Neuropathy is a condition that causes pain of varying intensity due to nerve damage, and it can happen in any part of the body. This usually happens due to injuries and disease, and in the former case, it often affects hands and feet. Most of the available treatments focus on reducing the severity of the pain, and there is no permanent cure for this condition. CBD pain relief is a potential new option because of cannabidiol’s analgesic effect. This article investigates the use of CBD for treating neuropathy in feet; read ahead to know more about this.
What Is Neuropathy?
Every human being has a central and peripheral nervous system. The central nervous system (CNS) consists of the brain and spinal cord, and it is the most important of the two because it gathers information from different parts of the body and processes them. This is done with the help of peripheral nervous systems that carry signals to and fro between the CNS and different parts of the body. Due to its importance, the organs in the CNS are protected by the skull, vertebral column, and blood-brain barrier. However, the peripheral nervous system does not have much protection, and hence the nerves that make this system are prone to damages due to toxins, pathogens, injuries, etc., and this can lead to neuropathy.
What Causes Neuropathy?
Neuropathy can be caused due to multiple reasons, and diabetes in one of the most common causes. This is because cells in the body are damaged by prolonged high blood sugar levels causing diabetic polyneuropathy. Besides, sufferers of this condition have a high risk for amputation, ulcerations, change in foot shape over time, and fungal infections. Also, they are more prone to foot injuries because of the reduced sensation. Apart from diabetes, other reasons also cause foot neuropathy, and they are listed below.
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Side effects of medication
- Nerve damage due to physical injuries
- Viral infections like shingles and HIV
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- Rheumatoid diseases
- Chronic liver disease
- Chronic kidney disease
- Cancer like lymphoma
What Are The Symptoms Of Neuropathy?
The symptoms of neuropathy depend on where it appears, and the speed with which they develop also varies. Due to these reasons, there are many different variations to it. Listed below are the most common symptoms of neuropathy.
- Numbness in the affected area
- Reduced sensation and pain perception in the affected area
- Burning sensation
- Tingling sensation
- Shooting or stabbing pains
- Muscle cramps
- Muscle twitches
- The weakening of affected muscles, especially in the feet
- Loss of coordination and balance
- Difficulty in walking and standing
- Wasting of muscles
- Low blood pressure
Some of the main types of neuropathy are the following:
- Autonomic Neuropathy: Nerve damage to those that regulate autonomous functions like digestion, bladder function, blood pressure, etc.
- Proximal Neuropathy: Nerve damage to those that control movement.
- Focal Neuropathy: Nerve damage in the head, occasionally in the legs and torso.
In many cases of peripheral neuropathy including diabetic nerve pain, the sufferers also have the above-mentioned types of neuropathy as well.
How Is Neuropathy Treated?
Often, treatments focus on curing or mitigating underlying causes for neuropathy like diabetes, sciatica, shingles, physical injury, etc. Neuropathy cannot be cured, but its severity can be reduced, and this is done with the help of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs. However, they are not safe for long-term consumption because of their side effects. Also, keep in mind that opioid painkillers pose the risk of developing an addiction. Furthermore, prolonged pain also causes other issues like depression and anxiety, and physicians prescribe antidepressants for it.
CBD Pain Relief For Neuropathy In Feet
The therapeutic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) like its analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects make it useful for treating neuropathy in feet, and CBD oil is ideal for this because of its versatility. For example, you can easily adjust its dosage according to the severity of the pain, can consume it orally for systemic relief, or apply it topically for quick localized relief. Apart from this, its anxiolytic and antidepressant effects are useful for managing anxiety and depression commonly experienced by neuropathy sufferers. Above all, CBD oil is a better option than pharmaceutical painkillers due to its lack of side effects, and it does not pose the risk of developing an addiction.
How CBD Oil Produces Its Effects?
CBD produces its analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects by interacting with cannabinoid receptors of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS regulates vital homeostatic functions like pain perception, immune system response like inflammation, stress response, etc. CBD mainly binds with CB2 receptors of the ECS, and these receptors are mainly part of the immune system that regulates inflammatory response. Also, CBD interacts with vanilloid receptors which are responsible for pain perception and reduces pain. These two effects make CBD for foot pain an ideal option for neuropathy in feet than pharmaceutical painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Before using CBD oil for neuropathy in feet, you must consult with your physician because there is the risk of cannabidiol interacting with certain medications.