Invictus Blog Let me tell you a little tale about my journey with a bum knee, the pain of pain management, all the treatments that DIDN’T work and the relief I’ve found by conducting my case Your access to this site has been limited by the site owner If you think you have been blocked in error, contact the owner of this site for assistance. If you are a WordPress user with CBD for Knee Pain Living with pain is an everyday experience for people around the world, and a common complaint that many have is knee pain. It can affect people of all ages for a variety of
Let me tell you a little tale about my journey with a bum knee, the pain of pain management, all the treatments that DIDN’T work and the relief I’ve found by conducting my case study of one. I hope my findings can help you or someone you love eliminate a debilitating condition from their lives and let them live freely once again.
It all started back in 1998, which is when I tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in my left knee playing soccer. Normally an ACL tear is a routine injury and surgery to repair and that is what I had done to my right knee two years before. But I was told it wasn’t necessary to have another surgery and I would be able to remain active and have full function if I just strengthened the musculature around the joint. So that’s what I did.
Knowing what a time-consuming pain rehab is, I chose to give it a go without repair. And it worked to a point. I made it nearly fifteen years without an ACL – playing soccer, mountain biking, running, hiking and even competing in the CrossFit Games three years. But then it all started to fall apart – and quite literally – when dislocations became the norm. Like I’d just be walking across the gym and then suddenly be on the floor in extreme pain with my lower leg hanging off to the side.
The years of wear and tear on my joint left nothing but mangled meniscus and completely worn out articular cartilage (the cartilage that caps the end of the bone) on the femur and as I’d later find out, my hip capsule as well. It turns out that problems work their way up the chain.
I was in constant pain and the only way I knew to ease it was with ice and ibuprofen. A lot of ibuprofen, which didn’t feel so nice on my stomach. And sadly, I once gave myself frostbite from constant and aggressive icing. Besides addressing the pain, I needed to be fully functional, once again.
So in 2012 I finally had ACL reconstruction which also included a meniscectomy of the medial and half the lateral meniscus along with microfracture surgery to repair the damage to the head of the femur. Microfracture recovery is a long process where you start out being “non weight bearing” for six to eight weeks. That combined with the fact that my knee’s anatomy had been so jacked up for so long, rehab and recovery were a long, slow process.
Even though I was supposedly on the mend from the surgery, it was one of the darkest times I have experienced. The pain (mostly from inflammation) was so intense that it was crippling. Literally. There were actually many times that I thought I would walk with a limp for the rest of my life and never be able to enjoy the activities that once filled my time.
I couldn’t be away from ice or ibuprofen for more than an hour or my knee would blow up. I had to take stairs by crawling up and hopping down and it was nearly impossible for me to walk more than a block due to severe pain and inflammation. Osteoarthritis and microfracture surgery had taken their toll in a direct assault on my left knee.
It took over a year of almost daily medical appointments, physical therapy multiple times a week with my “physical terrorist”, many alternative treatments tried (massage, acupuncture, float tank, meditation, herbal remedies both pasted on and consumed), and certainly thousands of dollars spent before I was about to give in to another surgery – this time lateral release and arthroscopy to clean up scar tissue. As a last resort, I called my friend, Kelly Starrett, the famed Physical Therapist, author and vlogger, and thanks to a tearfully painful session with him, I cancelled my surgery and was finally able to go about a “normal” existence, which to me, meant being pain-free and being able to participate in everyday activities like walking on the beach and parking more than a block away from the restaurant.
Fast forward to July of this year – three years after my symptoms subsided – they have returned. That crippling, intense and potentially dark and lonely pain – like as bad as it was before I had surgery four years ago but without the frequent dislocations.
I went back to the doctor and am in the process of getting an MRI for my knee (and hip) and then discussing options but it’s hard to imagine going through all of that again for a treatment that might not even be all that successful in the long run. Of course, they want to cut it open (they are surgeons, after all) and/or shoot it up with cortisone, which has it’s own list of issues associated with it. I’m not super excited about any of the traditional options that have been presented so far and the alternatives that I tried last time were not viable long-term solutions i.e. ibuprofen and not being able be away from ice for more than two hours at a time. And most were completely unsuccessful options in the first place.
I needed to buy some time. Some pain free time, that is, because anyone who has been in a great deal of pain knows that it is not manageable for long. So I started looking into some alternatives of my own as to avoid – or at least postpone – another surgery, if possible. This isn’t the first time I’ve done such research but it is the first time I’ve been exposed to this newer alternative that I discovered.
Two months ago, I could barely walk across the gym without severe pain and I had to start hopping down the stairs again on one leg. I had to drop my bags off at the door in the morning and then go park because I was unable to carry them the few blocks from the parking lot. And I stopped all exercises that involved aggressive knee extension (in addition to all the ones I’ve already eliminated). But I was still in extreme pain most of the time.
In September of this year, I started using Cannabidiol (CBD) oil on my knee five to ten times per day as dictated by pain and have seen immediate and dramatic results. After about a week of this protocol, I was able to cut down to two to three applications per day. I now typically only apply the oil one or two times per day. On days that I workout, one of the applications is always right before I start warming up. I rub some on my knee and then cover it with my neoprene knee sleeve to keep it warm and help it soak in. Sometimes I use it right before bed as well, but only if I’m hurting. Besides the surprisingly immediate effects, another thing that’s great about CBD is the price. I can get a jar of oil that lasts me a month or more for around $20 at the dispensary – much cheaper than acupuncture, massage or other medications.
I know it isn’t fixing whatever is structurally wrong in there, but what it does is reduce the inflammation almost immediately and thereby eliminates almost all of the pain. Besides the almost immediate relief I feel within a minute of applying it, what I really like about using CBD is that it is completely harmless – there are no known negative side effects (there are actually what would be considered positive side effects), and it’s non-addictive and non-psychoactive. For more on what conditions CBD can be used to treat, check out my blog post from last week on the topic.
I understand that my experience is a sample size of one, but given the current research and my personal experience with it, I believe that we should be considering CBD as a viable option and should be starting the discussion within the health and fitness community.
If you want to learn more about how to read product labels and current regulations and laws, stay tuned for more blogs in this series over the next few weeks. You will likely have the opportunity to vote on this topic in the upcoming election!
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CBD for Knee Pain
Living with pain is an everyday experience for people around the world, and a common complaint that many have is knee pain. It can affect people of all ages for a variety of causes, from injury to severe medical conditions. Knee pain is a prevalent type of chronic pain because of how frequently we use this joint throughout the day. Pain can arise from any of the intricate parts that comprise the knee: the joints, ligaments, bone and cartilage.
If you struggle with chronic knee pain, you have probably been trying to cope using over-the-counter pain meds. Or, if the injury to your knee is too severe, you and your doctor may be working on a treatment plan that involves prescription pain medication or even surgery. Although consulting with your physician is essential to your health, you may want to suggest an alternative treatment option for your knee pain: CBD.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the main compounds found in marijuana. But unlike its counterpart, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is non-psychoactive and will not get users high. You can only obtain cannabis-derived CBD with a medical marijuana card in states where the medicinal use of cannabis is legal. However, you can buy hemp CBD online or in health food stores across the nation.
Instead of resorting to prescription pain meds like opioids, which have a wide array of adverse side effects and can cause severe addiction, CBD is a far healthier choice. Even readily available medications like ibuprofen can cause damage to the liver, kidneys and stomach lining when misused. Here, we will discuss how using a CBD treatment may be the best option for your knee pain.
Many Causes of Knee Pain
What starts out as a slight ache can quickly turn into something serious if you ignore it. You may see that your knee starts swelling or gets stiff easily. Pretty soon, it looks red and feels warm to the touch. Then, you notice that it’s not as strong as it used to be or that it makes popping or cracking noises when you move. You may even be unable to straighten it all the way. All these, along with chronic knee pain, are indicators that your knee pain could be the result of an injury or a serious medical condition.
Some of the injuries and disorders that commonly cause knee pain include:
- ACL Injury, prevalent among those who play sports
- Torn meniscus, the cartilage that acts as a shock absorber in your knee
- Dislocated knee cap
- And more
But knee pain can also occur in those who are overweight or due to daily wear and tear — especially if you have a job that causes you to move your knee joint in a repetitive motion.
Why CBD Treatments Work
Although some of the causes of knee pain may require surgical intervention, others have not reached that level of seriousness. Even patients who do have surgery sometimes still struggle with achy knees. If you’re taking either prescription or over-the-counter pain meds on a regular basis to deal with your knee pain, then it’s time to give CBD a shot.
What makes CBD and the other cannabinoids in cannabis so useful is how they work with our body to provide an array of positive benefits. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a network of receptors found throughout our body that influence major functions like digestion, mood, immunity, neural function and more.
The ECS naturally produces cannabinoids to produce desired results. However, the cannabinoids in marijuana also activate our ECS — particularly CBD. For that reason, CBD can be used to treat a wide range of conditions.
How CBD Helps Knee Pain
No matter the cause of your knee pain, CBD can provide you with different benefits to alleviate your symptoms. When you take CBD treatments or use them topically, the medication works naturally within our body’s ECS to produce relief for knee pain. Some of the positive side effects you can expect include:
- Pain Reliever: First and foremost, CBD is an effective pain reliever. This cannabinoid works with the receptors in the brain to stop the transmission of pain signals, thus supplying much-needed relief.
- Reduces Inflammation: Anyone who has had inflamed knees can tell you how painful this side effect is. Whether it’s the result of an injury or arthritis, CBD can reduce inflammation, too.
- Relaxation: When you take CBD, it can also relax stiff and aching joints because of its ability to help your body loosen up.
- Regulate Blood Pressure: Healthy circulation is essential to recovery, especially if you have had surgery on your knee. CBD has been shown to reduce blood pressure.
Best Methods of CBD Treatment
If you haven’t kept up with the latest advancements in medical marijuana treatments, then you may think that smoking is the only way to use these forms of treatment. However, a wide variety of CBD ingestion methods exist. Each is effective in its own way, but depending on your individual complaint, there may be one that suits you better than the others:
- Smoking or Vaping: Often considered the quickest and easiest ingestion method. The effects felt from smoking or vaping kick in quickly, allowing you to feel almost instantaneous relief for your knee pain. This is effective if you need fast pain relief, but you may have to re-dose often because the effects don’t last as long.
- Topical Application: Salves, oils, creams and other topical CBD treatments can be applied directly to the knee. This offers targeted relief to your joint pain. Unfortunately, waiting for the medication to absorb into your skin can take up to an hour, but some users report the relief lasts for up to six hours.
- Tinctures: This is another quick relief method. Place tinctures directly under the tongue, and the effects of this method last longer than vaping or smoking.
Speak to Your Doctor About CBD for Knee Pain
Although hemp CBD is legal, some users say it’s not as effective as CBD derived from marijuana plants. If you have chronic pain in your knee and live in a state where medical cannabis is legal, you could qualify. Contact a doctor certified to issue cannabis recommendations in your state to find out more.
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