CBD Oil for Sciatica | CBD for Sciatica

 

Sciatica is a common condition, and there’s an increased demand for natural alternatives to help with back pain. Learn about how CBD could benefit people with sciatica.

Due to the increasing research into the health benefits of CBD, the CBD oil market continues to grow rapidly in the UK and worldwide.  In 2018, the UK Parliament passed legislation legalising certain cannabinoids including CBD.  The following year, it was governed that CBD products are to be considered a food supplement, and CBD companies must submit a Novel Foods Application to the Food Standards Agency.  Currently, industry analysts estimate that the annual value of the UK CBD industry is approximately £700 million, with the figure expected to surpass one billion GBP by 2025.

Whilst there are numerous health claims of CBD, a number of these require further peer-reviewed research before being verified, and it’s wise to be wary of any claims that CBD is a ‘wonder drug’ or ‘miracle cure’.

 

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica refers to the pain which radiates along the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back, through the buttocks and down each leg.  Usually affecting just one side of the body, sciatica usually occurs when a herniated disc or spinal stenosis compresses or irritates the nerve, causing inflammation and pain, tingling or burning sensations.  Symptoms usually improve in 4 to 6 weeks, but can last longer.

How Many People Have Sciatica?

Sciatica is a common condition, affecting up to 40% of the population at some point in their lifetime.  Back pain is one of the top reasons that someone might visit their doctor, or take time off work.

What are the Main Types of Sciatica?

Sciatica can be categorised into different types, depending on the duration of symptoms, and whether one leg or both are affected.

  • Acute sciatica

    This refers to a recent onset of sciatica, which may last from 4 to 8 weeks.  Pain is managed at home, and typically does not require medical intervention.

  • Chronic sciatica

    Chronic sciatica is persistent and lasts for more than 8 weeks.  This type of sciatica may require non-surgical or surgical treatment.

  • Alternating sciatica

    As the name suggests, this is a type of sciatic nerve pain which affects both legs alternately, however it is rare and often resulting from sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

  • Bilateral sciatica

    This rare type of sciatica occurs in both legs together and occurs due to wear and tear in the vertebrae at different levels, or due to a condition called cauda equina syndrome.

 

Is There a Link Between the Endocannabinoid System and Sciatica?

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a cell-signalling system in the human body which plays a role in regulating a number of functions including sleep, body temperature, hunger, and more relevant in the case of sciatica - pain and inflammation.  Any imbalance in the body, such as an injury sends the ECS off balance. CBD (cannabidiol, the second most active ingredient in cannabis) offers the ECS cannabinoids that set the receptors in a corrective mechanism mode, bringing back balance, potentially resulting in sciatica nerve pain relief.  However, further studies are required into the functionality of the ECS and whether it may influence body processes.

Research into CBD for Pain and Inflammation

While more studies need to happen, there is some evidence to demonstrate that CBD’s pain and inflammation-reducing qualities may help with sciatica symptoms.  A 2018 review of studies between 1975 and 2018 concluded that CBD helped ease chronic pain for a number of conditions including fibromyalgia and nerve pain.  .  Research indicates that CBD may reduce back pain by reducing inflammation, combating the anxiety associated with long-lasting or chronic back pain and supporting sleep and improving overall state of relaxation.'

What CBD Product is Best for Sciatica?

Topical CBD products are highly recommended as they can be applied directly to the lower back, calves, and other areas where there may be pain and discomfort. However, those looking for on-the-go relief may want to try a CBD oil, capsule or gummy.

 Check our review of the best CBD OILS here

How to Use CBD for Sciatica

If you are using a CBD balm or topical CBD oil for sciatica, it can be tricky to measure how much you should use on your skin.  It is recommended that you apply it as you would any other topical product, and re-apply when you can no longer feel its effects.  If you are taking CBD gummies, or an oral CBD oil for sciatica, it is advised to start on a low dose (around 10-20mg per day) and increase the dose by 5mg daily – but bear in mind that results can take a while to show.

 

What are Some Natural Ways to Treat Symptoms of Sciatica?

Aside from using CBD oil for sciatica, acupuncture could be useful for the treatment of sciatic nerve pain.  It works by relaxing tight muscles, improving blood flow and releasing neurotransmitters which can reduce pain.  A 2009 study of 90 patients suffering from sciatica showed that this traditional Chinese therapy reduced the symptoms of sciatica.  Massage is another natural way to treat sciatica, due to its ability to increase the range of motion and reduce pain in the lower back, leg and buttocks.  Similarly, physical therapy and stretching can also help to reduce the pain of sciatica and improve flexibility.