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Back & Joint Pain

MSM for Joint Pain

MSM for Joint Pain

Joint Pain

For those who suffer from it, joint pain can be incredibly difficult to deal with, as it often lingers long after the day’s work has been done. Unfortunately, everyone experiences some degradation of joint tissues as they age, eventually leading to ailments like osteoarthritis and other painful joint issues.

Osteoarthritis (OA), a type of arthritis that occurs when flexible tissue at the ends of bone wears down, is the most common chronic condition affecting the joints. Essentially, when the cartilage or cushion between the joints breaks down and leads to stiffness, swelling, and often intense pain.

When we’re young, our joints contain a firm, rubbery material called cartilage that covers the ends of our bones. This provides a cushion between bones and a smooth surface that allows them to slide easily. But as the body ages, lifestyle and simply age catch up to the joints and the cartilage breaks down. This deterioration of cartilage causes the joint to swell and stiffens the joint.

As osteoarthritis continues to develop throughout a lifetime, the bones can also break down, sometimes developing growths called bone spurs, causing bits of bone and cartilage to float around in the joint freely. This elicits the body’s release of cytokines and enzymes to the area, which eventually break the cartilage down further. Eventually, osteoarthritis leads to bone on bone contact in the joint, which creates more pain, more stiffness, and makes the joint practically unusable.

Statistics show that half of all people will eventually develop symptoms of knee osteoarthritis during their lifetime, and 25 percent will develop symptoms of hip osteoarthritis by the age of 85.

With it affecting nearly everyone at some point in life, there are a lot of treatments available for osteoarthritis, some require a prescription and others do not. For mild OA, the usual treatment is nonprescription pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen, and topical creams. Topical pain relievers are great for isolated pain management when just a few joints are involved.


Prescription medication most often prescribed are called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). These can be a little dangerous, as they are particularly bad for the stomach. The FDA warns of cardiovascular side effects and gastrointestinal bleeding as two possible risks, and some also include risks of stroke, heart attack, and life threatening skin reactions.

There are natural remedies for OS that, so far, have been found to have little to no risk of dangerous side effects.

One such treatment option is glucosamine-chondroitin supplements. Glucosamine and chondroitin are naturally found in the joint fluid and thought to trigger cartilage production and reduce inflammation, with some studies showing its ability to relieve moderate to severe pain and slow the progression of OS.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are quite popular supplements that can be found at nearly any drug or grocery store. There is another supplement that is often recommended to be taken alongside Glucosamine and chondroitin that can help boost the effects.

MSM or methylsulfonylmethane is a chemical found in many places like green plants, animals, and humans, and can also be created in the laboratory. While it is also a popular supplement for joint pain, there is only a small amount of research to verify its claims. What little research is available, however, speaks favorably of MSM as a possible treatment for OS.

While MSM is normally taken for joint pain, people take it for a whole range of ailments like People also take MSM by mouth for relief of allergies, chronic constipation, “sour stomach”, ulcers, a bowel disease called diverticulosis, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), mood elevation, obesity, poor circulation, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. MSM is believed to supply sulfur to the body, helping it make other important chemicals.

MSM works by supplementing the body with extra sulfur for creating methionine, which helps in important bodily processes like making other chemicals, forming connective tissue, synthesizing/metabolizing foods and absorbing nutrients to be used for energy. Biologically active sulfur is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is necessary in many bodily functions. MSM is thought to help form connective tissue and repair joints, tendons and ligaments.


One study published in the International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology researched the efficacy of Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) and boswellic acids (BA) versus glucosamine sulfate (GS) in the treatment of knee arthritis.

Researchers conducted the study on 120 participants with arthritis of the knee for a 60 day period. Each participant was treated daily with either 5mg of MSM and 7.2mg of boswellic acids, or 1500mg GS. At the conclusion of the study, as well as 6 months later, each group was tested for pain using a pain scale, and joint function using the Lequesne Index (LI). Results showed that the group being treated with MSM and BA showed improvements in pain and flexibility at the 6 month mark. Researchers concluded from his study that MSM presents another possible treatment option for arthritis, which until this study was basically being treated with glucosamine supplements.

Another form of MSM being tested is Mega MSM. Researchers studies the effects of Mega MSM on participants for 12 weeks on a group of Chinese participants. 100 males and 50 females were given a dose of Mega MSM, and the study concluded that positive effects were observed, including improved joint function, relief of symptoms of joint degradation, and a general positive improvement in quality of life.

Not only has MSM been found to help with joint pain, but it is also being looked at as a possible treatment for many other ailments throughout the body, making it one of those rare substances that is almost a must have for everyone, providing a lot of great benefits in the body with little to no detrimental effects.

MSM can help rebuild the lining of the digestive tract, reduce inflammation, and is also useful in treating leaky gut syndrome, helping to ebb the flow of harmful particles from a leaky gut which cause inflammation.

We’re all going to get older, and with age comes age related illness and a general degradation of the body, but with proper research and an ever-expanding scientific knowledge of wonderful alternative treatments like MSM, joint pain and arthritis doesn’t have to be debilitating.

joint pain

Arthritis Prevention and Joint Pain Masterclass

The next time you’re driving down a highway take a look at the road surface. You’ll see where cars have passed over the asphalt and concrete again and again, causing grooves, bumps, and cracks. Anytime you have repeated stress on a surface, no matter how robust that surface is, it’s going to degrade.

Arthritis Prevention and Joint Pain Masterclass

woman holding onto her knee in painTake your joints, for example. You stress them every day when you walk, sit down, get back up, and when you’re lying in bed. It’s unavoidable. Of course, our joints are designed to withstand moderate strain, but for many unlucky men and women over 45, their joints are just more susceptible to damage. And once the achy and stiff damage starts, it doesn’t take much to make it even worse.

It’s like a toy car going down an already damaged and bumpy highway. If that highway is already beaten and broken, even a child’s small toy car can make the damage worse. It’s only a matter of time and repetition.

If you do not want your joints to get increasingly worse like the asphalt of a highway, you need a way to protect your joints from decay.

Learn about the five pillars of joint health in this free masterclass. It goes through everything you need to know to get your joints back to being strong, resilient, and pain-free — no matter how fragile they are right now. To discover these secrets for yourself, click the link before it expires to claim access to your free joint health masterclass right now. Thank you.

dr ryan shelton of zenith labsIf you liked this video/article, do share it with your friends and loved ones. Subscribe to the Youtube channel for weekly tips on new tools and techniques to improve your health and well-being.

I believe in the original meaning of the word doctor, ‘docere’, which means teacher. I’m here to help educate you on how to take care of yourself in ways that you may not have heard of before, but that are effective. I always want to hear your ideas and feedback so be sure to leave me comments below!




Considering Surgery for Back Pain? Ask These Questions First

We have all experienced back pain to some degree. Maybe you strained a muscle lifting something heavy or perhaps you’re just sore from a tough workout. In cases like this, back pain may be unpleasant, but it is also short-lived. For some people, however, back pain is chronic and debilitating.

According to the American Chiropractic Association, as many as 31 million Americans suffer lower back pain at any given time, and it is the single leading cause of disability around the world. Additionally, back pain is one of the most commonly cited reasons for missed work and the second most common reason for doctor’s visits.

Back pain is difficult to treat because the back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, muscles, and ligaments with many potential causes. If you’ve been experiencing back pain for a significant period of time and nothing else has worked, you might be considering surgery. Before you agree to go under the knife, however, you should make sure you fully understand the choice you are making – ask yourself these questions to make sure surgery is the best option.

What Causes Chronic Back Pain?

Because the back is such a complex structure composed of myriad muscles and ligaments, bones and joints, there are many things that go wrong. Back pain can be caused by something as simple as a strained muscle or ligament, maybe even a muscle spasm. These things can be triggered by lifting something that is too heavy, lifting with improper form, or moving in an awkward or abrupt way. Fortunately, these causes for back pain often resolve on their own with time and with rest.

More serious causes for back pain are often related to structural problems affecting the spine itself. Ruptured or bulging disks, for example, can put excess pressure on nerves in the pine, causing back pain that can be moderate and chronic or sharp and shooting. Sciatica is caused by a bulging or herniated disk in the spine pressing on a nerve, and it causes a sharp, shooting pain that travels down the spine through the buttock and down the leg.

Some of the more long-term causes for back pain include various forms of arthritis and other spinal issues like scoliosis. Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine and, depending on the degree of curvature, it can cause mild to moderate or even intense pain on a daily basis. Arthritis is another chronic condition that can contribute to back pain and it is often also present in the hips, knees, and hands. In some cases, it can even lead to spinal stenosis, a condition in which the space around the spinal cord narrows.

Aside from medical conditions, there are also some risk factors which may make you more likely to develop lower back pain. Some of these risk factors include the following:


  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Pregnancy
  • A stressful job
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Advanced age
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Smoking
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Strenuous physical work


Because there are so many potential causes for back pain, diagnosis is often a complex process. It starts with a physical exam and a review of symptoms but may also include additional tests such as x-rays, MRI or CT scans, bone scans, and even electromyography. In some cases, further examination by a chiropractor may be warranted or at least consulted when it comes to determining the best course of treatment for the problem.

Questions to Ask Before Back Surgery

Treatments vary for the different causes of back pain. In many cases, pain can be managed with over-the-counter painkillers or prescription medications, but these treatments may not address the underlying issue. In more chronic cases, physical therapy may help to correct problems with the spine, muscles, or ligaments and cognitive behavioral therapy can help you learn coping mechanisms for dealing with chronic pain and mitigating its impact on your quality of life.

In rare cases, surgery may be the best option to correct the underlying problem causing your back pain. It is important to understand that back pain is only an option in certain cases – problems that might be resolved with surgery include the following:

  • Herniated disk
  • Spinal fracture
  • Infection in the spine
  • Tumor in the spine
  • Spinal instability
  • Loss of feeling in the legs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control

In cases where back surgery is warranted, there are several different options which include discectomy, percutaneous discectomy, laminectomy (for spinal stenosis), kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty, and spinal fusion. Like all surgery, these procedures come with serious risks, so you need to make sure you fully understand the procedure, the risks, and the recovery before you go under the knife. To ensure that you are fully cognizant of what you are agreeing to, ask your surgeon the following questions:

  1. Have you correctly identified the cause of my pain? Before you agree to go under the knife, you had better be sure that your doctor has correctly identified the problem – nothing is worse than an unnecessary surgery. Make sure your doctor has performed the necessary tests to diagnose your problem and then move to the next question.
  2. Is the cause of my pain treatable with surgery? Once you’ve identified the cause of your pain, you need to ask whether it is treatable with surgery. If your issue is a problem with the ligaments or muscles, surgery will not help – surgery is most helpful for infections, spinal instability, and structural or nerve issues.
  3. What are the chances of success with this type of surgery? There are no guarantees when it comes to back surgery, even if you are otherwise healthy and your surgeon is supremely qualified. Make sure you understand the risks completely and decide whether you are really willing to take them or not.
  4. How many of these surgeries have you performed? All surgeons go through a lengthy education but, like anything in life, practice makes perfect. If you aren’t absolutely sure that your surgeon is qualified to perform the procedure, ask for another surgeon.
  5. What are the prognosis and recovery like for this type of surgery? Surgery is incredibly invasive, and your body is going to need time to recover. During that recovery period, you should expect to experience some pain and there is a risk for post-surgical infection. Ask your surgeon about the recovery for this type of procedure to make sure you can handle it and that you will be able to take the necessary steps to ensure a healthy recovery.
  6. Are there any nonsurgical options available? This question may be the most important of them all because you do not want to put your body through the stress of surgery unless absolutely necessary. Ask your doctor about alternative therapies and consider doing some research of your own about natural remedies. You’ll have to decide for yourself if it is worth dealing with a little bit of daily pain to avoid the risks of surgery.

In addition to asking these questions, you should also ask your surgeon about getting a second opinion. Every medical professional has his or her own way of approaching problems, and some surgeons are more aggressive than others. Even if your second opinion makes the same recommendation, you will have peace of mind in knowing that you made the right choice.

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