In modern living, there's not a healthy balance between the time you use to engage in other activities besides work. While it's understandable why people commit so much time to work, it's unfortunate that they tend to forget about the most important thing – their health.
Indeed, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, the Dalai Lama responded, "Man. Because he sacrifices his health to make money, then sacrifices money to regain his health."
One way to stay healthy is by remaining active. Multiple studies have shown the increasing importance of leading an active lifestyle. The benefits of physical activity are almost innumerable and range from a strong cardiovascular system to a healthy heart to weight control and better immunity.
However, an active lifestyle comes with addendums that most people consider a turn-off – injuries. When the effects of staying active start to kick in, the excitement can make you overdo things. This can lead to injuries that may need special attention.
If you've been considering a safe and effective natural supplement for sports-related injuries, think about CBD.
CBD is one of 100+ cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Its more famous cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is known for the "high" associated with marijuana. Others include the lesser-known cannabinol (CBN) and cannabigerol (CBG).
The healing powers of CBD continue to reinforce the notion that nature always has a solution to humanity's problems. And who would have thought that a plant as maligned and disparaged as cannabis would hold the key to most of humankind's health problems?
Cannabis compounds, notably CBD and THC, continue astounding researchers with their health-impacting properties.
An ever-expanding body of research coupled with anecdotal evidence has shown many of CBD's potential health benefits.
As a result, CBD has gained considerable traction in sports as athletes increasingly turn to it to manage sports-related injuries due to its excellent safety profile.
Let's examine some of the best CBD products for sports injuries.
What are the 10 most common sports injuries?
First things first, if you're into sports and all things physical fitness, you're aware of the risks that accompany such a lifestyle. According to the CDC, millions of people get injured yearly from sports, most of which are caused by falls.
The type of sports you play often determines the kind of injuries you get. Regardless, sports-related injuries are either acute or chronic. Acute injuries such as a muscle tear occur suddenly, while chronic injuries develop with time.
So, here is a list of the ten most common sports injuries that you should watch out for:
Sprains are some of the most common injuries in sports. It happens when a joint ligament in the knee, wrist, or ankle areas stretches or tears. These can be mild or severe depending on the ligament's degree of tear or stretch.
Sprains are most often caused by sudden twisting motions or a fall and are symptomized by swelling, pain, and bruising. The pain becomes more intense when you try to apply pressure on the affected area. These types of injuries are acute.
Don't let the rhyme confuse you, but strains and sprains are different.
A strain is also a prevalent sports injury that occurs when muscle tissue is torn or overstretched by overextending it. So the difference is that sprains affect ligaments while strains impair the muscles.
In sports, you are likely to strain from lifting, jumping, or running. Mild strains are often caused by repetitive motion, while acute strains likely result from a sudden change in direction. Cold weather increases the likelihood of straining a muscle.
Symptoms of strain are sudden pain and limited range of motion in the affected area. Swelling and bruising are symptomatic of severe strains. Strains can be chronic or acute.
This injury is caused by repetitive motion and is common among runners and people who engage in lots of biking, walking, or physical activities that involve knee-bending.
A hard knee bump or trauma can also cause a runner's knee. A survey showed that this injury accounts for 55% of sports injuries.
Despite the name, runners are not the only athletes affected by this injury. Swimmers, volleyball and basketball players, and cyclists are susceptible to runner's knee.
Its symptoms include pain in the kneecap region, swelling, or a 'grinding' sensation when the knee is bent. These injuries can be chronic or acute.
The front lower part of the leg below the knee is called the shin. Shin splints result from tendons or muscles around the shin getting inflamed. The inflammation is generally caused by repetitive stress to connective tissues that attach bones to muscles and the shinbone (tibia).
This can be due to challenging exercises or a sudden increase in intensity.
These injuries often affect basketball players and runners and typically manifest as pain in the anterior part of the lower leg. Shin splints are acute injuries.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a bunch of tough elastic tissues that provide stability to the knee. ACL injuries are caused by sudden changes in movement —slowing down or speeding up too quickly.
In some cases, the movement can tear the ligament leading to loss of stability and swelling.
A concussion is a brain injury caused by a blunt force or trauma to the head. A concussion happens when the force/trauma is strong enough to affect normal brain activity. Concussions can be severe, so immediate medical attention is necessary.
The symptoms of a concussion are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Slurred speech
- Sensitivity to bright light
- Confusion and dizziness
Even though concussions happen in all sports, they occur at substantially higher rates in American football, soccer, rugby, ice hockey, boxing, and basketball. Men's sports account for 53% of all sports-related concussions.
Brain injuries are the leading cause of death in sports-related injuries.
A dislocation happens when the end of a bone moves out of its normal position. Most people confuse dislocations with a broken bone until x-rays show the difference. These injuries are common in contact sports like soccer, football, wrestling, and basketball.
Its symptoms include swelling, extreme pain, and a limited range of motion in the injured area. Dislocations are acute.
This type of injury is caused by the application of a sudden strong force to the bone. Broken bones are also referred to as bone fractures and can occur in any sport.
It's relatively easy to detect a broken bone, but the typical symptoms are sudden pain, numbness, swelling, and tenderness in the affected area.
Another way of telling a broken bone is reduced or total lack of mobility in the affected limb. Broken bone injuries are acute.
Achilles tendon injuries
The Achilles tendon is a thick corded tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel. It is prominently visible at the back of the lower leg and is the largest tendon in the human body. This tendon helps us walk.
Injuries to the Achilles tendon are called Achilles tendinitis and are most common in sports that involve lots of running. The leading cause of Achilles tendinitis is a lack of stretching before starting a strenuous activity.
It can also be caused by a sudden increase in intensity in the activity or wearing improper shoes.
This injury is symptomized by swelling in the affected area and pain in the calf or heel when walking or running. Achilles tendon injuries can be acute or chronic.
Also known as patellar tendonitis, jumper's knee occurs when the muscle tissues connecting the kneecap, thigh muscles, and shin bone become inflamed. These injuries are common in sports that involve repetitive jumping, such as volleyball and basketball.
People who are overweight are also likely to get jumper's knee as is playing on a hard surface.
The symptoms of this injury are pain below the kneecap, stiffness or weakness in the affected knee when jumping, climbing stairs, or kneeling. The injury can be acute or chronic.
How common are sports injuries?
Sports injuries are common, with data showing that children and younger adults are the most affected demographic. According to Stanford Children's Health, over 3.5 million teenagers and children are injured annually in organized sports.
Generally, one-third of injuries in children are sports-related. For reference, it is estimated that roughly 30 million teens and children engage in some form of organized sports in the U.S.
Sprains and strains are, by far, the most common injuries in sports. Further, contact sports like basketball and football are associated with more injuries than noncontact sports like running and swimming.
According to a study, around 8.6 million people aged between 5 and 24 get injured in a sports activity every year in the U.S. Males are more injury-prone than females, with data showing that over half of sports-related injuries happen in males between the ages of 5 and 24.
Regarding where injuries are likely to happen in the body, studies indicate that 42% of sports injuries occur in the lower body, while 30.3% happen in the upper body. Neck and head injuries account for 16.4% of injuries in sports.
Depending on the gender and level of competition, research shows that knee injuries are more common among women (47.2%) while men are more likely to suffer from ankle injuries (34.22%).
Best treatment for sports injuries
Treatment for sports injuries is usually a function of severity and the location of the injury. For mild injuries like strains and sprains, PRICE therapy at home is often the first line of defence. PRICE is the acronym for Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
- Protection – protect the injured area from aggravation, e.g., by supporting it.
- Rest – reduce or stop physical activity.
- Ice – Apply ice to the injured area for 15-20 minutes every 2-3 hours for the first 48 hours. Wrap the ice in a towel to prevent it from coming into direct contact with the skin to avoid ice burn. Ice reduces blood flow, temperature, pain, swelling, and inflammation. Do not expose an injured area to the ice for more than 20 minutes, as this can cause further tissue damage.
- Compression – limit swelling using compression bandages.
- Elevation – try to keep the injured part above the heart level when lying down or sitting to minimize swelling.
Heat can also be used to treat mild injuries. It reduces pain by increasing tissue temperature and blood flow to the affected area. As part of the warm-up, heat may be effective in warming up the injured area.
However, whole-body warm-up activities like jogging may be better at raising tissue temperature and increasing blood flow to the injured part.
Regardless, it's not advisable to apply heat to acute injuries. Wait for 48-72 hours after the injury. Similarly, heat should not be used when there are signs of inflammation (swelling, redness, and warmth).
Immobilization can help minimize injury aggravation. It can also reduce muscle swelling, pain, and muscle spasm. Bone fractures are ideal injuries where immobilization helps by reducing movement in the injured part as it heals.
Slings, casts, and splints are devices used to immobilize injured body parts.
Physiotherapy is more beneficial to persons recovering from long-term injuries such as broken bones or brain injuries. Some brain injuries may lead to muscle memory loss, where an injured person forgets how to walk or move body limbs.
In such cases, the physiotherapist may employ various techniques, e.g., massage and other manipulation exercises, to strengthen muscles, improve motion range, and restore normal functioning.
The overall goal of physiotherapy is to reduce recurrent injury risks and strengthen the injured part.
Some injuries may be resolved with medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Naproxen and Ibuprofen. These may help with swelling and pain. However, they can have limitations.
For example, people younger than 20 years shouldn't be given aspirin due to the risk of developing Reye syndrome.
Corticosteroid injections may also be recommended in cases of serious and persistent inflammation. Though these can typically help with pain and inflammation, some people report that the relief is short-term.
Moreover, you can only get corticosteroid injections at most three times a year. These may also cause undesired side effects like infections, fat loss, and skin thinning.
Sports injuries rarely require surgeries unless in severe cases like multiple bone fractures where corrective treatment may be necessary. This may include using plates, wires, and rods to fix broken bones. Torn knee ligaments may also require surgery.
Why is injury prevention important in sports?
Prevention is better than cure, so injury prevention should be a critical component of every sporting activity. Prevention helps with the attainment of training goals and promotes safety and overall good health.
Prevention also reduces unnecessary treatment costs, some of which can be pretty costly. Further, so much time may be lost recovering from long-term injuries.
How to prevent sports injuries
The good thing is that most sports injuries can be prevented with careful planning and caution. To continue enjoying your favorite sports without risking injuries, here are some guidelines you can follow:
- Always warm up to loosen the body and increase blood flow to the heart.
- Stretch and hold each stretch for no more than 20 seconds. Do not overdo stretches – you'll know you're overdoing when you feel pain.
- Use the right equipment and technique.
- Create a fitness program that works out the whole body. This should address strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health.
- Have a cool-down routine after every session. This is attained when the heart rate stabilizes and the skin dries.
- Rest enough. The minimum should be at least a day per week or a month per year to promote recovery after training.
- If you're a weekend warrior, keep your body warmed up throughout the week by exercising for at least 60 minutes daily. This is necessary to keep your fitness levels up.
- For people with pre-existing heart conditions, e.g., high blood pressure and diabetes, it is advisable to consult your doctor before engaging in strenuous physical activity.
How CBD helps inflammation
Research shows that CBD has strong anti-inflammatory properties and may help fight pain and inflammation. This is possible due to its interaction with two main receptors in the endocannabinoid system, the GPR55 and TRPV1 receptors.
Studies indicated that CBD is most effective at the TRPV1 receptors, where its binding action activates these receptors. When activated, the TRPV1 receptors can minimize inflammation and induce pain-killing effects.
The GPR55 is also a critical receptor as far as inflammation is concerned. When activated, this receptor contributes to the natural degradation of bones. CBD has been shown to be a GPR55 antagonist, which means it limits the activity on this receptor.
A 2019 study on CBD's anti-inflammatory properties suggests that its agonistic interaction with CB2 receptors may decrease tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, thus reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.
Moreover, clinical studies have demonstrated that CBD helps with inflammation by:
- Preventing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines
- Inhibiting the proliferation of T-cells
- Inducing T-cell apoptosis
- Reducing the adhesion and migration of immune cells
It's worth pointing out that research on CBD is still young, so not much is known about how it exactly helps with a host of health conditions in the body.
It's, however, clear that its interaction with the endocannabinoid system is linked to its ability to influence various beneficial bodily processes.
Best CBD for sports injuries
Without any further ado, here are some CBD-based products that are great for sports injuries.
If you want something with more bounce to deal with pain and discomfort, our Premium CBD Gummies are your best bet. Each delicious gummy contains 25mg of high-quality, broad spectrum or full spectrum CBD to help you overcome the pain and help your muscles recover much faster. These also come in three mouth-watering flavors to make chewing a treat!
We understand that injuries can cause you sleepless nights. This is why we recommend FOCL Night to relax your mind and body. This product has premium hemp CBD with soothing botanicals to guarantee and night of deep, restorative sleep. Two capsules in the evening are sure to calm your nerves, reduce inflammation and help you fall asleep faster.
For those sore muscles and joint aches, try the FOCL Relief Cream. This one combines seven powerful but soothing botanicals with premium hemp CBD to reduce pain and inflammation, relax the muscles, and reduce stiffness. Apply the cream 3-4 times daily on the injured area.
If you're looking for a fast-acting solution for pain and inflammation, try our Premium CBD Drops. These drops contain broad spectrum or full spectrum CBD mixed in organic MCT oil to supercharge your endocannabinoid system. This is the go-to product if you want to manage physical pain, sleeplessness, and stressors like anxiety.