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WD-40 For Stiff Joints?

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Q. Why do you not recommend WD-40 for arthritis? I know a couple of older gentlemen who have used it and say it works.

A. We too have heard from folks who have used WD-40, the mechanics’ lubricant for squeaky hinges and sticky mechanisms, on their own stiff joints. We worry that people will spray it on the sore spots and inhale it accidentally. Inhaling WD-40 can lead to lung inflammation (chemical pneumonitis) that can be debilitating and difficult to treat.
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I think it is important to add that WD 40 is a petroleum distillate and can be absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. It is related to gasoline and how many of us would put gasoline on our skin? The chemical effects on the human body are quite different than the chemical effects on rusty metal. I think you should be screaming that this is real bad for the body.

It wasn't long after WD40 hit the market that someone noticed that it seemed to relieve joint pain in hands and wrists, and then after experimentation, discovered it worked also on feet and ankles. It became an underground home remedy. Why? Well the ingredients have always been proprietary, but someone did enough reverse engineering to discover that WD40's magic (on things rusty and recalcitrant as well as aching joints) was due to its main ingredient, DMSO, a byproduct of the paper making industry.

So now knowledgeable people do NOT use WD40, as it also contains some stuff that ain't so good for you. Instead, they do as I do--go to the feed supply store. DMSO is about $7 a pint. AND--it is approved for use on animals. Any horse owner will tell you it relieves sore ankles, hocks, and whatever else horses have that gets sore. Most vets prescribe or recommend it. But it is NOT approved for human use, even though it works the same way. And that is, of course, because big business can't patent it and make a fortune.

But someone just recently did introduce a pain reliever based on DMSO. We'll see how long before the PC police prosecute him. (I get mine at a local farm supply store--it is clearly marked, Not for Human Use! But, when the gout gets real bad, and the cherry juice doesn't help any more, I manage to spill some DMSO on my hurting foot and a short time later--voila! The pain is greatly reduced). So there is good reason NOT to tell people about WD40, but also good reason to tell people about DMSO.

my husband mentions an odd side effect of DMSO -- oyster breath (because it is absorbed through the skin!).

DMSO? I live in the UK, and am interested intrying this to relieve joint pain. Does it go by the name of DMSO i England?

My feet have hurt me all my life when I stand in one place for a period of time; now I have diabetes #2 and they hurt most of the time. My lower legs and feet have swollen and my toes feel kind of numb. My diabetes is under control with blood sugar staying around 100. My cardiologist says I have good circulation in my legs. Would DMSO be helpful my problem.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: WE DON'T KNOW ABOUT DMSO, BUT WE SUGGEST YOU TALK WITH YOUR DIABETES CARE PROVIDER ABOUT ALPHA-LIPOIC ACID. IT MAY HELP EASE THE PAIN.

For UK person, DMSO is short for DimethylSulfOxide if my old memory is correct.

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