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chronic pain

  • Eating CBD gummies from Every Day Optimal is one of the easy ways of dosing with cannabidiol. Each gummy from this brand contains 10, 15 to 25 milligrams of cannabidiol, making it easier for you to get your recommended dose by simply eating the number of gummies that you dose requires. CBD gummies belong to a group of CBD infused products called “edibles” and as the term implies, you eat these to get your dose of this hemp derivative.

    There’s no question that CBD edibles have made self-administering CBD easier. Does the ease of self-administration with the edibles translate to faster absorption? Can CBD gummies get you instant relief?

    How Does CBD Work?
    Cannabidiol or CBD is one of the active compounds found in hemp, which is a strain of the cannabis sativa plant family. Although marijuana does contain trace amounts of CBD, this compound is most abundant in industrial hemp. Early research into CBD have suggested that it has various potential medical applications. Studies indicate that CBD may be a viable treatment and therapeutic option for a wide range of medical conditions.

    So how exactly does CBD work?
    Many have been using CBD for the treatment and management of various health issues. Despite this, however, data on the exact mechanism of action of CBD is limited. CBD belongs to a group of compounds called cannabinoids and such compounds trigger reactions in the body by attaching to receptors. The body itself produces its own cannabinoids, which can also attach to its cannabinoid receptors called CB1 and CB2 receptors1.

    CB1 receptors, which are found mostly in the brain, are responsible for the body’s movement and coordination, for pain, mood, logical thinking and a number of other functions. The other cannabinoid receptor, CB2, regulates the body’s inflammatory and pain reactions. It was initially thought that CBD attaches to these two receptors to trigger positive responses. However, recent studies suggest that CBD actually encourages the body to produce its own cannabinoids and then attach to the CB1 and CB2 receptors.

    Benefits of Supplementing with CBD

    Once the body’s own cannabinoids are produced and subsequently attaches to the CB1 and CB2 receptors, it results in the following benefits.

    Better circulation. Experts have observed that CBD has the ability to relax the veins in a phenomenon called vasodilation2. This allows the blood to circulate freely around the body, which in turn has a number of other health benefits. Vasodilation relieves some of the stress from the heart, thus may be effective in preventing certain heart conditions. The vasodilating properties of CBD may also help mitigate the effects of hypertension.

    Pain management and anti-inflammatory properties.Many users of CBD swear by its ability to relieve chronic pain and relieve inflammation. Studies are still underway to fully understand how CBD does the job, but many are already enjoying its benefits, particularly those who would rather go with a natural product that does not cause stress the liver.

    Mood regulation. Other users of CBD take regular doses to help mitigate and manage their anxiety and depression. Studies are also underway to determine the extent and long term effects of CBD’s anxiolytic properties.

    Can CBD Gummies Give You Quick Relief?
    The simple answer is yes however people will react differently. CBD has been observed to be highly bioavailable and that it crosses the blood-barrier easily. Some studies are being conducted to see if it is possible for CBD to serve as transport for certain drugs to be absorbed into the system faster and more efficiently. Once you pop a CBD gummy into your mouth, your saliva and chewing action will start breaking it down. While chewing, some of the CBD will be instantly absorbed via the mucous membranes inside the mouth. More of the CBD in the gummies will be absorbed quickly once it hits the intestines as the stomach enzymes further breaks down the gummies.

    Consuming CBD in general, whether in the form of tinctures or edibles, can give you quick results. The real question should be, what is the right CBD dose for your needs and how often should you self-administer throughout the day. This is of course, a subject for another discussion.

  • As he did so often in life, Prince is once again offering us the opportunity to heal a problem that desperately needs to be fixed. It is suspected that he is one of the 15,000 Americans who die each year from an overdose of prescribed narcotics. Having severe hip pain, which did not go away with hip replacement surgery, he required the narcotic Percocet for pain relief. Although it helped, it did not do so enough. He was simply one of the 33 percent of Americans who suffer needlessly with pain. Why do I say needlessly? Because despite modern medicine having many incredible strengths, it is horrible at treating pain. As physicians, we are taught how to treat the kind of emergencies that come to hospitals. This occurs, simply, because this is where we are trained. Heart attacks? Hot appendix? We're right on top of it.

    But except for using a few medications to mask the pain, or narcotics for cancer pain, as physicians our training in pain management is woefully inadequate. I discovered this first hand when I came down with fibromyalgia in medical school. It forced me to drop out of school and left me homeless for almost a year. It also forced me to learn the basics of pain management on my own, while experiencing what it was like to be on the other side of the white coat.

    Nowadays, people with pain, and the physicians who treat them, face a Sophie's choice: suffer with pain or use potentially addictive narcotics. Sadly, the new government "war" is pressuring pharmacists and doctors to treat people in pain as if they were drug addicts, while threatening doctors with being arrested if they even appropriately prescribe the needed pain medications. Fortunately, there is a "door number three" to choose from.

    Unlike infections, pain is not an outside enemy. Rather, like the oil light on our car's dashboard, it is part of our body's monitoring system that tells us when something needs attention. Different kinds of pain tell us different things. To extend the analogy, medicine treats the flashing oil light by either putting a Band-Aid over it, or by trying to disable the flashing red light. We never even think about simply putting oil in the car. Which is the safest and best way to make the annoying flashing light go out.

    Looking at Prince's case, it was likely that the hip replacement did not work because it did not address the real underlying problem. Studies and clinical experience have shown that what we see on the x-rays very often have little to do with what is actually causing the pain. For example, many marathon runners, with absolutely no pain at all, will have hip x-rays that likely looked worse than Prince's.

    Often, the actual cause of the hip pain comes from the muscles and ligaments surrounding the hip. By simply treating these, the pain could've gone away: without the need for surgery or narcotics. Sadly, most physicians are simply not trained in doing an exam for muscle (or myofascial) pain. Despite causing the majority of pain in this country, muscle pain does not even cross their mind in most cases.

    My experience with fibromyalgia, which begins as widespread muscle pain before morphing into other kinds of pain, helped me learn how to diagnose and treat tight muscles. Muscles are like a spring. They take more energy to relax than to contract. This is why after a hard workout you come home and say, "Honey, my muscles are so tight," instead of complaining how loose and limp they are.

    The brilliant work by the late Prof. Janet Travell, the godmother of pain management and the White House physician for presidents Kennedy and Johnson, taught us the importance of treating the underlying causes of our muscle's energy crisis. This included treating the structural issues by releasing the tight muscles, as is done in many forms of bodywork including chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation. In addition, it is necessary to treat the underlying biochemistry to restore adequate energy in the muscles. Our published research showed that by treating with what we call the "SHINE Protocol," optimizing Sleep, Hormones, Infections, Nutrition, and Exercise as able, 91 percent of people with fibromyalgia pain improve, usually dramatically. Dr. Travell found that treating these same issues often helped dramatically with muscle pain in general.

    Similarly, research has shown that treating the root causes can also be very effective for migraines, arthritis, and a host of other chronic pains.

    A problem? These treatments are generally very inexpensive, so that the research done on them does not get much attention. But they do offer the possibility of treating chronic pain very effectively and safely.

    Prince's death is a tragic loss. Yet, it also provides us with a powerful opportunity. A fitting tribute to Prince? It's time to apply the extensive but ignored research on treating the root causes of pain. This can prevent tens of thousands of needless deaths, and eliminate the unnecessary suffering of millions.

  • Extreme weather changes can affect a person's pain levels1. The scientific name for the study of these occurrences is called biometeorology (or medical meteorology2). Medical literature provides us with insights from physicians that prolonged exposure to severe outdoor temperatures can worsen painful symptoms in patients. Especially for patients who already suffer from different types of chronic pain. While further study is needed, individuals can implement several strategies to alleviate pain brought on by scorching heat or freezing cold temperatures. Even though we cannot control the weather, It is important to add these tips to our daily routines as we navigate through seasonal shifts in order to avoid unwanted pain.

    extreme winter weather pain

    Icy Winter Days
    People who suffer from chronic conditions such as arthritis, rheumatic conditions, depression and/or anxiety are susceptible to increased pain during cold winter months. One theory3 suggests sudden changes in barometric pressure may be to blame. With colder temperatures steadily lowering outdoor air pressure, exposure to these atmospheric changes triggers inflammation in muscle and joint tissue, resulting in pain. We can make ourselves more comfortable during the colder months with some minor adjustments to our daily routines.

    Generate Warmth
    Regulating your body heat is a simple, but effective way to alleviate pain. Take the time to properly protect yourself during especially low temperatures by wearing extra layers of clothing. Opt for insulated gloves, outerwear and thermal undergarments. Wool is an excellent fabric for preserving body heat-but if it irritates your skin, alternatives such as cashmere and alpaca wool offer warmer, lighter, and softer protection that is gentle on the skin and more effective at retaining heat than synthetic materials. When at home, warm showers and baths can not only help keep you warm, but lower blood pressure and increase blood circulation. Also utilize heating pads or electric blankets, which are an excellent way to stay warm during freezing nights.

    Exercise Daily
    Routine daily exercise and maintaining a healthy weight will put less stress on your joints, especially those in the back, hips, and knees. While frigid outdoor weather can significantly restrict access to outdoor exercise, studies show staying active and exercising regularly can help reduce pain4. Start small with exercises that are gentle on your joints, like yoga, tai chi or swimming in a heated, indoor pool. Before bracing the chilly weather, remember to stretch and loosen muscles and joints, your body will thank you later.

    Spice It Up
    Hot Tea for pain Joseph Pergolizzi Different foods and drinks can give you warmth as well. Hot tea is not only soothing, but can warm up your hands if you hold your teacup tight. Coffee is scientifically proven to increase body temperature due to the high amounts of caffeine that stimulate the metabolism, encouraging the body to burn fuel. The most effective way to drink coffee is black. Adding cream and sugar will just break down instantly and produce a sugar crash. Besides drinks, certain foods can also keep you warm like ginger, which improves blood circulation, helping to warm your extremities and keep away the chills. For those who like their food a bit more bold, any spicy pepper, like jalapenos or habaneros, will help you heat up. Capsaicin5 is the active component that is found in all peppers, the chemical produces a burning sensation to any tissues it comes into contact with, keeping you nice and toasty.

    Sweltering Summer Days
    Heat waves and humidity can have an effect on anyone, however, for people in pain, especially those dealing with chronic pain like arthritis and other conditions, heat can intensify the pain and make it worse6. Studies show hot weather alone can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, fatigue, and muscle cramps7, even in people who do not normally experience muscle pain - so stay cool by using these tips:

    Choose Water
    When you feel thirsty, it is your body telling you that you are already mildly dehydrated. Our muscles require water, without enough fluid, our muscles can become extremely sensitive and spasm. Make sure to hydrate with water from morning to evening and pick beverages wisely. Drinks such as alcohol and/or highly caffeinated beverages (like soda, coffee or some teas), can cause dehydration. The best choices can also pertain to certain foods, some summer snacks are higher in water, which make them ideal choices for staying cool. According to studies from Australia, about one-fifth of our water consumption comes from foods8 - primarily fruits and veggies. Summer favorites with high amounts of water include: watermelon, cucumbers, cantaloupe, tomatoes, strawberries, iceberg lettuce and pineapple.

    Favor Shade Over Sun
    The hot temperatures and humidity can exhaust us, but the harmful rays of the sun can also make pain even worse. When venturing outside try to wear a hat, sunglasses and sit or walk in the shade whenever possible. By spending time in the shade, your skin can repair itself and it is a good way to avoid sunburn, which can intensify any existing aches and pains. Put away the denim and sweaters, and choose breathable, light-weight clothes made from polyester or cotton to help protect your skin, and regulate body temperature. For those who already struggle with headaches, or migraines, avoid bright sunlight as much as possible. While just being out in the heat stresses your body, direct sun can cause sunburn and intensify pain, picking shade over sun can help you stay cool.

    Pain Cream vs. Pain Pills
    Extreme heat can cause painful muscle spasms or soreness, which can occur even if you have never had them before, and especially if the body gets too warm and can't cool itself fast enough. These spasms are referred to as 'heat cramps9', and are usually experienced by pro-athletes, but in extreme weather can happen to anyone. In this instance, effective pain relief creams can work quicker than oral pain medications. Oral medications and supplements take time to absorb in the body via ingestion, some even require a waiting period of 6 to 8 hours between doses. Pain creams, on the other hand, can better target pain by applying cream directly to affected joints or muscles, providing instant relief. Another advantage to pain relief creams is that you can apply it more frequently than you can take an oral pain relief medication.

    topical pain relief Joseph Pegolizzi

    Topical pain relief creams have proven effective for my patients in both weather extremes, especially pain creams that contain hyper-oxygenated oil10. These oils have been praised as a valuable remedy throughout history, from the days of ancient Rome. The Spartans would rub oil onto their bodies before going into battle. In those days, the oil was made from local flowering plants and then left to ferment in the sun for up to 20 years, infusing the oil with oxygen. When massaged in, the action of the rubbing in the soothing oil helps accelerate blood flow deep in the superficial vascular network. Pain creams that utilize oxygenated oil usually have lower doses of menthol, and have been proven to be more effective than menthol-only creams.

    Different therapies can offer a variety of solutions for all types of pain, but not all options are suitable for everyone or for all types of pain. Consult your doctor about the right treatment option for your pain. While it may not seem like you are doing a lot, taking simple small precautions during periods of extreme weather, and adjusting your routine accordingly, can have an effective impact on managing pain in any type of weather.


    1. Weather Patterns Associated with Pain in Chronic-Pain Sufferers - American Meteorological Society
    2. The Meteorology of the Human Body - National Library of Medicine
    3. How Cold Weather Impacts Joint Pain - Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
    4. Exercise and Chronic Pain - Utah State University
    5. Capsaicin - Wikipedia
    6. The Dangerous Combination of Chronic Pain and Hot Weather - Pain Medicine News
    7. Temperature-related Death and Illness - National Institute of Environmental Health Science
    8. Drinking Water and Your Health -
    9. Heat Cramps - University of Connecticut
    10. Ozonated oil in wound healing: what has already been proven? - National Library of Medicine

  • Have you ever had a sore throat, been stung by a bee, or twisted your ankle? Do you have arthritis, back pain or headaches? Whenever you are in pain, even post-surgical pain, your body makes compounds in response to the injury which cause temporary redness, heat, swelling, and pain. Then naturally produced enzymes in your body eat up these inflammatory compounds, and that is when you notice the swelling goes down, the pain is relieved and the redness or stiffness recedes.

    One second ago, an enzyme in your body called superoxide dismutase (SOD) just chased out a cancer-causing toxin that your cell accidentally spawned. You make all sorts of enzymes, and what's cool is that you can also buy certain enzymes as a dietary supplement, including SOD. Lactose is an enzyme that chews up milk sugars, helping some people to tolerate milk. Bromelain, derived from pineapples, helps with allergies and helps people post-surgically. It might even reduce scarring if taken soon enough. People who take acid blockers could benefit from papain, an enzyme derived from papaya fruit that works nicely with your stomach's pH range.

    Proteolytic enzymes another type of enzyme. They chew up proteins and help with digestion. I think they're great for chronic pain syndromes. They help dissolve fibrin deposits which helps bruising. As a teenager (way back in the 1980's) we played a game called Pac Man. Remember?(Please tell me you remember). This popular arcade game included a Pac-Man which traveled a maze and gobbled up ghosts. I was a monster at Pac-Man in my hey day! Proteolytic enzymes work in the same way, they just gobble up debris, as opposed to ghosts.

    With less debris, there is improved circulation. That means more oxygen and healing nutrients to the site of injury. As a pharmacist, I recommend you reach for proteolytic enzymes before you NSAIDs such as acetaminophen, naproxen or ibuprofen. Why? Because they are temporary and they have side effects. It's the equivalent of applying a bandage, and while most of you fair out well, the unlucky few experience diarrhea, nausea, headaches, dizziness, bleeding ulcers or heaven forbid, kidney damage. Besides, if you mask your pain with medicine, but continue to operate as normal, you increase your risk of permanent damage.

    A German paper studied proteolytic enzymes in 100 athletes. The results were shocking. More than 75 percent said the enzyme treatment was favorable and no side effects were reported! So incredible were the results that the German government sent millions of enzyme capsules to the Olympics to help their athletes heal quicker.

    Enzymes are a necessity to life, just like oxygen, food, clean water and shelter. (Some may argue that chocolate should be included as well).

    For chronic pain syndromes, as opposed to digestive issues, I recommend that you take your proteolytic enzyme supplement on an empty stomach. This increases the 'Pac-Man' effect by up to 40 percent. While these supplements are generally well-tolerated, I occasionally hear of allergies, rashes and digestive upset.

  • We have all been there, I'm sure—intractable pain that cannot be resolved with the usual alternative therapies. I am intimately familiar with mysterious pain, which is not biochemical in origin, but rather structural or mechanical, to be exact. After consulting with numerous chiropractors, osteopaths, acupuncturists, and massage therapists, I underwent a series of MRIs which showed nothing that could account for the stinging/burning/strangling/and pins and needle sensations up and down my right leg, which seemed to appear out of the blue.