How CBD Can Help With Mobility
Many aspects of a healthy life are easy to take for granted. None more so than mobility. Being able to comfortably move is essential to navigating our days, from climbing out of bed to walking through the house. When mobility is limited, pain is not the only toll it takes. It can also be frustrating, embarrassing, and harmful to other aspects of our physical and mental well-being. There are a variety of reasons why a person’s mobility might become limited. Thankfully, with a knowledge of why you are less mobile, there are strategies that can be employed to help regain some or all our mobility and get back to an active and engaged life. For many people with mobility issues, one of the strategies that may be helpful is adding CBD to your daily routine. In this article, we’ll go over what can cause mobility issues, ways to determine if you’re developing problems with your mobility, and how CBD can help you get back on your feet and on your way to where you want to go.
CAUSES OF MOBILITY ISSUES
There are many different reasons that a person might begin to experience a loss of mobility. The first step in alleviating your mobility problems is understanding what is causing them in the first place. Here, we’ll look at the most common causes of deteriorating mobility.
Arthritis is a chronic inflammation of the joints. This inflammation can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness, all of which can lead to a reduced range and ease of motion. Arthritis can be caused by an overuse of the joints, known as osteoarthritis, or from an autoimmune disease, known as rheumatoid arthritis.
Diabetes is a group of diseases that ultimately lead to high concentrations of sugar in the blood when not addressed. This can be because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or because the body’s cells do not respond appropriately to the insulin the body produces. Diabetes can lead to weight gain, stiffness in the joints, and pain in the extremities. All these symptoms can lead to reduced mobility.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease that impedes the nervous system’s ability to transmit signals to the rest of the body. This happens because the insulating sheath that covers nerve cells known as myelin becomes damaged. Symptoms of MS often include muscle weakness, lessened physical sensation, and impaired coordination, all of which can lead to a reduction in mobility.
Low Physical Activity
A lifestyle that lacks physical activity can also hamper mobility. Physical inactivity can lead to weight gain, decreased muscle strength, and deterioration of joint and bone health. When your activity is limited, the body’s ability to be fully mobile can become limited as well.
When we hurt ourselves, our mobility can often become greatly reduced. Be it a knee, ankle, back, or neck, experiencing a significant injury can limit our mobility in a variety of ways. Not only must we allow the affected area to heal, we also are limited in how active we can be with the rest of our body. Injuries are a common precursor to reduced mobility.
As they say so often in the world of sports, Father Time is undefeated. As we age, our joints become less elastic, our bones less dense, and our muscles less strong. While there is a certain amount of reduced mobility that becomes inevitable with time, we can certainly mitigate this through a healthy diet, exercise, and other strategies.
DETERMINING RISK OF MOBILITY ISSUES
If you’re worried that you may be experiencing a certain degree of reduced mobility but you’re unsure of how concerned you should be, doctors have come up with a few ways that you can assess yourself at home before deciding to take additional steps towards recovery.
The Get Up and Go Test
One way of testing your mobility at home is known as the Get Up and Go test. And it’s incredibly simple. From a seated position, stand up, walk 10 feet, turn around, walk back to where you were seated, and sit back down. According to Dr. Suzanne Salamon, a geriatrician and instructor at Harvard Medical School, you should be able to cover one yard per second while maintaining a steady gait. If you’re slower than that, or your gait is wobbly, you should be worried about your mobility as well as your risk for a fall or injury.
The Two Question Test
The University of Alabama has a different way of determining how mobile an individual is. The Two Question test is simple, just answer these two questions.
- Do you have difficulty climbing up 10 steps or walking a quarter mile?
- Have you modified the way you climb 10 steps or walk a quarter mile due to underlying health or physical reasons?
If you answer yes to either of those questions, or if you have concerns about how well you complete the Get Up and Go test, you should consult your doctor and start working on a strategy to avoid the road of less travel.
HOW CBD CAN HELP WITH MOBILITY ISSUES
If you and your doctor have determined that you’re less mobile than you want to be, there are ways that CBD can help you on your road to recovery. In fact, CBD has been shown to be beneficial in alleviating symptoms of many of the major causes of reduced mobility.
Chronic inflammation of the joints can be more than just uncomfortable, it can also reduce your ability to get around the way you want to. Although arthritis is not curable, the symptoms can be mitigated using CBD. Studies have shown that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and The Arthritis Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those who suffer from arthritis, has recently announced that they will be teaming up with Green Roads to champion research into how CBD can be utilized to best help those with arthritis pain. You can read more about CBD and arthritis here or purchase the Green Roads Arthritis Pain Relief Roll-On below.
There is promising research being conducted on the potential benefits of using CBD to treat the symptoms of diabetes. A case report published in 2021 theorizes that CBD has desirable effects on hyperglycemia due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, as well as its modulation of cannabinoid receptors. Because the endocannabinoid system regulates food intake and energy homeostasis, adding CBD to a treatment plan has the possibility to help those with diabetes reduce body weight and A1C levels, the form of hemoglobin linked to blood sugar levels.
Multiple sclerosis can have a wide range of symptoms, many of which have a negative impact on the patient’s mobility. Many ongoing studies believe that CBD can help those with MS to combat those symptoms and regain some of that mobility. A 2018 study focused specifically on CBD improving the mobility in people with MS, showing that CBD has a positive impact on fatigue, pain, inflammation, and most importantly, muscle spasticity. The study also showed that adding CBD to their treatment plan led to a reduction in a patients dependence on pharmaceutical opioids to manage pain.
Low Physical Activity
Being physically inactive and having reduced mobility can become a vicious cycle. The less active you are, the more your mobility decreases, and the more your mobility decreases, the more difficult it becomes to increase your physical activity. CBD has been shown to have a positive impact on energy levels and focus, and its anti-inflammatory properties can make recovery from physical activity a smoother, more comfortable process. Check out our other articles if you want to read more about CBD can benefit your workout routines and your overall energy levels.
Trying to bounce back from an injury can be demoralizing. Couple that with decreased mobility, and the world can start to feel like a bleak place. The endocannabinoid system is the natural responder within your body when it suffers an injury. CB1 receptors on nerve cells, immune cells, and those cells involved in tissue regeneration can all be activated by CBD, helping to reduce pain and jump start the healing process. CBD also has been shown to have a positive impact on mood, so the road to recovery doesn’t have to feel so blue.
When the body ages, there are processes known as intrinsic (or programmed) and extrinsic (or damage related) factors that lead to a decrease in the body’s overall functioning. This can, overtime, make getting around increasingly difficult. Studies have shown that CBD has a beneficial impact on one aspect of aging, what’s known as compromised autophagy. Autophagy is the process by which the body removes unwanted or degraded cells from the body. When it’s compromised, it can’t perform this task and the unwanted cells build up and cannot be replaced by healthier, more functional cells. Studies have shown that CBD can induce autophagy, so your body can get rid of those unwanted cells. You can read more about CBD and aging here.
OTHER WAYS TO HELP ALLEVIATE MOBILITY ISSUES
In addition to the benefits of CBD, there are also activities and lifestyle habits that can help you to regain your desired level of mobility so that you can always get where you want to go under your own power. Let’s go over a few of the things you can do.
For many people who are less mobile, weight gain exacerbates the issue. Not only does carrying around excess weight put more stress on your muscles, bones, and joints, it also makes the act of moving more laborious. Working with a doctor or dietitian to create a healthy, maintainable diet can help your body to lose weight as well as give your body the fuel it needs to repair itself.
Hand in hand with mobility is flexibility. What’s the difference? Well, mobility is the ability to move with control and flexibility is the total range of motion a muscle has, with or without control. But having increased range of motion can make moving with control much easier and stretching can help to increase that range. If you’re interested in adding some stretches to your daily routine, you can get a primer here.
Given that one of the biggest risk factors for decreased mobility is low physical activity, exercise probably seems like an obvious answer. According to Harvard Health Publishing, walking 20 minutes a day actually lubricates the joints and strengthens the muscles most important in maintaining mobility, and can even boost the body’s immune function, allowing it to better heal itself.
Losing some of your mobility can be daunting and frustrating, be it from illness, injury, and age. But with a thoughtful approach, the help of a physician, and the inclusion of CBD in your lifestyle, you can get back up and moving so you can enjoy your life to the fullest. Be it walking with your partner, playtime with the kids, or simply being able to navigate the grocery store, you can be on your way once again.