Help patients work out safely and with less pain with CBD topicals
I often see some association between “weekend warriors,” “tightness” and a lack of “consistent routine” in building a better workout program.
They come to see us for a “fix-this” session — to get comfort, the hope to become as pain-free as possible, and then to move along. Complaints like muscle cramps, spasms and stiff joints are common. Traditional treatments such as modalities, manipulation, ice and heat application and gentler forms of exercise can alleviate some of the pain associated with being a weekend warrior. They know drugs come at a high price, and with a variety of side effects. The more-informed weekend warriors are adding topical cannabidiol (CBD) to their programs.
Going 0-to-60 mph
I remind these patients that sitting most of the week at work does not prepare one for being ready for activity on the weekend. Not only that, I remind them that we need to prepare all week long.
This includes hydration, nutrition, adequate sleep, proper shoes and clothes, turning off the outside world, and striving to achieve a new fitness level. If they feel “tight,” I examine for or ask myself, “Is this true muscular shortness? Is it an osseous alignment issue? Is it protective or neural tension? Is this a capsular issue? What are the previous injuries and soft tissue restrictions from that? Is this protective spasm? Is this inadequate stiffness at adjacent joints?”
Warming up the engine
I get responses like, “I stretch and warm up.” Far too many weekend warriors “warm up” almost exclusively by standing still and elongating muscles. My response is, “Let’s schedule the next session so I can teach you some proper exercise sequencing.”
This includes soft-tissue therapy (foam roll, application of cold topicals or CBD), positional breathing, mobility/stability training (includes ground-based standing and moving maneuvers), some ELDOA stretching, and movement/sprint/power progressions. The new understanding is you are “warm” when you are neurologically responsive and coordinated, your reflexes are sensitive and some adrenalin is pumping.
Topicals and patient body awareness
The soft-tissue lesson starts with rubbing on a topical to enhance body awareness of recurring areas of pain or soreness. I explain, “This topical containing CBD may help you, as a weekend warrior, suffer less.”
Patients and chiropractors are both interested in CBD and having retail CBD sales in the office. The current legal market for in-office sales is with hemp-derived products only.
Joel Carden from Nexzol Pharma explained, “Patients are looking to their chiropractors for a recommendation on CBD products they can trust and [have] proven results.”
Top-level topical companies should use pharmaceutical-grade ingredients, perform quality testing, and have a product that has the ability to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin.
A checklist for a quality CBD topical:
- Sold to health care professionals only;
- Non-sticky or pasty — it needs to work with instrument-assisted tools and other techniques;
- Can be applied before or after taping;
- Must penetrate deep, with the ability to improve absorption of the active ingredients;
- Accurately labeled with the amount of CBD in the product;
- Has comprehensive testing of the product;
- Has a national presence;
- Provides staff support service;
- Understands the regulations of the cannabis industry;
- Minimizes adverse side effects;
- Results in good feedback from patients.
Weekend warrior CBD
CBD companies are using marketing strategies claiming one formula technology is better than another. For a topical, the key is looking for skin penetration and retention at the site applied. In an oral tincture I look for products in various strengths, concentrations (with or without THC), and flavor.
Carden says, “Regarding weekend warriors, the message is getting out that sports medical needs and favoring a healthy lifestyle can be improved with CBD topicals.”
The science and the pipeline that companies are developing will enable producers to deliver meaningful doses (e.g. better bioavailability) of cannabinoids, unlike some current products marketed today.”
Stuart Tomc from CV Sciences suggests, “using products that have a shelf life…will enable them to remain fresh and stable and have clinical data to support efficacy and safety claims in order to be used to manage health concerns.”
Help patients ‘biohack’ their health
As a biohack practitioner [editor’s note: ‘hacking’ your biology with lifestyle and food/supplement additions], I’m used to using supplement products that are doseable and have high bio-availability.
We have to be able to trust that the seeds, growth process (pesticide use or not, etc.), harvesting knowledge, CBD extraction process, and the end product is stable with CBD-rich hemp. Our cost and resale value has to add up too; and again, patients want products designed to alleviate pain.
I observe hardcore tri-athletes, runners, gym goers, structured-class-training students, people in programs from all ages, and the all-familiar “weekend warrior” improve by using safe CBD and other topical products.
JEFFREY TUCKER, DC, is the current president of the ACA Rehab Council. He practices in Los Angeles, Calif., and can be reached at DrJeffreyTucker.com. Share your opinion at firstname.lastname@example.org.