Alternative Treatments to Arthritic Pain



In June of 2019 the State of Texas passed a law that legalized hemp production and CBD products. Since then countless CBD stores have opened and it appears nearly anyone with a storefront is selling some form of this product. CBD has been utilized as a natural remedy for thousands of years to treat a wide variety of ailgments. CBD has been credited with helping treat epilepsy, pain, anxiety, and sleeplessness. CBD has strong scientific significant evidence regarding its effectivenss as a treatment for Epilepsy patients with the first CBD drug being FDA approved. Studies have also been done examining its effectivenss for anxiety, pain, and inflammation which have shown promising results. In our practice many patients have had great success with utilizing CBD for their pain control often reducing or eliminating the need for opioids. 
How does CBD work to help with arthritic pain or inflammation? 
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex system first identified in the 1990's when researchers began examining the effects of THC. These endocannabidnoids are molecules naturally made by the body and play a role in regulating a wide range of functions and processess to include: sleep, chronic pain, inflammation, stress, among many other important function that help play a role in achieving homeostasis. These molcules help keep internal body functions running smoothly and are naturally produced as needed. Altough not proven many feel diffeciences or issues with our ECS lead to chronic pain, inflammation, and other health issues. 

If you are going to consider utilizing CBD for an alternative treatment for arthritic pain consider these recommendations as CBD products are currently unregulated by the FDA. This leads to scamming and potentially dangerous products as anyone can develop and sell CBD with no oversight or regulation.  

1. Patients should be under the care of a health care provider who understands CBD as most Physicians know nothing about CBD.  
You need to be monitored and managed by this individual. CBD like any other substance you put in your body can interact with your medications. You need to be certain that the medications you are taking will not be impacted by incorporating CBD into your treatment. Studies have found that combining CBD with certain medications casuses an increase of the medication in your blood, a decrease of the effectiveness of your medication, or an increase in the potential side effects of certain medications. 

2. CBD is currently not a regulated substance by the FDA so purchase your CBD from a credible source. 
CBD is currently not regulated by the FDA. In a 2017 study examining various CBD oils readily available 7 out of 10 did not contain the amount on extract promised on the label. Nealy 43% contained to little CBD and 26% contained more then noted. Also, some CBD oils contain high levels of THC or other chemicals due to a lack of quality control or intent to cut corners on cost for profit. 

3. CBD does have scientific evidence of its effectiveness but it is not a cure all for everthing. 
If you decide to incorporate CBD for an ailgment make sure you utilize for pain, inflammation, arthritis, anxiety, or for control with seizures. Like any mainstream supplement or product the uses tend to be expanded or elaborated beyond its original use or scientific evidence. If you try CBD oil and it helps with a non scientifically proven issue and reduces or eliminates your dependency on narcotic medication then great. 

4. THC can be put into anything and CBD can not.
CBD can not be put into pills, gummies, lollipops, these significantly reduce its effectiveness. CBD stores, gas stations, pharmacies all have watered down CBD products for profit. True CBD only comes in two forms drops or a topical cream. 

5. CBD is derived from the hemp plant not the flowering part of the plant which has THC.
Oil based CBD is cheap to produce and is typically less expensive as it only has a 6% absorption rate. The cheaper the CBD product the less likely it is to be effective. Water soluable CBD products preserve more of the natural nutrients in the plant and yeild a 85-90% absorption rate which makes this type of CBD more effective and thus more expensive. The standard price range of water soluble CBD products should be $30-35 per week or $120-150 per month. If you are paying much less then this it is more then likely not a pure product or has some synthetic CBD like product.

6. CBD is directly from a plant.
You consume plants everyday for health benefits and the hemp plant is similar. CBD and hemp are not marijuana as there is almost no THC in it. Over the counter, gas stations, and inexpensive products may have THC as the process and products are unregulated. Only a few CBD companies have pure products. If you consider purchasing a CBD product look for a certified hemp seal, this will let you know what is on the lable is what is in the bottle. Be careful as a lot of CBD bottles have bogus seals and claim they have a pure product but only the hemp authority seal indicates a safe product. 

As a physician Dr. Buch's job is to keep patients safe. If you have questions regarding a CBD product or how to use it please contact our office. 

Stem Cell Therapy

Online videos and newspaper ads for stem cell treatment claim to promise arthritis patients with everything they want. "Eliminate your joint pain without surgery or regenerate cartilage to reduce pain and inflammation." These infomercialesque type of marketing typically attracts vulnerable patients who are in pain and the majority of the time have a condition that no stem cells, PRP, or regenerative product will provide relief yet there are doctors and clinics out there who still administor this treatment. The argument these clinics and doctors stand by is they are providing alternative treatment options for patients who have exhausted conventional modalities as they may help with their condition. Those of us who have researched and studied stem cells feel it is exploiting desperate patients for profit. Stem cell therapy does have proven effective uses in patients with certain conditions. The difficult factor for patients seeking stem cell therapy is finding a clinic or physician who will make the ethical decision in not pushing or providing treatment for a condition that has little to no chance of helping them. 

If you are going to consider stem cell therapy as a possible alternative treatment option for arthritis pain consider these recommendations:

1. Effective uses for stem cells:
So will stem cells work for me? It depends on your specific condition but stem cells do appear to provide a benefit in wound healing, inflammation, tendonitis, bone healing, and possibly mild arthritis of the joints. We have used this in selective cases for the bone healing, muscle tears, mild knee arthritis, and various elbow and wrist ailgments. The results we have seen are superior to other non surgical options currently available. 

2. Cost:
Stem cell therapy will require cash payment as insurance does not cover this treatment. Insurance companies as well as many experts view this therapy as experiemental as quality, scientific research has not been conducted on the effectivenss of this therapy to treat some of the marketed conditions. We see countless patients in the office who have failed stem cell therapy after paying $6,000-$10,000 cash per injection. If these patients would have come to our office first they would not have received these injections as their specific condition is not a indiciated use for stem cell therapy. Now these patients are out $6,000-$10,000, had no relief from treatment, and still may need a surgical procudure for their issue. Many patients are interested in stem cell therapy however the siginificant cash price is often a limiting factor. We offer stem cell therapy at a fraction of the cost of most clinics in Dallas Fort Worth to help patients save money avoid the potential scams that occurr surronding this treatment. 

3. Know and trust the individual providing you with the treatment:
Many of the promotions you see online and in the newspapers are for clinics not run by medical doctors or those with significant knowledge of stem cells. The majority of these clinics simply exist to generate revenue and get patients injected regardless of their condition. If you plan to pursue stem cell therapy go to a medical doctor who is familar with stem cells and your condition. If you go to a clinic and they do not do an exam, look at imaging studies, and medical records you more then likely should not be seeking treatment here.