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MSM for Pain Relief

Updated on November 30, 2007

Methylsulfonylmethane--how is that for a word? It is certainly a mouthful, but it is more than that.

You may not know it by that name, but chances are you have heard it by its abbreviation-MSM.

MSM is a compound that can be taken orally or formulated into creams or gels and used topically.

MSM is a supplement that has anti-inflammatory and pain relieving effects. Most of the users of MSM say that its effects are fast and effective. This is good news because medications that provide these actions (NSAIDS) have side effects that cannot be ignored. Side effects that range from ulcers to liver and kidney damage.

Corticosteroids (ie: prednisone) can have a boatload of nasty side effects such as weight gain, osteoporosis, immune system suppression, and more.

MSM has provided relief for many without the risk of this type of damage. It has worked either on its own or in combination with joint support supplements. At times a patient cannot completely stop other pain control medications, but adding MSM allows them to reduce their requirement of them.

Most people suffer no side effects taking MSM. Some people have reported some stomach upset or diarrhea while taking higher doses. The recommendation here is to start low and gradually build up to a higher dose.

If you find that the symptoms will not go away, discontinue use.

Arthritis sufferers find MSM to be a real help. Osteoarthritis seems to benefit the most, but Rheumatoid Arthritis has been helped also. The speed in which the relief is noticed will vary greatly. Some report an almost immediate difference; some say they began to feel a change within a month.

Fibromyalgia is a devastating condition that is still much a mystery. Many Naturopathic Physicians will recommend MSM among other therapies for the sufferers of this condition. It has been shown for many to help reduce the terrible muscle pain.

MSM can allow pain relief for those suffering with autoimmune diseases. It can be a good "add on" therapy to help manage the pain and inflammation of such conditions as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus etc. It certainly is not going to be a magic bullet where the pain of these conditions is concerned, but it can make a big difference.

Tension headache sufferers can find MSM helpful in reducing the muscle spasms and shoulder and neck tension that get the headache going and keep it going. The cream or gel is especially helpful here. You may be surprised how great this works. Try to find one with emu oil. You don't want to know how I KNOW!!

MSM cream can be a huge boon if you suffer from sports injuries or muscle strains in general. Again, I especially like creams with emu oil. I find emu to be more penetrating with anti inflammatory benefits of its own. This is nice also for those arthritic joints.

Dosage with MSM varies quite a bit. Always get the blessing of your physician. This is imperative if you are on any blood thinning medications.

A conservative dose to start off with would be 1000 -2000 milligrams for an adult.

This is a good place to stay if you get good effects or just want to use it as a preventive measure.

If you are having pain, as in arthritis or fibromyalgia etc. , begin to up the dosage to 3,000 mg. and gradually increase until you experience some relief. Up to at most 8,000mg. or check with your Naturopathic Physician. This is always a good thing, he/she can advise you on many things, including other therapies that may benefit you.


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    • profile image

      Judy patterson 2 years ago

      Where can you buy msm, and thanks for the info.

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      Lucille G 9 years ago

      can prednisone and MSM be taken at the same time?

    • profile image

      Lucille G 9 years ago

      can prednisone and MSM be taken at the same time?

    • Michele Engholm profile image

      Michele Engholm 10 years ago from Hutchinson

      Thanks MrMarmalade....I must say however, the feeling is mutual. I am so enjoying your hubs also!!! Thank make my day!!!

    • MrMarmalade profile image

      MrMarmalade 10 years ago from Sydney


      tHANK YOU