Joanne, a patient with bilateral transtibial amputations, receives her care at A Step Ahead Prosthetics in Hicksville, New York.
She developed Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) after spraining her ankle as a teenager. She has learned to live with the chronic and painful condition. Joanne, who had her first amputation when she was 21 years old and the second at 40 years old, has tried nearly all the CBD products on the market to alleviate the burning, searing pain she experiences.
She’s had little luck.
“I would try anything just to alleviate the pain,” she said.
When she learned A Step Ahead Prosthetics had started making CBD products, she was eager to try it. “I rushed to tell [them] I would try it, and to my amazement, it actually helped,” Joanne said. “I’ve tried everything, and this is just incredible.”
Most CBD topical lotions focus solely on pain management, usually muscle pain, says Erik Schaffer, CP, founder and head prosthetist at A Step Ahead Prosthetics.
A Step Ahead’s products were initially created for people with amputations to treat conditions related to wearing a prosthetic liner. “Ours carry the additional responsibility of soothing and protecting battered and sensitive skin that is constantly subjected to friction and pressure inside the liner,” he said.
Nerve sensitivity and shocks (and consequently phantom pain), protruding bone pain, liner rubbing and chafing, contact hot spots, blisters and inflammation are some of the issues the CBD products also aim to attenuate, Schaffer said. Positive effects on other muscle pain and discomfort were later confirmed by the testers. CBD oil is also believed to minimize the effects of osteoarthritis.
The products were tested by adults with amputations of varying ages, health statuses, and activity levels, Schaffer said. Although the response was overwhelmingly positive, tests were not conducted under controlled conditions and may solely reflect the personal opinions of the wearers, he said.