Arthritis, What Are The Signs To Look For?
For someone who experiences some degree of pain and stiffness in their joints, the likely culprit is arthritis. This condition affects a staggering 54 million Americans, which is just under a quarter of our country’s population. Therefore, needless to say, it’s an extremely common condition with many causes, and it has the potential to deeply detract from a person’s quality of life.
There is a great misconception that arthritis is a condition that only really threatens seniors. It is true that we are more likely to develop arthritis as we age, but the reality is that the condition can occur at any time, due to a number of circumstances, and can affect people as young as teenagers.
Arthritis is, fortunately, a treatable condition, with different options available to sufferers. Perhaps not surprisingly, many people are also finding that cannabidiol (CBD) has a place in managing the effects of the condition, which is something that we will get into as well.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is, in short, a chronic condition that pertains to the joints. Arthritis sufferers can have issues pertaining to just one joint of the body, or multiple joints throughout. A person who has arthritis has at least one joint that is chronically inflamed. The condition results in both pain and stiffness in the joint area, and this can interfere with movement. [Source]
Like many conditions, arthritis cases range from mild to severe, and typically worsen with time if the condition is not being treated, or if the sufferer is not taking certain measures to keep the condition from getting worse.
There are, in fact, two different forms of arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of autoimmune condition that causes the body’s immune system to attack the tissue surrounding the joints. This causes inflammation to occur, and usually, rheumatoid arthritis affects several joints of the body. Because it’s an autoimmune condition, rheumatoid arthritis is typically associated with a problem pertaining to the immune system itself rather than the health of the joint tissue.
Osteoarthritis can affect one or several joints and is caused directly by a problem within the joint tissue rather than an immune response. The cartilage surrounding the joint breaks down, leaving the bones of the joint vulnerable while the surrounding tissue becomes inflamed.
How Does a Person Develop Arthritis?
Arthritis can be caused by many different factors, despite the mistaken belief that it’s strictly an age-related condition.
#1: Wear and Tear
As we age, our joints become more and more vulnerable due to inevitable wear and tear from constant use. This is why arthritis is more common among the elderly, whose joints have been put through more stress than those in a healthy individual.
#2: An Injury
Injuries to the joints can damage the cartilage and surrounding tissue, resulting in arthritis of the affected area. This is why athletes are particularly prone to osteoarthritis.
#3: A Compromised Immune System
Rheumatoid arthritis in particular can result from an unsupported immune system, as the system’s response to attack the joint tissue is a sign that it is compromised in some way. Osteoarthritis can also be affected by immune issues, as the body can cause excessive inflammation to occur due to hypersensitivity of the immune system.
We tend to underestimate the role that stress can play in causing or intensifying pain, which results from the stress response causing elevated inflammation levels in vulnerable areas of the body.
A person who has at least one parent who suffers from arthritis is more likely to develop the condition at some point in their life.
#6: Lifestyle and Diet
There are many habits that can contribute to arthritis. This includes certain nutritional deficiencies, as nutrients can reduce the risk of inflammation while supporting joint health. Poor posture can slowly affect the joints, as can poor habits when exercising such as failing to warm up.
How is Arthritis Diagnosed?
Diagnosing arthritis can result from a combination of a physical examination, imaging tests, and simply being questioned by a doctor. A specialist should make the diagnosis as certain types of medical professionals specialize in joint health.
How is Arthritis Treated?
Arthritis is treated according to the severity of the symptoms as well as the type of arthritis a patient has. Milder forms of the condition may be treated with over-the-counter pain medications, and more severe forms may require heavier prescription drugs. In some cases, surgery may be required to compensate for severe damage to the joint tissue.
CBD for Arthritis: Why More Sufferers are Turning to this Cannabinoid?
CBD is the dominant compound in hemp, and it’s a unique type of compound known as a cannabinoid. Cannabinoids, which are distinctive to the cannabis genus, are compounds that play the important role of attaching to cannabinoid receptors that are present in every system of the body. This enables cannabinoid receptors, which make up the body’s endocannabinoid system, to promote regulatory effects that balance the function of the body.
Cannabinoid receptors are present in the tissue of the joints and muscles, and in fact, studies have been done specifically on using CBD for arthritis due to the role that these receptors play in managing inflammation.
What Should You Know About Using CBD for Arthritis?
If you suffer from arthritis and we have piqued your interest by talking about what cannabidiol can offer, there are some things to know before you invest in a CBD-based product specifically for arthritis.
- You must receive a proper arthritis diagnosis before attempting to treat your symptoms on your own.
- When talking with your specialist, you absolutely must ask them about using cannabidiol for the condition, as only they can offer personalized medical advice.
- Keep mind that CBD and other hemp products may interfere with certain types of drugs used to manage the condition, by suppressing CYP3A4 levels in the body. CYP3A4 is an enzyme that helps break down many medications so that they leave the body. By suppressing this enzyme, a medication could potentially build up in the body to dangerous levels.
- If cleared to take CBD, best to use it daily in order to provide the endocannabinoid system with maximum support.
- You may want to consider using an internal method, like a tincture or edible product specifically, along with a topical solution from Sky Wellness that can be applied directly to the most affected joints of the body.
- Internal method interact with the more systemic issues of the body that can contribute to arthritis
- Topicals target the areas that are affected by providing them with a localized, concentrated amount of CBD.
Don’t Allow Arthritis to Dictate Your Day-to Day Routine
Arthritis is a potentially crippling ailment that can get worse as a person gets older. If you wish to try a natural approach, consider CBD. This natural plant-based product comes in a wide variety of potency levels, delivery methods and more, meaning that you can easily develop a CBD routine that works for your specific needs and goals.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer. All opinions expressed in this blog post are the author's own and do not reflect the view of Sky Wellness or its brands/affiliates.