living with an inflammatory disorder. 

Why Is CBD Getting So Popular?

CBD is exploding in popularity for a variety of reasons. For one, people are seeking alternatives to traditional pain medication like highly addicting opioids during the midst of a devastating opioid crisis. There’s a huge demand for safe treatments for pain symptoms as even non-addicting nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) come with various side effects when used in high doses and for long periods. CBD is also showing promise for treating pain disorders, diseases causing inflammation, and even cancer along with various other medical and psychiatric conditions.

Research on cannabidiol and psychiatric disorders are limited. However, some studies have demonstrated that CBD possesses antipsychotic and anxiolytic properties. This may be effective in treating disorders such as schizophrenia and anxiety. 

The 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized the sale and growing of hemp cannabis and its extracts. Hemp refers to cannabis Sativa grown without the psychoactive compound THC. This distinction is important because CBD products must contain no more than 0.3 percent THC to be considered legal. If a hemp plant produces more than 0.3 percent THC, then it’s instead considered as marijuana. Marijuana remains a schedule 1 substance by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), making it illegal to grow, buy, sell, or possess. However, several states have passed legislation legalizing both recreational and medicinal use of cannabis even when the federal government prohibits cannabis. Always check your state and local laws to ensure you can legally purchase and possess CBD products derived from hemp.

Also, the 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized the growing and sale of hemp and its extracts. Hemp is a type of cannabis Sativa that does not contain the psychoactive compound THC. This is important because hemp and CBD products derived from hemp are only legal if they contain less than 0.3 percent THC. If a hemp plant or hemp-derived CBD product contains more than 0.3 percent THC, then it’s classified as marijuana. Marijuana is still a schedule 1 drug, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), making it federally illegal to buy, sell, or possess. However, several states have legalized both medical and recreational use of cannabis even while the federal government fails to recognize cannabis’s medicinal uses. Make sure to check your local state laws regarding CBD as they vary by state. 

How To Take CBD for Shoulder Pain Relief

Taking CBD By Mouth

There are numerous types of edibles containing cannabidiol from gummy bears to cookies and cakes. We recommend buying edibles from dispensaries if you’re in a state that’s legalized recreational cannabis use. We say this because some states are already banning cannabidiol from foods and drinks such as Washington State, California, and New York. Dispensaries are highly regulated and are exempted from this ban, meaning dispensaries can still sell high-quality CBD edibles. If you can’t, make sure your edibles are sourced from high-quality cannabidiol as the market is currently unregulated. 

Sublingually

A popular way to take CBD is by placing drops of a tincture under the tongue (sublingual) and allowing it to sit there for about two minutes. The pros of this method are that you can feel the effects fairly quickly, usually within 20 minutes. This is because the tissue beneath the tongue isn’t well fortified, allowing fast absorption into the bloodstream. Also, you can accurately dose CBD with this method because the tinctures almost always come with a dropper. When trying to find the right dose, simply increase your drops by 1-2 until pain relief is achieved.

Applying CBD Topicals

Another way to take cannabidiol is by applying a topical product directly to the skin. These products usually come as creams, salves, or balms. This method may be preferred as you can target exactly where CBD is going by applying the product to the shoulders. However, no studies have confirmed if these products actually get cannabidiol through the skin. Also, be aware that these topicals often contain additional ingredients such as fragrances or artificial dyes. It’s not uncommon to see things like coconut oil or nut butter added to creams. Just make sure the product doesn’t contain something that would give you an allergic reaction. 

Inhaling CBD

You can inhale cannabidiol by smoking or vaping cannabis flower or distillate. Vape pens are readily available and use cartridges containing cannabidiol distillate that quickly heat up to produce vapor. Vaping doesn’t combust the material, preventing undesired carcinogens from being inhaled.

Note: the CDC is currently looking into the unknown cause of thousands of hospitalizations and several deaths associated with vaping. It’s suspected to be from the unregulated black market cartridges containing THC, but investigators are still unsure. Always buy your products from regulated dispensaries or reputable sources.

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