Most adults experience some form of musculoskeletal pain episode at some point in their lives. This statistical survey established that musculoskeletal or muscle and joint pain affects 47% of the general population. Moreover, 39% of the population had long-standing musculoskeletal problems requiring medical attention.
Managing Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain
Muscle and joint pain have multiple causes, including strain or muscle overuse, inflammation, injury, or musculoskeletal illnesses like arthritis, fibromyalgia, and tendonitis. It primarily affects the neck, knees, elbows, lower back, and shoulders, although it could affect other body parts.
Unmanaged musculoskeletal pain limits the capacity to live a wholesome life. However, you can mitigate musculoskeletal pain as follows.
1. CBD Products
CBD, the primary non-psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant, has multiple proven therapeutic benefits, including tackling pain. Below is an overview of how CBD products like a CBD vape pen can help reduce muscle or joint pain.
First, as stated earlier, inflammation is among the primary causes of muscle and joint pain. Inflammation (acute inflammation) is an essential process in the body’s immune response, facilitating the release of white blood cells to fight disease-causing pathogens and other foreign bodies.
However, acute inflammation can morph into chronic inflammation when the inflammatory response proceeds well after the destruction of a pathogen or the passing of the danger associated with injury. Inflammation manifests as muscle and joint soreness, swelling, stiffness, or painful discomfort. However, you can ease inflammation-related muscle or joint pain using CBD products.
According to studies, CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, reducing the level of pro-inflammatory proteins that immune cells produce by inducing immune cell death. A low immune cell count lowers the volume of pro-inflammatory material migration to the affected joint or muscle, reducing soreness and inflammation-related pain.
Second, CBD is a potent pain-relieving agent, and a CBD dose helps boost the body’s natural pain-relieving capacity. One animal study review on CBD for pain treatment established that the cannabinoid diminishes hypersensitivity to pain and nerve pain in animal test subjects.
CBD’s mechanism of action entails stimulating the endocannabinoid system (ECS) receptors to modulate the body’s pain response. The ECS is an elaborate body signaling system with receptors throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems, feeding the brain information on body processes to modulate the appropriate response. CBD’s effect on ECS receptors causes the receptors to block pain signals from reaching the brain.
The cannabinoid is available in multiple consumable forms, each with its advantages and disadvantages. For instance, CBD vape takes effect fast but wears off faster than ingested CBD, which takes effect after 30 minutes to two hours but outlasts inhaled CBD.
2. Heat Therapy and Cold Therapy
Appropriate temperature adjustments using warm or cold compresses reduce muscle and joint pain intensity. A combination of heat and cold therapies induces relief from superficial and chronic joint and muscle pain.
Heat therapy utilizes high-temperature compresses, including a cloth doused in moderately hot water, hot water bottles, heated gel packs, and heat wraps to improve blood circulation. The heat from heat therapy products dilates sore muscles’ blood vessels, improving blood circulation to the target muscles and adjacent joints. The increased blood flow enhances oxygen and nutrient supply to the affected joint and muscle to accelerate healing.
On the other hand, cold therapy utilizes near-freezing temperatures to reduce soreness in fresh muscle or joint injuries. The low temperatures minimize blood flow to the affected site reducing muscle soreness while numbing the nerves to minimize pain intensity. Therefore, you can employ cold therapy for fresh injury and later switch to heat therapy to accelerate healing.
3. Massage Therapy
Massages may seem like a superficial indulgence, but they are an effective therapy for alleviating muscle and joint pain. According to one study, a massage eliminates superficial joint and muscle pain and has short-term benefits for some musculoskeletal conditions.
Massage therapy entails applying pressure and stroking motions to stiff or sore muscles to eliminate knots and improve blood circulation to the area, helping reduce inflammation. Additionally, massages induce a state of deep relaxation, signaling the brain to release endorphins (natural painkillers) and “feel-good hormones” like serotonin and dopamine that promote well-being. However, consistency is key to reaping the full benefits of massage therapy.
4. Compression Garments
Compression therapy or compression wear to boost blood circulation began with leg-targeted compression garments like socks, boots, and stockings. The compression garments adjust blood pressure, facilitating increased blood flow to leg muscles and adjacent joints. Consequently, the enhanced blood flow helped counter muscle and joint swelling.
Today the compression garment industry adopts the same principle in designing compression wear for other body parts, including compression vests and arm sleeves. One expert review recommends compression garments for multiple muscle and joint pain types, including back pain.
5. Physical Activity
Simple physical activities like walking, jogging, or swimming increase blood flow to painful muscles and joints to facilitate healing while strengthening such muscles and joints. Second physical exercises signal the body to release endorphins, boosting pain tolerance.
However, muscle strain from vigorous exercise can cause delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and joint pain. However, you can avoid exercise-induced muscle pain by including dynamic stretches and aerobic cooldown routines in your workout. Also, consult an expert on the ideal exercises for your muscle pain and fitness level.
Although joint and muscle pain can be debilitating, it is manageable. Therefore, follow the tips above to alleviate muscle and joint pain while enhancing the impaired muscle’s performance. Consult an expert on recommendations for ideal pain-relieving activities or therapies.