Up to 10 million Americans suffer from tennis elbow each year, contending with pain, soreness, weak grip strength and eventually, very limited function of the forearm and wrist. Because tennis elbow is caused by repetitive arm movements, it’s more than just tennis players who are affected, but also hairdressers, construction and manufacturing workers, plumbers, painters, cooks and others.
Various treatment options are available, from at-home self-care to surgery and rehabilitation, even if you don’t have health insurance. One newer choice is using cannabidiol (CBD). Does CBD help tennis elbow?
What is CBD?
CBD is the chemical component of the cannabis sativa plant, which is marijuana. It is NOT tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the ingredient in marijuana that causes intoxication, or a “high,” in users. It has been used in a variety of health conditions, such as epilepsy, anxiety and depression, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, insomnia and chronic pain, such as arthritis and fibromyalgia. Although CBD hasn’t been scientifically validated in all applications, it has been supported by anecdotal evidence.
Available in multiple products, including creams and oils, pills, capsules, edibles and tinctures, CBD recently has skyrocketed in popularity. While not a cure-all solution, it does demonstrate physical and psychological benefits.
How CBD Helps Tennis Elbow
Recognized for its ability to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain, CBD can be used as a natural treatment for tennis elbow. It works with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate immune function, inflammation, pain, mood, sleep and memory. As CBD helps decrease stress and promote sleep, it also can support the body’s overall healing process in conditions like tennis elbow.
Types of CBDTo ensure what’s available in a crowded marketplace, note the following types of CBD:
- Isolates – These are pure CBD with no other cannabinoids or impurities.
- Broad-spectrum – These products contain naturally occurring cannabinoids from the hemp plant, apart from THC.
- Full-spectrum – This category combines CBD with THC, and these have been shown in some research to deliver greater efficacy.
- Lab-tested – CBD products that show results from regular lab tests are more reliable and effective. Look for a certificate of analysis from a third-party lab to ensure that the product is tested appropriately and does not contain any harmful substances.
A CBD cream or oil can be applied on the forearm and elbow for localized relief; as it penetrates the skin, inflammation and pain can decrease in as little as minutes, with effects lasting up to two to four hours, depending on the product.
You can also take CBD orally through an edible or a tincture (oil drops under the tongue), which are digested and carried through the bloodstream for overall systemic application, with effects felt between 30 and 45 minutes, and lasting two to three hours.
CBD can serve as an alternative therapeutic to traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Side effects of moderate use of oral CBD are minimal but can include dry mouth, fatigue and appetite suppression. However, CBD can react with other medications, so it’s best to speak with your doctor first; you may also request a recommendation of a reliable manufacturer or product.
Keep in mind that while CBD can help you manage tennis elbow, it is not a comprehensive cure in terms addressing the source of the pain, which is tendon damage. To fully treat tennis elbow, you must facilitate tendon healing through additional interventions, such as rest, physical therapy, massage and the new Fiix Elbow device from Stā Active. The one-of-a-kind Fiix Elbow automates a proven physical therapy protocol for convenient use at home in a simple, prescription-free, drug-free regimen.