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Do you experience joint pain? If so, you’re likely on the lookout for new treatment options that will allow you to perform your job, hobbies, and daily activities without pain. Over-the-counter medications containing ibuprofen or acetaminophen might not cut it, and prescription painkillers tend to have a long list of frightening side effects to go along with an exorbitant price tag.
Kratom has emerged as a potential treatment for everything from depression to opioid addiction to chronic pain in recent years. Is it the miracle drug for quick joint pain relief that you’ve been looking for, though? The short answer is probably not, although it’s a developing situation.
Efficacy of Kratom in Treating Joint Pain
If you’re reading this, you have one main question you want an answer to: does Kratom help reduce pain? You’re not alone in wondering that.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 60 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with arthritis of some sort, lupus, fibromyalgia, or gout. All of these conditions may cause joint pain. They’re not the only ones, though, and the number of people suffering from joint pain is likely considerably higher.
There’s anecdotal evidence that kratom does relieve pain, and several animal studies over the past decade seem to confirm its analgesic effects. It responds to the various opioid receptors in your brain, which is likely why. The exact mechanisms are not yet understood.
That’s not the whole story, though, and there’s more you need to know before ordering Kratom online to try.
What Is Kratom?
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One thing that attracts people to Kratom is that it’s all-natural. Kratom comes from a tropical tree vaguely related to the coffee plant. The tree’s scientific name is Mitragyna speciosa, and the low cost earth kratom that comes from it is usually taken as a powder or capsule, although you may see it sold as tea or smoked like tobacco.
Kratom is bitter-tasting, so consumers tend to use it in a way that will cover the taste or allow users to avoid it entirely.
The two primary active ingredients in Kratom are 7-hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine, which act on the opioid receptors in the brain. Many opioids have severe side effects, and they could cause respiratory depression or difficulty breathing. It’s believed that Kratom avoids or offers a more mild version of common opioid side effects because of a lack of beta-arrestin-2 recruitment.
There are three types of Kratom that you’re likely to see: red vein, white vein, and green vein. The names refer to the appearance of the leaves the Kratom is made from, and it appears that each type has slightly different effects.
- Red vein Kratom is associated with relaxation, sedation, and pain relief.
- White vein Kratom is thought to act as a stimulant and increase alertness when taken in smaller doses.
- Green vein Kratom is a mix of red and white, although milder than either.
The different types of Kratom seem to have slightly different chemical make-ups, which explains the difference in effect.
Is Kratom Right for You?
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Right now, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says no. There hasn’t been enough research performed to warrant using kratom instead of currently approved treatment methods for joint pain, and there are concerns about kratom’s safety. It’s not illegal, but most experts don’t recommend it.
Between 2011 and 2017, 11 people died in a way that involved exposure to kratom, although all but two of those deaths involved other drugs or medications. The FDA does not regulate kratom. Any kratom you purchase could be contaminated or laced with harmful substances.
The primary concern with kratom, however, is whether it’s habit-forming. There is not currently enough research done to say for sure, but the nature of kratom’s opioid-like effects means consumers could develop a potentially dangerous dependence on it.
Further research may show that any potential risks associated with taking kratom are negligible when compared with the benefits, but until then, avoid taking it for joint pain relief or any other purpose. If you are looking to try kratom, discuss doing so and any potential drug interactions with your doctor first.
Further Research Needed
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Kratom has only just started to garner a large amount of interest. In terms of pharmacological research, a few years is nothing. So, while it’s disappointing that looking elsewhere for fast joint pain relief is the best option at the moment, that could change soon.
With more interest comes more research, and preliminary results in initial studies have shown that Kratom can help treat serious, widespread issues like chronic pain and opioid addiction. Research is ongoing, and more is sure to come.
With that in mind, don’t count Kratom out quite yet. Instead, keep an eye on the news.
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