How CBD Cream for Pain May Support the Active Release Technique

How CBD Cream for Pain May Support the Active Release Technique

As a chiropractor who is curious about natural forms of pain management, it was only fitting that I would eventually gravitate towards CBD cream for pain relief when treating my patients.

I was initially a bit skeptical about the value of CBD, but all it took was trying it myself to discover the potential benefits. I own and run my own practice, Get Adjusted Chiropractic P.C., and I love helping my patients, but it can be stressful to be your own boss. I couldn’t fall asleep easily and none of the usual methods were working. Finally, I decided to try taking some CBD at night. Remarkably, I had a great night’s sleep the very first time I tried it! I felt very refreshed waking up, I didn’t feel groggy or tired.

I decided to combine CBD Night Gummies for Sleep with topical CBD Fitness Cream on my shoulders and have never looked back. 

The natural next step was to incorporate CBD cream for pain into my chiropractic practice, specifically with the Active Release Technique (ART), an aggressive form of stretching that is one of my specialties. 

How Does CBD Work Topically?

Before I talk about how CBD cream for pain may benefit ART, let’s discuss how it actually works topically. The first part is easy: you simply rub some cream on the part of your body that feels pain, and in most cases it begins to work fairly quickly. When CBD is rubbed into the skin, it interacts with receptors in our body's own endocannabinoid system. These receptors exist to interact with endocannabinoids, which are natural compounds created by our bodies. It also interacts with phytocannabinoids, like CBD, that are similar, except they naturally occur in plants. 

The endocannabinoid system’s goal is to bring the body back into homeostasis or balance. This interaction helps the body to re-balance itself, and thus supports pain relief. 

The research into CBD’s ability to relieve pain is ongoing, but many studies show promising results, in addition to the plethora of anecdotal evidence I’ve seen with my own eyes in my practice. Some of these studies include a 2016 animal study that found CBD cream for pain to help with arthritis-related pain and swelling; a 2020 study about nerve pain that found many participants experienced reduced pain levels with the use of topical CBD oil; and a 2019 study that found application of CBD cream for pain twice a day to provide pain relief for a group of people suffering from a particular kind of jaw pain. 

Active Release Technique and CBD Cream for Pain

In my practice, I’ve found CBD cream for pain to be exceptionally helpful when performing ART. Active Release Technique is a way of stretching people that tends to be very aggressive. I'm tearing muscle, I'm getting rid of trigger points, I’m engaging the muscles further than they're normally going.

When I'm stretching out deep muscles, it's very painful and there's no recourse in the moment. You feel much better later in the day, but it tends to cause a great deal of discomfort as I’m doing it.

But now, in my practice and in all my videos (also found on my Instagram and TikTok), I've begun using CBD cream for pain when stretching people as it could help with decreasing tension on the muscles that I'm working out. It's much easier on the body and it takes a lot of tension away from the muscles I'm stretching, which is not only convenient but also creates a better experience for my patients.

I like to pair ART with CBD because it may be able to help calm the muscles down, reduce soreness and tension, and may even help to perform a more restorative pattern. It's also nice to be able to cut some of the pain down while I'm doing the stretching because that allows me to do even more with patients. Often I'll do a few passes of a stretch, apply some of the topical CBD and let it sink in for a minute or two, during which the patient's pain levels will typically fall fairly quickly, and then I'm able to do more stretches with less discomfort to the patient.

I am a huge proponent of the idea that I don't want people to be reliant on me. They come in, they have a pain, they want me to fix it, and I'm happy to help. But I want people to be in charge of their own care. I want them to be able to do their part to help themselves. Patients can easily obtain CBD cream on their own; they don’t need a prescription and it’s now easily accessible from many reputable sources. So when people are able to use CBD cream for pain on their own, they feel like they're taking charge of their health. It holds them accountable to help themselves, which I like. We're working together as a team, rather than me doing everything.

Types of Pain I’ve Targeted with CBD Cream and ART

In general, CBD cream for pain may be able to provide relief for many common forms of chronic pain, from arthritis to back pain to a variety of muscle pains. At Get Adjusted, we treat all common spinal misalignment and bodily pain brought on by injury or lifestyle.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, over 80% of my patients are suffering from poor posture due to poor work set-up. Everyone is hunched over on their computers, with rounded shoulders, and heads and pelvises tilted forward. My biggest goal in treating the pain from poor posture is to retract shoulders, bring heads back, and rotate the pelvis forward and backward to engage a straighter performance in their seats. 

Another component to ART that I often use with athletes is known as the Graston Technique. ART is already fairly aggressive, but I take it up a notch with Graston, which involves a shaped piece of steel. Essentially, I'm scraping muscles with this tool. Before I use the tool, I apply the CBD Relief Roller. After letting that sink in, I'll apply the CBD Fitness Cream and then begin the scraping process. It does hurt a decent amount during the scraping, but the CBD cream soothes at the same time.

As an all-natural, non-addictive alternative to many other pain treatments out there, CBD cream has been a massive help to many of my patients. When paired with the Active Release Technique, I’ve seen nothing but positive results. Empower yourself and consider how CBD might help you, too!


Dr. Justin Lewis

Dr. Justin Lewis is the founder and primary chiropractor of Get Adjusted Chiropractic P.C. He is certified in Active Release Technique, Kinesio Taping, and has an advanced certification in Sports Science and Human Performance, with a Bachelor of Science in Integrative Neuroscience, Doctorate of Chiropractic from New York Chiropractic College, and master’s degree in Applied Clinical Nutrition. He provides a hands-on, scientifically-advanced approach that ensures every patient feels relief from long-term or injury-related pain in as little as one visit.