Updated: May 23
Don’t Back Down. I’ve Got Your Back.
Have you ever bent over to pick up a toy your 4-year left on the floor only to feel a sharp, crippling pain that made you wish cleaning up on aisle 9 was anybody else’s job? How about a throbbing pain from your tuchus
all the way down your right leg after sitting in front of your computer screen for hours?
The joy known as lower back pain can show up in many forms, none of which puts a smile on your face. But getting rid of it, now that’s a game-changer. And that’s why the purpose of today’s blog is to arm you with tools to ease your lower back pain and improve your quality of life.
Say My Name, Say My Name…
Let’s wrap our brains around the kinds of pain our bodies can go through first, OK?
Acute Pain. Not So Cute.
This sort of pain is short, as in 3-6 months long, and is directly related to tissue damage, so likely from an accident. A fall, a bump, or an unexpected oochy-owey.
Chronic Pain. Uh Oh.
This is where things get complicated. Your pain lasts over 6 months, meaning past your tissue’s healing. Yes, you heard me. Your tissue is fine; your issue is not. Somehow the signal for pain has jumped onto your Central Nervous System (CNS) pathway like a runaway train. Now your brain keeps sending your body the message of pain which you get to experience even though your body is healed. Yippee!
There are even more causes for chronic pain than just injuries, including spine conditions like disc disease, spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis (easy for you to say). And as you can well imagine, any of these guys can limit your ability to do things and therefore cramp your style. The plot just keeps thickening, doesn’t it?
Neurological. Wait– It’s All in My Head?
Hang on. I’m not blaming you. It’s just that this type of chronic pain occurs with no signs of the original injury, either. It’s just your nerves sending pain signals again. But in these cases they feel different, as in severe, sharp, stabbing, hot, cold– anything but musculoskeletal. You know, as in from the original accident.
And Now for a Little Back Story…
Okay. We have the categories of pain down. Let’s get focused on the lower back.
Non-specific Muscular Pain.
This is good, old-fashioned muscle strain. It’s usually intense and can be felt on either one or both sides of your lower back. It enters your life usually after lifting something heavy, twisting your back, or stretching (how dare you!). Basically any movement that adds stress to the lower back is a potential culprit. Oh, and sudden, surprise movements, like a fall, can do the trick, too.
Again, these guys often spring from heavy lifting, bending over– everyday actions, basically. They don’t often come from chronic use, just unfortunate moves. Like the ones your junior year Prom date had.
Radicular pain. Ridiculous.
This bad boy radiates from your back and hip into your legs through the spine. It rides your spinal nerve root like a Rhinestone Cowboy does his stallion.
If the shock absorbers for your back, your discs, start breaking down, you could end up with radicular pain. Even a pinched nerve root in that neck of the woods can give you this kind of pain in the back.
Sciatica Pain. Aye Yai Yai!
Starting in the lower back and running down the sciatic nerve, this pain is usually caused when a herniated disc or a bone spur in the spine presses on the nerve.
Now that you have all the mental shoe boxes to put the different kinds of lower back pain in, what can you do about it? It turns out, lots of things, beyond the usual complaining to anyone who won’t listen.
When it comes to non-specific, acute pain– stay active. Sorry. I’m not telling you to run a marathon; I’m saying don’t baby it. Move. Go about your life. Live like it’s a temporary house guest. Grin and bear it because this too shall pass.
Hold on. Don’t sit down just yet. It turns out exercise is the foundation for chronic back pain treatment, too. Physical Therapy is recommended, but passive-aggressively smile-cursing your therapist once a week won’t get the job done. Retraining your posture, strengthening your core, stretching, and testing the limits of your pain tolerance– these things come through repetition. That’s on you. You’re welcome.
The buzzword mindfulness shows up here, too. It’s up to you to decide how you respond to your pain. Yep, it’s called adulting on the micro. The pain may be real, but it does not have to own you. There are people for this, too. They’re called rehabilitation psychologists. Who knew?
And while I’m on a buzz-killing roll, handle that diet of yours, please. Inflammatory diets set fire to pain so nix those refined sugars, processed foods, and foods high in trans fats. You may even lose a few pounds which could reduce the pressure on your spine. I just love win-win situations.
Are you Ever Going to Get to the CBD?
Right now, as a matter of fact.
What is it, exactly?
CBD is one of the most abundant phytocannabinoids of the 113 of them found in the cannabis sativa plant. When it’s in our bodies, it acts like our own endocannabinoids do within our Endocannabinoid System (ECS). CBD seems to pump up the volume on the good things our endo’s do for us, impacting our CB receptors by mellowing neurotransmission, balancing psychotropic effects, and even positively influencing dopamine activity that’s associated with addiction. Super cool, right?
Emerging research is showing that CBD is beneficial for both neuropathy and inflammation.
Although scientists don’t know how it happens yet, that doesn’t rain out our parade. Good is good, whether we can take it apart and put it back together again or not.
Our endocannabinoids interact with the ECS in a way that reduces inflammation. This is for sure. It also looks like they can lower the perception of pain and enhance your mood. Woohoo!
And because CBD relieves inflammation, as well, it helps relieve chronic lower back pain, without nasty side effects like addiction.
It’s also proven to have analgesic effects, meaning pain relief, literally. And some studies show that our 3-lettered friend fights anxiety, helps us sleep, and increases our overall relaxation.
I’d say you’re bound to have a better quality of life with these factors in your corner in spite of any lower back pain.
In a case study of a 40-year old man suffering from lumbar compression, Hemp-CBD transdermal cream applied to his lower back significantly relieved his pain. In fact, he wound up pain-free and off meds within four weeks of starting the CBD treatment. Holla!
On the Other Hand..
There are naysayers when it comes to CBD. For instance, in a large clinical trial for CBD and its effects on back pain called CAN BACK, the testers concluded that there was no difference in effects between a specific oral form of CBD and the placebo on acute lower back pain.
Yea or Nay on CBD for Lower Back Pain?
Since the lion’s share of reporting shows that CBD relieves lower back pain without risks for side effects, it’s well worth a shot.
There are many versions out there, including ours, MORE Nano-Hemp Alkaline Water. Why not kill two birds with one stone, hydrate your body and ease your back pain? I can think of far more time-consuming, less valuable things to do, I’m just saying.