Millions of women live with unrelenting pain that steals their energy and happiness, says Harvard-trained physician Ian Smith, MD, host of TV’s The Doctors. “Enduring frequent pain is exhausting for the body and mentally draining since you’re always thinking about how to overcome it,” he explains. The culprit behind 80 percent of chronic complaints such as headaches, back, and joint pain? Inflammation. “It’s a process that helps the body recover and heal from injury, but if that process continues too long it can cause pain pathways in the central nervous system to fire constantly,” Dr. Smith notes. The result: pain, sapped energy, low moods, and more.
Doctors prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) for 95 percent of women dealing with chronic pain, but the medications can cause stomach problems, damage blood vessels, and even raise blood pressure over time, warns chronic pain specialist Gaetan Brouillard, MD, author of Rethink Chronic Pain (Buy on Amazon, $18.95). What’s more, studies show that frequent use of NSAIDs can lead to rebound headaches. The good news: Natural strategies can ease chronic pain and its draining effects.
Ask your doctor if CBD cream can help you. CBD, or cannabidiol (a chemical derived from the cannabis sativa, or hemp plant), is absorbed through the skin and acts on the body’s natural endocannabinoid system (a cell-signaling system that regulates processes such as sleep, mood and pain sensation) to blunt the transmission of pain-producing messages, Dr. Brouillard explains. And Japanese research reveals that CBD tames activity of inflammatory enzymes by 50 percent. To get the pain-relieving benefits, Dr. Brouillard advises rubbing CBD cream on sore areas one to three times daily.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.
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