Amateur and professional athletes alike use CBD to help with both performance and recovery. It can reduce inflammation caused by sport injury or over-excursion, speeding up recovery and ensuring you’re ready to get back out on the field.
While there are many performance-enhancing drugs which are illegal in professional sports, CBD is a health supplement and not a drug. It’s a natural, organic and legal way to improve your body’s health, fitness and recovery time during sport. Read more about the use of CBD in sport.
Inflammation is a common injury for people who practise and compete in a huge number of different sports. CBD is becoming more and more well-known for its ability to reduce inflammation and help the body to heal itself. This property means it’s used to help those who suffer from arthritis, as well as athletes to aid recovery from inflammation.
What Causes Sport Inflammation?
Inflammation is defined in sports research as a ‘normal part of the biological response to harmful stimuli’. Strenuous physical activity causes a variety of different stress reactions in our bodies from cramp through to exhaustion -- and inflammation is one of these.
Inflammation doesn’t just happen during sports. It can occur due to arthritis, or as a result of bacteria in our bodies, as two examples. It can also happen when we push our bodies during exercise.
We can cause inflammation to occur due to overworking muscles or putting a lot of pressure on joints. Injury, such as falls or landing badly, can also lead to inflammation.
It’s one of the ways that our bodies protect themselves and heal. Swelling, for example, is intended to protect the damaged area from further injury, reducing movement so the area can heal more quickly. However, healing can’t actually begin until inflammation subsides; it’s there to protect from further damage and needs to reduce before the body can heal itself.
Common Sport Inflammation
There are loads of examples of common problems caused by inflammation.
‘Shin splits’ are a common injury in sports that involve lots of running. The high impact of running causes inflammation in the tissues surrounding the shin bone.
Heel pain, again in running-based sports, is often caused due to inflammation in the band of tissue that runs underneath the foot. It causes a lot of pain during walking, or whenever pressure is put onto the heel.
Tennis elbow is caused due to inflammation in the elbow joint from repetitive movement of the arm muscles.
Tendonitis can affect the shoulders of those involved in throwing sports. The tendons around the shoulder blades and joints become inflamed and therefore hurt when the arms or shoulders move.
What Does Inflammation Feel Like?
The word inflammation literally means ‘to set on fire’, but the pain associated with inflammation isn’t always burning. It can range widely from aching and stiffness through to a throbbing, stabbing pain.
CBD For Inflammation
Traditionally, the RICE method is used to help reduce inflammation and to prevent further flare ups: Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate. This is the best place to start if you experience a sudden injury such as spraining your ankle.
Stop what you’re doing and sit down (rest). Use an ice pack to prevent or minimise swelling (ice) and wrap a bandage around the injury to prevent excess fluids from causing swelling (compress). Finally, rest your foot on a high surface (elevate), which again helps to prevent swelling by reducing the gravitational pull of fluid towards the injury.
However, a lot of inflammation injuries in sport are formed over a long period of time, which means the RICE routine isn’t very effective. Many athletes traditionally used ibuprofen to combat inflammation but more and more are turning to CBD as a natural and organic solution.
CBD is a fantastic anti-inflammatory, proven to reduce inflammation and therefore pain in affected joints and areas. This is ideal for sudden and unexpected injuries such as inflammation from a sprained ankle, but also for ongoing problems like tennis elbow. It’s not a drug, but a health supplement derived from the hemp plant, making it safe and legal for daily use.
CBD has been known to have anti-inflammatory effects for years. There are proteins in our body called cytokines. These are found almost everywhere and are responsible for balancing inflammation (regulating the extent to which you experience swelling, for example) and resolving it.
Scientific research has suggested that cannabinoids, including CBD, interact with the cytokines in an immune response (source). They stimulate your cytokines and help to reduce inflammation more quickly.
Our bodies are also constantly fed chemicals and hormones that can trigger and stimulate inflammation. This includes hormones and chemicals that are released due to stress. CBD is known to reduce stress and anxiety and therefore can also reduce inflammation-inducing chemicals in the body.
Studies have suggested that cannabinoids, such as CBD, are 20x stronger than aspirin for reducing inflammation and twice as strong as prescription hydrocortisone.
Taking CBD regularly as part of your daily health routine can help to prepare your body for attacks of inflammation before they occur. When you suffer a sport injury, your body already has the protection it needs to combat inflammation quickly -- helping you to recover as soon as possible.
Taking CBD when you’ve experienced inflammation is an extremely valuable way to naturally combat sport-related inflammation and recover as quickly as possible.
We recommend taking CBD drops. They’re an effective form of CBD which come in a range of different concentrations. However, there are lots of ways to incorporate CBD into your daily health routine, including as a paste, for example, or even in your food.
CBD and Sport Inflammation
If you think you are suffering from inflammation, the first thing you should do is talk to your sports coach and doctor. Taking CBD oil while following your doctor’s advice will help to support and speed up your body’s recovery so you can get back to doing what you love as soon as possible!
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