MSM to relieve symptoms of musculoskeletal pain and inflammation

7 June 2016  |  Editor

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MSM to relieve symptoms of musculoskeletal pain and inflammation

Earl Mindell, author of the Vitamin Bible says this: 

"The sulphur our bodies need is available in animal protein foods such as meats, fish, poultry, eggs and milk. Grains, legumes and fresh, unprocessed vegetables like onions, garlic, cabbage, Brussel sprouts and broccoli contribute lesser amounts of this important mineral. Consequently, vegetarians and other people who may have inadequate intake of protein or those with a higher protein need (growing children, for example) may also lack sufficient sulphur to meet the body’s needs. 

MSM is neither a medicine nor a drug. It is a member of the sulphur family but should never be confused with sulfa drugs, to which some people are allergic. MSM has been used as a dietary supplement for more than ten years, with no reports of intolerance or allergic reaction. Short, medium and longer-term studies indicate that MSM exhibits very low toxicity no matter how it is administered. How low? Its profile is similar to that of water! Within limits, you cannot overdose with MSM because the body will take and use whatever it needs, and after a 12-hour period, will flush any excess amounts from the body. 

Sulphur is highly important. Approximately half of the total body sulphur is concentrated in the muscles, skin and bones. It is present in keratin, the tough substance in the skin, nails and hair. Sulphur is necessary for making collagen, the primary constituent of cartilage and connective tissue. 

In conjunction with vitamins and amino acids, MSM provides the body with the necessary raw materials to create healthy new cells. Optimal health is dependent on maintaining the process for producing healthy and flexible cells. It’s a 24-hour-a-day job because the body never stops producing new cells. Without proper nutrition, however, the body can run short of the materials it needs. Lacking sufficient MSM, the body is a compromised system, deficient in its ability to repair or replace damaged tissue and organs. The inability of the body to do its work causes it to produce dysfunctional cells which can lead to illness and disease.

The nerves that sense pain are located mainly in the soft tissues of our bodies. Many types of pain can be attributed to pressure differential involving the cells that make up tissue. When outside pressure drops, cells inflate and become inflamed. Nerves register the inflammation and we experience pain symptoms. Did you ever hear of anyone predicting weather changes because of pain they feel in their joints? Often, what contributes to the pain is the lack of flexibility and permeability in the fibrous tissue cells. Use of MSM has been shown to add flexibility to cell walls while allowing fluids to pass through the tissue more easily. This softens the tissue and helps to equalize pressure thereby reducing if not totally eliminating the cause of the pain. This extraordinary property of MSM can help treat a wide variety of conditions that afflict millions of people every day.   
It is important to recall that we lose a great deal of MSM in the normal preparation of food, and as a result may be denying our body a critical nutritional tool it needs.” 
He says he has used MSM successfully to treat more than 18,000 patients with a variety of autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis. Here’s a look at some of the conditions that benefit from MSM: 

MSM and Aches and Pains 

MSM may help relieve symptoms of many types of musculoskeletal pain and inflammation, including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, says Jacob. In one unpublished study, Ronald M Lawrence, MD, PhD, as assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and co-author with Jacob of The Miracle of MSM asked 16 arthritic patients, ages 55 to 78 years, to take either 2250 mg of MSM or a placebo daily. After four months, patients taking MSM reported an overall 82% reduction in pain (compared with an 18% reduction for those taking placebos). Another unpublished study by Lawrence found that MSM reduced pain and other symptoms associated with athletic injuries. MSM’s mode of action was partly elucidated in an animal study, which found that MSM reduced joint inflammation and prevented the breakdown of cartilage.

MSM and Skin healing 

Doctors with experience of MSM report that scars may fade or disappear, and that burns, bruises, cuts and scrapes are repaired more quickly. Nails, too, become stronger and more flexible and hair is strengthened.

MSM and Dermatitis 

Another of her customers used MSM cream on her heels, which were always leathery and cracking. After three to four weeks her heels became much softer. But when she stopped using MSM the condition returned. Now she uses it continually and her heels are better again. 

MSM and Sleep Apnea 

Pain beneath the skin:

The participants also drank the sulphur-rich water. MSM, a natural source of sulphur, is, of course, widely used by arthritis sufferers in the form of tablets and capsules, but these results suggest that it may also be worth applying MSM in a cream form over painful joints and tissues. 

Sports Injuries 

At the International Preventive Medicine Clinic in Sao Paolo, Brazil, Efrain Olszewer, MD and his staff treat many sports-related sprains and tendinitis. 
"Usually we have treated these injuries with DMSO (a precursor of MSM), which has always worked very well, but we find we get just as good results with MSM, which works without the DMSO odour (DMSO has an unpleasant sulfurous smell, while MSM has no odour at all”. Dr Oslzewer often gives his patients an MSM ointment to apply to the affected area. 

"Sprained ankles, elbows, shoulders, tendon injuries and muscle soreness all respond excellently” he reported to Dr Jacob. 

These results from the field of sport also suggest that applying MSM to the skin may be helpful for pain and swelling from arthritis and other medical conditions. Although it would always be advisable to take MSM by mouth as well, applying to the skin in addition may help the mineral reach the intended site more quickly. 


Earl Mindell says this about MSM and stress: 
"While stress is often considered either a mental or psychological problem, it has very real physical effects. You’ve heard people attribute stress-related symptoms to "nerves”, and there’s no doubt stress usually affects parts of the body that are related to the nervous system, particularly through the digestive organs. As we learned earlier, use of MSM can be beneficial in many digestive disorders. 

"I have a fish story to tell you. One stress study quoted in the literature for MSM involves 50 goldfish in a large aquarium. Half of them were removed and placed in a small aquarium (designated A) and the other 25 were placed in an identical aquarium (designated B). The fish in A were fed regular goldfish food and those in aquarium B received the same food treated with MSM. The fish in both aquariums were then stressed equally by manipulation of their confinement, movement, and temperature range. By day then, 11 fish died in aquarium A but only one went belly-up in the MSM-treated tank.” 

Mental health 

"Mental normalcy in humans is demonstrated by alertness and an inner calmness that is not subject to sharp mood swings. What literature exists suggests that individuals on MSM generally report increased alertness, a plateau of mood changes, and very infrequent depression. A few subjects taking depression medication observed that MSM relieved their depression within hours rather than days, as had been their prior experience with the antidepression medication. Students report that while on MSM their ability to concentrate is enhanced. The most useful application for MSM seen to date in the field of mental normalizing is as an aid to the terminally ill to relieve anxiety and depression. Try up to 9,000mg per day to start, then taper down to 3,000mg.” 

MSM is available as 1000mg tablets and as a joint and muscle balm. It’s also available as a face cream.