Woman feels back pain massaging aching muscles

CBD for Sciatica: Does It Really Work?

Most of us have experienced back pain at some point or another. In fact, research shows that as many as 49-70% of the population will struggle with lower back pain in their lifetimes 1 Diagnosis and treatment of sciatica Koes, B. W., van Tulder, M. W., & Peul, W. C. (2007). Diagnosis and treatment of sciatica. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 334(7607), 1313–1317. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39223.428495.BE Koes, B. W., van Tulder, M. W., & Peul, W. C. . However, anyone who has ever suffered with sciatica knows that it’s a different kind of pain, and they’ve likely wondered if CBD for sciatica could help.

What Is Sciatica?

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, moving from the lower back, through the hips and backside, down both legs. Sciatica is a chronic pain condition in which the sciatic nerve, or associated nerve roots, are compressed or injured, resulting in pain that often radiates through the lower back and legs 2 Sciatica Davis D, Maini K, Vasudevan A. Sciatica. [Updated 2020 Apr 27]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507908/ Davis D, Maini K, Vasudevan A. . Approximately 5-10% of all those dealing with lower back pain do in fact have sciatica. A slipped disc with nerve root compression is the cause of 90% of sciatica cases, though there are other potential causes such as tumors, resulting in nerve compression 1 Diagnosis and treatment of sciatica Koes, B. W., van Tulder, M. W., & Peul, W. C. (2007). Diagnosis and treatment of sciatica. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 334(7607), 1313–1317. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39223.428495.BE Koes, B. W., van Tulder, M. W., & Peul, W. C. .

Sciatica most often occurs in patients between the ages of 45 and 64, with the risk level increasing as a result of:

  • Height
  • Smoking
  • Mental distress
  • Strenuous physical activity
  • Driving for long periods of time

Diagnosis is made after a physical examination where a doctor assesses a patient’s self-described symptoms and manipulates the body themselves. Diagnostic imaging is usually only called upon if a patient doesn’t respond to treatment within 6-8 weeks of presenting pain 1 Diagnosis and treatment of sciatica Koes, B. W., van Tulder, M. W., & Peul, W. C. (2007). Diagnosis and treatment of sciatica. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 334(7607), 1313–1317. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39223.428495.BE Koes, B. W., van Tulder, M. W., & Peul, W. C. .

In most cases, sciatica is resolved within two weeks, with treatment being focused on pain reduction and rest (though strict bed rest is no longer recommended). For patients who have persistent pain lasting a year or longer, surgery is sometimes an option 1 Diagnosis and treatment of sciatica Koes, B. W., van Tulder, M. W., & Peul, W. C. (2007). Diagnosis and treatment of sciatica. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 334(7607), 1313–1317. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39223.428495.BE Koes, B. W., van Tulder, M. W., & Peul, W. C. .

What Does the Research Say?

It’s important to note there is no research specifically looking at the treatment potential of CBD for sciatica. Nonetheless, there is plenty of research to suggest CBD could offer some potential benefits in the treatment of sciatica symptoms.

For instance, CBD has shown promising results in the management of difficult-to-treat pain 7 Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain Russo E. B. (2008). Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Therapeutics and clinical risk management, 4(1), 245–259. https://doi.org/10.2147/tcrm.s1928 Russo E. B. . It has also been shown to reduce both inflammatory and neuropathic pain 8 Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors Xiong, W., Cui, T., Cheng, K., Yang, F., Chen, S. R., Willenbring, D., Guan, Y., Pan, H. L., Ren, K., Xu, Y., & Zhang, L. (2012). Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors. The Journal of experimental medicine, 209(6), 1121–1134. https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.20120242 Xiong, W., Cui, T., Cheng, K., Yang, F., Chen, S. R., Willenbring, D., Guan, Y., Pan, H. L., Ren, K., Xu, Y., & Zhang, L . While research has found that chronic pain can sometimes be a precursor to depression, CBD has further been shown to have antidepressant and anti-anxiety impacts 9, 10 The Link between Depression and Chronic Pain: Neural Mechanisms in the Brain Sheng, J., Liu, S., Wang, Y., Cui, R., & Zhang, X. (2017). The Link between Depression and Chronic Pain: Neural Mechanisms in the Brain. Neural plasticity, 2017, 9724371. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/9724371 Sheng, J., Liu, S., Wang, Y., Cui, R., & Zhang, X .

Given all of this, CBD may be a treatment option worth trying for those who do not tolerate prescription pain medications well.

Ready to Use CBD?

If you’ve decided you want to give CBD for sciatica a try, there are several options available to you. For instance, you may want to experiment with topical products that you can rub directly into the areas you feel the most pain.

That being said, most research on CBD for pain management has been based on consuming CBD rather than applying it topically. As a result, CBD oil for sciatica may be your best treatment option.

If you’re wondering how to use CBD oil for sciatica, there are a few possibilities to choose from:

  • Add drops to your water
  • Bake it into your favorite edible
  • Take the drops sublingually (under your tongue)

It’s all a matter of preference and finding what works best for you. Similarly, you may have to experiment with dosage as you work to find the amount and the duration that provides you with the most relief.

Of course, you’re going to want to find the best CBD oil for sciatica. You should look for products made from reputable growers who have preferably been in business a while and have proven their commitment to providing patients with quality CBD oils. If you have a dispensary near you, it’s wise to go and speak to them to get an idea of the local products with the best reputation. Otherwise, there are several reputable online retailers you can purchase from.

FAQs

Does CBD work for sciatica?

There is currently no research looking directly at the potential effectiveness of CBD for sciatica. However, there is plenty of research into the treatment benefits of CBD for chronic and hard-to-treat pain. Since sciatica treatment mainly involves pain management, CBD could certainly have the potential to help.

What is the best treatment for sciatica?

The best-known treatment for sciatica is rest and pain management. For most patients, the symptoms will resolve within a few weeks of presentation. The main goal, therefore, becomes reducing those symptoms as much as possible until that happens 1 Diagnosis and treatment of sciatica Koes, B. W., van Tulder, M. W., & Peul, W. C. (2007). Diagnosis and treatment of sciatica. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 334(7607), 1313–1317. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39223.428495.BE Koes, B. W., van Tulder, M. W., & Peul, W. C. .

Where should I ice for sciatica pain?

Both ice and heat therapies have shown promise in treating sciatica symptoms. If you are utilizing ice therapy, try placing the ice directly over your lower back for 15-20 minutes at a time. Pay attention as you do so to see if this reduces your sciatica pain 11 Effect of heating and cooling combination therapy on patients with chronic low back pain: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Kim EJ, Choi YD, Lim CY, Kim KH, Lee SD. Effect of heating and cooling combination therapy on patients with chronic low back pain: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2015;16:285. Published 2015 Jun 26. doi:10.1186/s13063-015-0800-4 Kim EJ, Choi YD, Lim CY, Kim KH, Lee SD .

Which essential oils are good for sciatic nerve pain?

Research has shown both lavender oil and ginger oil to be beneficial at reducing chronic back pain when combined with massage 12 The Effectiveness of Aromatherapy in Reducing Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Lakhan, S. E., Sheafer, H., & Tepper, D. (2016). The Effectiveness of Aromatherapy in Reducing Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Pain research and treatment, 2016, 8158693. https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/8158693 ] Lakhan, S. E., Sheafer, H., & Tepper, D .

Sources
  1. Koes, B. W., van Tulder, M. W., & Peul, W. C. (2007). Diagnosis and treatment of sciatica. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 334(7607), 1313–1317. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39223.428495.BE
  2. Davis D, Maini K, Vasudevan A. Sciatica. [Updated 2020 Apr 27]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507908/
  3. Ling, W., Mooney, L., & Hillhouse, M. (2011). Prescription opioid abuse, pain and addiction: clinical issues and implications. Drug and alcohol review, 30(3), 300–305. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-3362.2010.00271.x
  4. Martel, M. O., Finan, P. H., Dolman, A. J., Subramanian, S., Edwards, R. R., Wasan, A. D., & Jamison, R. N. (2015). Self-reports of medication side effects and pain-related activity interference in patients with chronic pain: a longitudinal cohort study. Pain, 156(6), 1092–1100. https://doi.org/10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000154
  5. Wongrakpanich, S., Wongrakpanich, A., Melhado, K., & Rangaswami, J. (2018). A Comprehensive Review of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug Use in The Elderly. Aging and disease, 9(1), 143–150. https://doi.org/10.14336/AD.2017.0306
  6. Weber H, Holme I, Amlie E. The natural course of acute sciatica with nerve root symptoms in a double-blind placebo-controlled trial evaluating the effect of piroxicam. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1993;18(11):1433-1438.
  7. Russo E. B. (2008). Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Therapeutics and clinical risk management, 4(1), 245–259. https://doi.org/10.2147/tcrm.s1928
  8. Xiong, W., Cui, T., Cheng, K., Yang, F., Chen, S. R., Willenbring, D., Guan, Y., Pan, H. L., Ren, K., Xu, Y., & Zhang, L. (2012). Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors. The Journal of experimental medicine, 209(6), 1121–1134. https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.20120242
  9. Sheng, J., Liu, S., Wang, Y., Cui, R., & Zhang, X. (2017). The Link between Depression and Chronic Pain: Neural Mechanisms in the Brain. Neural plasticity, 2017, 9724371. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/9724371
  10. de Mello Schier AR, de Oliveira Ribeiro NP, Coutinho DS, et al. Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol: a chemical compound of Cannabis sativa. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2014;13(6):953-960. doi:10.2174/1871527313666140612114838
  11. Kim EJ, Choi YD, Lim CY, Kim KH, Lee SD. Effect of heating and cooling combination therapy on patients with chronic low back pain: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2015;16:285. Published 2015 Jun 26. doi:10.1186/s13063-015-0800-4
  12. Lakhan, S. E., Sheafer, H., & Tepper, D. (2016). The Effectiveness of Aromatherapy in Reducing Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Pain research and treatment, 2016, 8158693. https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/8158693

you must be at least 21 to view this website

Sorry, you have to be of legal age to visit this site.