Arthritis creates such dilemmas for its sufferers. There are medications that alleviate pain reasonably well, but many or most of them have serious side effects. Narcotics cause addiction if they are used for extended periods; so do tramadol (Ultram) and pregabalin (Lyrica), which are sometimes prescribed for painful joints. NSAIDs also ease joint pain temporarily, but they can cause digestive problems, harm the kidneys or raise the risk of heart attacks. Could you take MSM for joint pain?
Trouble with Diclofenac:
Q. I have had arthritis for years and was taking diclofenac. However, my doctor took me off of it because it started to affect my kidneys.
When the joints in my thumbs started to swell so I couldn’t even open a soft drink bottle, I began looking for some help. Lucky for me, I found MSM crystals.
After taking MSM for three days, the swelling in my thumbs went down. It’s been a few months and I am now able to walk three miles a day and have had other positive results. For example, my hair and my nails have improved.
I know that this won’t cure arthritis, but it seems to have slowed its progression.
What Is MSM?
A. MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is a natural compound that has been used for relieving arthritis pain. MSM for joint pain has been more thoroughly studied in Europe than in the US; one Italian study of 120 people with arthritis in their knees found that it performed well in combination with boswellic acid (International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology, March, 2016). A small Israeli study also found benefit with MSM for joint pain over three months (BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, June 27, 2011).
We have heard previously that MSM might help nails and hair, although we could not find any studies to support this claim. It does seem to be fairly safe, however (Food and Chemical Toxicology, Oct., 2002).
You’ll find suggestions for many nondrug approaches to ease joint pain in our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis. You might be able to use one or two in combination with the MSM to get relief.