Most people in the world suffer from minor back problems at least once in their lifetime. In senior citizens, the chance of back injuries and back pain are pretty higher. Even though our daily body movements do not cause any problems, the symptoms of back injuries usually develop due to everyday wear and tear, overuse, or injury.
Back injuries usually occur when you engage in sports activities, work-related tasks, etc. These injuries can lead to back pain that can cause problems anywhere from the neck to the coccyx or also known as the tailbone. When you do heavy lifting or yard work, you overuse your back muscles and it may lead to back injuries. Tripping, falling from a short height or excessive twisting of the spine can cause minor back injuries.
Apart from injuries, back pain can also be caused by other factors like age. The risk of getting back pain will get higher when a person gets older. Sitting for a long period, degenerative disease, a family history of back pain are also some causes of back pain. People who suffer from degenerative diseases like osteoporosis suffer severe back pain that can be treated with CBD. Today, people are extensively using CBD back injury treatment over traditional treatment because it is more effective.
In this article, we will look more into CBD and how CBD will help senior citizens with back injuries.
What Is Cannabidiol?
Cannabidiol, or commonly known as CBD, was discovered in the early part of the 20th century. It is one of the 113 known cannabinoid compounds of the marijuana and hemp plant. A lot of researches has undergone and found that CBD has so many therapeutic properties and it will be an effective remedy for many of the health problems that affect humans as well as animals. This makes CBD one of the most popular therapeutic drugs all across the world.
One of the main reasons for the popularity of CBD is that it is safer than most of the traditional medication. People are using many CBD products for treating their health disorders because it does not cause any severe side effects. Most of the traditional medications cause severe side effects that worsen the health condition it is supposed to treat. Also, CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid compound, unlike THC. That means CBD does not produce any euphoric sensation.
Many studies have found out that CBD can treat health disorders such as stress, anxiety, depression, pain, seizures, nausea, insomnia, migraine, skin problems, etc. There is much evidence that suggests the use of CBD for improving heart health because CBD can lower blood pressure. CBD is also beneficial in the treatment of autoimmune diseases and neurodegenerative diseases. CBD is also used for alleviating the side effects caused by chemotherapy, such as nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
Types Of Back Injuries
There are mainly two types of back injuries; sudden or acute injuries and overuse injuries. Back pain due to a sudden injury can be severe. When you experience a sudden injury, bruising and swellings will develop soon but the injury usually does not last longer than 6 weeks. Acute injuries can either be a muscle strain or a fracture or dislocation of the spine. A spinal cord injury can lead to permanent paralysis. Therefore, the injured person must be transported correctly to avoid the risk of paralysis.
A torn or ruptured disc can also lead to severe back pain. There is a jelly-like material inside the disc, which will leak out if the tear is large enough and may press against a nerve. When it leak out of the tear, the disc is called herniated disc. Cauda equine syndrome is also classified as an acute back injury. It is caused by the compression of nerves in the lower back that leads to severe pain.
Overuse injuries are very silent and we may not know when or how will it takes effect. Overuse back injuries often occur due to improper body movement or posture while doing activities like weight lifting, walking, sitting, or even sleeping. The symptoms of overuse injuries include pain, muscle spasm, and stiffness. Sometimes the pain goes away without any treatment but other times special treatments are required to alleviate the pain. The use of CBD for pain is usually recommended in such cases.
Back Pain In Senior Citizens
Back pain is a leading cause of disability in the majority of the older adults above the age of 65. Millions of elders all around the world suffer from back pain and regularly visit healthcare facilities for treatment. The main reason for back pain in older adults is because of occupational exposure. The degeneration of spinal joints due to age is also a major factor that causes back pain in senior citizens. Older adults are also at the risk of getting spinal stenosis and osteoarthritis that may contribute to the development of severe back pain.
Spinal pathologies such as lumbar spinal stenosis, spinal infection, tumors, and osteoporotic vertebral fractures are very common in older adults. It is important to diagnose and treat back pain early because severe cases can lead to functional disability. Statistics show that back pain in senior citizens is under-treated. Around 50% of the medical professionals prescribe analgesics at a sub-optimal dosage and around 25 % of the older adults who suffer from back pain do not even get analgesics.
Many of the older adults experience back pain due to disc degeneration that happens due to aging. Sometimes in older adults facet joint pain appears as localized back pain. In such cases, the pain extends to the thigh area and can be felt while walking and may become severe by the types of motion. Degenerative spondylolisthesis is usually seen in senior citizens affected by spinal stenosis, pain, and neurological deficits.
Spinal infection is also a potential cause of back pain in senior citizens. One of the best examples of spinal infection is vertebral osteomyelitis. The disease is a life-threatening condition that needs immediate treatment. Osteoporotic fracture is very common in postmenopausal women that may cause considerable pain. In recent years, many studies have looked at the effect of CBD in reducing pain and inflammation and found some encouraging results.
Use Of CBD For Back Injuries In Senior Citizens
When compared to the traditional painkillers, CBD is very safe and effective in reducing back pain. The interaction of CBD with the cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system helps in reducing inflammation and thereby pain associated with it. People have extensively started using CBD for back pain because of the long-term use of over-the-counter pain medication and the low success rates of back injuries.
The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD make it one of the popular choices for managing pain. The interaction of CBD with endocannabinoid receptors enhances the signaling of anandamide, which is the compound in the brain that regulates pain. CBD prevents the absorption of anandamide and reduces the pain throughout the body.
In a 2012 study involving mice as test subjects, it was found that CBD is effective in relieving both inflammatory and neuropathic pain in mice. The finding of this study was substantial in suggesting CBD as an effective treatment for hard-to-treat pain that affects the body, including the lower backside.
A 2017 chronic pain study in human subjects looked at the improvement in pain over 12 months. The test subjects were given a daily dosage of THC and CBD combined and observed a significant reduction in pain within months. Another study in the same year also concluded that cannabinoids could be effective for managing pain.
In 2014, a study showed that CBD was able to reduce the severity of the damage caused by the degeneration of disc in the vertebrae. The researchers injected various concentrations of CBD in rats that had spinal injuries. The results of the experiment showed that higher doses of CBD help in reducing the degeneration of disc and also reduced the back pain associated with it.
How To Use CBD For Back Injuries In Senior Citizens?
There are different types of CBD products available that could help in alleviating back pain in older adults. The most effective ones will be the topical CBD products like CBD cream, CBD lotions, and CBD balms. Topical CBD products are applied on the skin and the skin will absorb the CBD content to give localized pain relief. This makes it a good remedy for inflammatory and neuropathic pain.
CBD tinctures are another method of consuming CBD for alleviating pain. When you use CBD tinctures sublingually, the blood vessels under your tongue absorb the CBD content into the bloodstream and its effect will come in quicker. Unlike topical CBD products, CBD tinctures give a full-body relief. Vaping CBD oil also gives a quicker effect but it is not recommended for older adults.
Mixing CBD oil with food and drink is another best option for consuming CBD for pain relief. You can add CBD to the coffee or tea and drink it. It is an easier and effective way of administering CBD into the body. You can also use CBD edibles such as CBD gummies, CBD capsules, and CBD pills for reducing back pain. One of the disadvantages of CBD edibles is that they take a longer time to show the effects.
Using CBD for back pain in seniors is a good decision. Even though research is very limited, many anecdotal records support the use of CBD products for getting relief from back pain. When you buy a CBD product for treating your back injuries, you need to make sure that it is of high quality and the THC content is less than 0.3%. Also, it is better to consult a doctor before using CBD because he can help in determining a safe dosage.