Fibromyalgia occurs in people of all ages, including children. The literal translation of the word fibromyalgia is pain in the muscles, ligaments and tendons. But fibromyalgia is much more than pain and presents with many other symptoms that vary from person to person. A combination of medication, exercise, managing stress, and healthy habits may ease the symptoms enough to live a normal, active life.
What is Fibromyalgia? Though fibromyalgia is a fairly common syndrome, it is difficult to understand. Fibromyalgia, also called fibrositis is a condition characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain that researchers believe is caused by amplified pain sensations as perceived by the brain. Fibromyalgia is the one of the most common condition affecting a person’s joints and muscles. However, it’s often misunderstood and sometimes misdiagnosed.
Its typical symptoms are widespread muscle and joint pain along with fatigue. Some other symptoms might also include: Muscle pain, burning, twitching or tightness, low pain threshold or tender points, draining fatigue, trouble remembering and concentrating, insomnia or not sleeping well. Some other symptoms also include feeling nervous, worried, or depressed.
How does CBD help with Fibromyalgia?
But enter any fibromyalgia forum and one natural therapy is causing quite a stir. CBD, otherwise known as Cannabidiol, is generating a lot of attention, with some patients saying they’ve managed to come off all their meds thanks to the non-psychoactive cannabinoid.
It is known that CBD has been used to reduce inflammation and treat chronic pain. A study conducted in 2009 found that CBD can also be used for relieving neuropathic pain. CBD is also considered to be a natural alternative to taking addictive prescriptions. In another study researchers found this alternative treatment (CBD) to be effective as it (CBD) significantly reduced pain symptoms.
Reducing pain and inflammation are two of the more accepted therapeutic benefits of CBD, but to really get to grips with why CBD is causing such as ripple of excitement, we must look towards the body’s endocannabinoid system, the homeostatic regulator that keeps us in balance.
Dr. Ethan Russo in an interview with Project CBD says, “it occurred to me that a number of very common diseases seem to fit a pattern that would be consistent with an endocannabinoid deficiency, especially these are migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, and fibromyalgia. They have some things in common. They’re all hyper-algesic syndromes, meaning that there seems to be pain out of proportion to what should be going on.”
Russo suggests boosting a depleted endocannabinoid system with phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant such as CBD.
In 2011 a published questionnaire-based study compared the different experiences of fibromyalgia patients who were regular CBD user’s vs those who did not use it. The study found “a statistically significant reduction of pain and stiffness, enhancement of relaxation, and an increase in somnolence and feeling of well-being.”
A further survey from the National Pain Foundation which interviewed over 1,300 fibromyalgia patients, found that “medical marijuana is far more effective at treating symptoms of fibromyalgia than any of the three prescription drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat the disorder,” with 62% of patients who’d tried cannabis saying it was effective at treating their symptoms.
It is important to seek advice from your physician as fibromyalgia can be difficult to manage. It is a syndrome, wherein each patient might experience a different set of symptoms, and an individual treatment plan will be necessary. Treatment may include some or all of the following, yoga, an active exercise program, acupuncture, behavior modification therapy, chiropractic care, etc. coupled with a few drops of CBD to alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia.