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!
CBD Oil for Tendonitis: Benefits & Usage
The reason why CBD has become so popular in recent years is due to its remarkable painkilling and anti-inflammatory properties. Anecdotal reports from CBD users as well as numerous scientific studies have mentioned these qualities, touting CBD for its effectiveness without the dangerous side effects associated with conventional painkillers, especially prescription ones.
The BD boom has given rise to a plethora of different products formulated to ease different types of physical discomfort. Even sports people and professional athletes use it to relieve pain, including tendonitis. This painful ailment manifests as inflammation in tendons, which control almost every movement in the human body — even blinking of your eyelids.
The exploitation of any muscles can lead to tendonitis, so the biggest risk factor here is intense physical activity such as professional sports or heavy-duty jobs such as construction works or mining. Tendonitis is more likely to happen when people get older and can also derive from pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes or arthritis.
Today, we explain everything you need to know about tendonitis and whether or not CBD oil can help treat this ailment.
Let’s start with a brief overview of tendonitis and its types.
What Is Tendonitis?
Tendonitis is a physical condition that occurs when the tendons, which are the tissues connecting the bone with the muscle, suffer from inflammation. Tendonitis is a common sports injury, where a part of the body containing tendons is overloaded or overworked.
When it comes to overload, physicians usually mean a sudden increase in speed. For example, let’s say you start running at high speed immediately after walking steadily for a while. Repeated overload of tendons can lead to the Achilles tendon, where the tissue found at the back of the lower leg gets swollen.
Overwork means that the frequent repetition of certain movements, such as weight lifting, can have a negative impact on the tendons in general — especially those in arms or legs.
Other causes of tendonitis include infections, deformities, or other medical conditions, such as Haglund’s deformity, gonorrhea, and diabetes.
Types of Tendonitis
Tendonitis has several different forms depending on the parts of the body it affects. It can show up in the shoulder, elbow, wrist, knee, and heel.
Here are the most common types of tendonitis:
- Tennis elbow – tennis elbow is caused by inflammation in the tendons on the outer side of the elbow. Pain may begin in the forearm and surge to the wrist and fingers. As the name suggests, this type of tendonitis is common among tennis players, but it can also affect plumbers, construction workers, painters, and artists who constantly move their arms.
- Achilles tendonitis – this type of tendonitis occurs in the largest tendon in the body known as the Achilles tendon. When the tissue connecting the heel with the calf muscle gets exposed to overwork, it causes swelling and pain. Runners are the most exposed group to this condition, but Achilles tendonitis may also affect people who have a sudden increase in pace during running activities.
- Rotator cuff tendonitis – also referred to as bicep tendonitis, this ailment involves shoulder pain caused by inflammation of the biceps tendon. People who have rotator cuff tendonitis often report pain running from the shoulder blades to the upper arm. This type of tendonitis may be triggered by frequent stretching of the arms or by heavy lifting. The condition may cause patients to experience problems falling asleep or reaching objects and surfaces located above the head and behind the back.
- Golfer’s elbow – golfer’s elbow is caused by the inflammation of the forearm, where the swelling appears inside of the forearm and elbow. The condition can be triggered by a wide range of activities that use repetitive hand movements, such as throwing, gripping, swinging, and flexing.
Does CBD Help with Tendonitis?
Most people can successfully treat tendonitis with OTC painkillers, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin — it rarely requires the intervention of prescription medications.
Despite being effective at treating minor pains, combining too many non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can result in dangerous side effects, such as gastrointestinal bleeding or heart attack — not to mention that they lose effectiveness over time (1).
Severe cases of tendonitis are also treated with corticosteroid drugs. These painkillers are used for pain management; doctors apply them to athletes using injections for immediate relief from inflammation and pain.
Now, corticosteroids are stronger painkillers than NSAIDs. Unfortunately, their chronic use may weaken the tendons, impairing their functioning and causing even greater damage (2).
For the above reasons, people have started to seek out natural, safer alternative treatments for tendonitis.
Numerous studies have pointed to CBD as potent anti-inflammatory properties. For example, one study has found that CBD can effectively help people manage arthritis pain, which affects the connective tissues like ligaments and tendons (3).
Another study has concluded that CBD oil has anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties for rheumatoid conditions (4). The study has also stressed the low efficacy of traditional prescription painkillers. Drugs like opioids can even lead to uncontrolled rheumatic pain and worsen inflammation, which is the underlying cause of arthritis.
Researchers have discovered that CBD produces more potent effects for inflammation and pain when taken in combination with THC, the second major cannabinoid in the cannabis plant.
CBD and THC are comparable to opioids in terms of the anti-inflammatory and painkilling benefits, but they don’t cause adverse side effects and can’t lead to a fatal overdose because they don’t target the brainstem area responsible for respiratory function.
In 2020, CBD was approved for athletes by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The organization applied those changes in its updated World anti-Doping Code.
Benefits of CBD Oil for Tendonitis
As said earlier, tendonitis involves swelling and pain in the tendons. Symptoms may last for anywhere between several days to a few weeks, depending on the severity of the injury. People usually recover from tendonitis within two days to six weeks.
Tendonitis can transform into tendinosis if left ignored; this condition involves severe tendon degeneration involving joint stiffness, chronic pain, and movement restrictions.
Tendinosis occurs when tendons lose too much collagen due to overwork while not being completely regenerated. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body; it’s responsible for the strength, structure, and elasticity of the skin and bones.
Tendinosis is more challenging to treat than tendonitis — usually taking around three to six months. Treatments include stretching, massaging, shockwave therapy, or surgery.
People with severe tendinosis may wear temporary slings, splints, or braces on affected areas. Sometimes, surgery is necessary to realign and repair tendons when the damage is too heavy.
Below we provide evidence supporting CBD’s ability to treat tendonitis and its symptoms.
CBD Reduces Inflammation
Plant-based cannabinoids such as CBD can regulate the immune system’s reaction to inflammation.
Inflammation is a natural process that occurs when the body gets injured or when a person ingests harmful substances.
CBD has a remarkable anti-inflammatory effect. When CBD starts interacting with the endocannabinoid system, it causes the macrophages to inhibit the release of cytokines.
Cytokines are pro-inflammatory proteins, while macrophages are white blood cells that react to infections.
A study performed on rats showed that oral forms of CBD taken in subsequently higher doses has helped reduce inflammation on the subjects’ paws. The paws were also less swollen after a few hours of administering CBD for the first time (5).
The authors of the study underlined the need for human clinical trials to confirm if CBD would provide the same results.
CBD Mitigates Pain Signals
As mentioned, CBD interacts with the human endocannabinoid system (ECS) — the major regulatory network involved in pain modulation on top of many other processes. The ECS has two types of receptors: CB1 and CB2. These receptors occur throughout the body and respond to molecules known as endocannabinoids.
The term ‘endo’ means ‘from within’ in Greek, which refers to the cannabinoids your body produces naturally. They have a very similar structure to phytocannabinoids, the ones produced by cannabis plants.
Endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids regulate the body’s biological processes to keep it in the state of balance known as homeostasis. Homeostasis means that the body is able to self-regulate these processes in order for us to function properly.
When taken sublingually or orally, CBD indirectly increases the ECS concentrations of cannabinoids to help retrieve the lost balance — and thus treat different types of discomfort, including tendonitis. Unlike its cousin THC, CBD won’t get you high because it doesn’t have intoxicating properties.
One study that examined the use of CBD in pain management has found that CBD oil can be an effective alternative to opioid-based prescription drugs. The authors of the study have found that patients with chronic pain reduced their dose of opioids after using CBD. The study also suggested that CBD may be an effective replacement for conventional analgesic treatment (6).
Another study, conducted on rats, has found that topical use of CBD may reduce pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Although the results came from animal models, they may be relevant when replicated in humans, as all animals except for insects have the same ECS (7).
How to Choose the Right CBD Product for Tendonitis
CBD products fall into three classes: full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolates.
Full-spectrum CBD is made from the whole hemp plant and contains the complete cannabinoid profile, including minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. These molecules help your body to process CBD more efficiently, allowing lower doses to remain effective. Studies have found that full-spectrum extracts are superior to isolates when it comes to reducing inflammation and pain. This phenomenon is known as the entourage effect.
Broad-spectrum CBD extracts contain all of the above but without THC. The intoxicating cannabinoid is usually removed after initial extraction. They aren’t as complete as their full-spectrum counterparts, but they still evoke some of the entourage effects.
CBD isolates are pure, isolated CBD. All other compounds are removed through a series of chemical processes. They have no odor and flavor, which makes them more versatile than the above forms, but they lack the entourage effect, which makes them a less preferred option among consumers. However, if you take high doses of CBD oil and are tested at work for THC, isolates are the safest bet.
Follow These Steps to Ensure You’re Getting a High-Quality CBD Oil
- Choose CO2-extracted CBD oil. CO2 extraction is by far the best technology to obtain CBD oil with. This method doesn’t use extra heat or toxic solvents, so it produces consistently potent and pure products while preserving the original plant’s profile.
- Look for CBD oil made from organic, non-GMO hemp. Hemp plants are dynamic bio accumulators, so they will absorb every substance from the soil they grow in — both the good and the bad. This quality is prized when it comes to cleaning soil, but using such plants as source material for CBD oil is a big no-no. That’s why you should choose products made from organically grown hemp that was cultivated in a clean environment.
- Only purchase from reputable companies that provide third-party lab reports for their products. A Certificate of Analysis from an independent laboratory is the only proof that your product is legitimate. Third-party labs analyze the potency of CBD and look for common contaminants in the product sample, including pesticides, heavy metals, mycotoxins, and solvent residue.
- Read user reviews and niche blogs about CBD before purchasing any CBD oil online.
- Make an appointment with a doctor experienced in cannabis use to determine the right dosage for your situation and learn about complementary therapies for tendonitis.
How to Use CBD for Tendonitis
CBD comes in various forms to suit different types of consumers. Aside from picking the right potency for your tendonitis symptoms, and the preferred spectrum of your product, the route of administration is another important consideration.
CBD oil can be taken orally or topically. Below we explain how to use both forms for the greatest benefit.
CBD Oil for Tendonitis
The name “CBD oil” refers to sublingual drops that are infused into food-grade oils like hemp seed oil, coconut oil, or olive oil. Tinctures are a variety of CBD oil that is extracted with alcohol instead of carbon dioxide.
If you dislike the earthy taste of natural CBD oil, there are other formats you can choose from. CBD-infused capsules and edibles such as CBD-infused honey sticks are becoming increasingly popular nowadays — thanks to their convenience and ease of use. These products come with a predetermined amount of CBD per serving, so they work better for busy people and those who travel a lot.
If inhalation is your preferred consumption method, CBD can provide fast relief from tendonitis pain through vaporization. Vaporized CBD usually needs around 5–10 minutes to kick in and offers the highest bioavailability of all available formats out there. Bioavailability refers to the amount of CBD oil that makes it to the bloodstream after ingestion.
CBD Cream for Tendonitis
For inflamed tendons and swollen muscles, we recommend a CBD-infused topical such as cream or gel. Topical products are absorbed into the epidermis layer of the skin, where the CBD interacts with the cannabinoid receptors that regulate inflammation and pain perception.
CBD topicals come in different consistencies and textures. CBD lotions use water as the base; CBD salves use oil; creams usually combine these two ingredients.
A CBD cream should be applied to the affected area for quick but short-lived relief. You may need to rub another dose into the skin after a few hours.
How Much CBD Should I Take for Tendonitis?
Finding the right dosage for your tendonitis pain can be challenging. Dosing CBD requires an individual approach because everybody is different; we’re not of the same age, gender, and weight; we don’t have the same metabolism rate, so expecting a one-size-fits-all dosage from a health supplement — even such a versatile one — is wishful thinking.
The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate CBD products, nor has it ruled out official dosage recommendations for CBD oils.
The best way to minimize the error part in your trial and error is to start low and gradually increase the dose if there are no considerable signs of relief. Studies suggest that an effective dose of CBD for pain relief may range from 1 to 50 mg per day, with lower doses for mild discomfort, and higher doses for severe, chronic pain.
Again, we encourage you to visit a doctor experienced in using CBD to determine the optimal dose for your case of tendonitis and avoid potential interactions with other medications.
Final Verdict: Does CBD Oil work for Tendonitis?
Tendonitis occurs when the tendons, which are tissues binding the bones and muscles, become inflamed. It’s a common condition among sportspeople and physical workers whose activity involves repetitive movement that can either cause the overuse or overload of tendons.
CBD oil is one of the natural and safe remedies that can be used to treat tendonitis. However, no medication or supplement will make up for the time you devote to giving your tendons the much-needed break. If your tendonitis doesn’t heal after a few months, you may need to undergo surgery and rehabilitation.
Although no study has yet investigated the efficacy of CBD oil specifically for tendonitis, research shows that CBD has strong inflammatory and painkilling properties, both of which are useful in the management of tendonitis pain.
You may use CBD oil in the tincture form or apply a topical if you need localized relief, but you should always take into consideration such factors as your weight, metabolism, and severity of symptoms if you want to figure out the best form and dosage of CBD for your condition.
- Davis, Abigail, and John Robson. “The dangers of NSAIDs: look both ways.” The British journal of general practice: the journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners vol. 66,645 (2016): 172-3. doi:10.3399/bjgp16X684433
- Nepple, Jeffrey J, and Matthew J Matava. “Soft tissue injections in the athlete.” Sports health vol. 1,5 (2009): 396-404. doi:10.1177/1941738109343159
- Burstein, Sumner. “Cannabidiol (CBD) and its analogs: a review of their effects on inflammation.” Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry vol. 23,7 (2015): 1377-85. doi:10.1016/j.bmc.2015.01.059
- Nagarkatti, Prakash et al. “Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs.” Future medicinal chemistry vol. 1,7 (2009): 1333-49. doi:10.4155/fmc.09.93
- Costa, Barbara et al. “Oral anti-inflammatory activity of cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive constituent of cannabis, in acute carrageenan-induced inflammation in the rat paw.” Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s archives of pharmacology vol. 369,3 (2004): 294-9. doi:10.1007/s00210-004-0871-3
- Capano, Alex et al. “Evaluation of the effects of CBD hemp extract on opioid use and quality of life indicators in chronic pain patients: a prospective cohort study.” Postgraduate medicine vol. 132,1 (2020): 56-61. doi:10.1080/00325481.2019.1685298
- Hammell, D C et al. “Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviors in a rat model of arthritis.” European journal of pain (London, England) vol. 20,6 (2016): 936-48. doi:10.1002/ejp.818
Livvy is a registered nurse (RN) and board-certified nurse midwife (CNM) in the state of New Jersey. After giving birth to her newborn daughter, Livvy stepped down from her full-time position at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. This gave her the opportunity to spend more time writing articles on all topics related to pregnancy and prenatal care.
Leave a comment Cancel reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
CBD for Muscle Recovery and Improved Performance for Pro Football Players
CBD (Cannabidiol) has been used to treat medical conditions like cancer and epilepsy. Learn about its powerful benefits for athletes and professional football players to recover from intense workouts and injuries.
CBD (Cannabidiol) has been used to treat medical conditions like cancer and epilepsy. Learn about its powerful benefits for athletes and professional football players to recover from intense workouts and injuries.
If you’re a pro football player, you’re at serious risk of injury every time you step onto the field. It’s a fast-paced, high-impact sport, and the slightest misstep can mean a serious injury—or even worse. This article highlights the benefits of CBD oil for muscle recovery among pro football players, including how CBD oil works to repair damaged muscles and decrease inflammation, how it accelerates the healing process, and how it improves overall performance and recovery time while reducing pain.
Why CBD for Muscle Recovery?
In any competitive sport, injuries are common, so pain management is usually the first concern in many cases. CBD can be used for the typical football injuries such as sprains, strains, Rotator cuff injuries, Achilles’ tendon injuries, Runner’s knee and other injuries.
The anti-inflammatory properties within this natural substance assist in getting rid of swelling and stiffness in muscles. By bringing down pain and inflammation, athletes will be able to recover faster and feel better overall. It’s no gainsaying that Pro football players and athletes treat their bodies like finely tuned machines, so it’s clear why they would be interested in CBD for muscle recovery.
Treating an Injury with CBD Oil
Once an injury takes place, your body releases endocannabinoids as part of your natural response system. The endocannabinoids attach themselves to CB1 receptors located throughout the body, including on nerve cells, immune cells and other cells involved in tissue regeneration. By attaching themselves to these receptors, they trigger various reactions that start up the healing process while reducing muscle spasms and pain.
CBD oil can be ingested, inhaled, applied topically or smoked. The method used depends on the desired effect and an athlete’s personal preference. Ingesting CBD oil orally allows for quick reaction, while smoking produces effects almost instantly but will wear off more quickly than oral ingestion or topical application. A typical dose is anywhere from 10 to 25 mg of CBD per day (though this will vary depending on ailments).
Benefits of CBD for Athlete Players
There are three main reasons why pro athletes use CBD oil: pain management, muscle recovery and muscle development. However, there are other benefits of CBD that improve athlete performance and long-term health.
CBD (cannabidiol) oil is known for its anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce pain, swelling and the severity of joint damage caused by injuries
Improves Sleep Quality
Studies show that CBD oil provides relief from insomnia and other sleep disorders by boosting overall relaxation, reducing anxiety and improving sleep quality. This can speed up the healing process by allowing you to recover faster
Promotes Cell Regeneration
CBD oil also has neuroprotective properties that can help repair nerve tissues damaged during an injury or surgery. This can lead to faster wound healing, reduced scarring and improved muscle development over time.