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    Old 05-30-2003, 08:45 PM   #1
    Posts: n/a

    Hey my spiney friends,

    I just wanted to share with you all something that seems to have REALLY helped my back pain recently. It was really a fluke becasue I started taking the MSM for a totally different reason and had NO IDEA that it would help with the muscle pain and spasms.

    My neck and lower back (above and below my fusion area) had started bothering me lately as well as my hips, and I decided that I'd better start taking some joint health supplements as a preventive measure and added MSM along with the glucosamine and chondroitin I have been taking for a while.

    The very next day after my first dose of MSM my back pain level was down to a 4. It had been at a pain level of 7/8 for months prior and rx muscle relaxers were not helping at all.......nor had ten additional sessions of PT helped (the PT actually made it worse!)

    I've had trouble sleeping ever since weaning off Oxycontin after my first surgery. Nothing helped with the sleeping either. My PCP gave me an RX of Ambien, but even with it I would only sleep 3-4 hours a night.

    After the third day of taking the MSM I actually slept EIGHT HOURS!!! I think the last time I slept 8 hours was when I was put out for that long for my surgery (and I don't think that really even counts!) I've continued to sleep much better almost every night now.

    I've continued to take 1500mg of the MSM twice a day for the last few weeks and been able to keep my pain level at a 4/5 and continued to be able to sleep much better at night.

    At first I didn't know what to attribute the improvements to, but the only thing I had done differently was taking the MSM; so I looked up some infor on it and it did say that it can also help muscle pain and promote better sleep.

    Just wanted to let y'all know how much it has helped me in case you wanted to give it a try.

    love and prayers,


    ~ 48 year old female; currently self-employed as an artist/designer/woodcrafter.
    ~ Previously worked in the restaurant biz for 27 years (not so good for someone with a bad back!)
    ~ Hereditary and congenital scoliosis, but it never caused any problems until I was 40+ years old.
    ~ 76 degree curvature had increased 2 degrees in two years 1999-2001; indicating surgery was necessary.
    ~ Surgery in March of 2001.
    ~ Fusion and insturmentation of C7 - T9.
    ~ Fourth rib removed; 5th and 6th rib cut back halfway; removed ribs were morselized and used for the grafting, plus additional bone harvested from hip.
    ~ After tthe hardware was attached, spine was straigntened 20+ degrees.
    ~ 2 weeks in the hospital.
    ~ Brace worn for five months. Bone growth stimulator device also worn several hours per day.
    ~ PT 5 mos. after surgery caused increased pain.
    ~ Follow-up surgery to remove hardware scheduled for Feb. 2002.
    ~ Round 2 of PT 2 mos. after hardware removal.
    ~ Medically released to return to full activity in July 2002.
    ~ Increased pain upon returning to regular work schedule.
    ~ Round 3 of PT in April/May 2003; continually increasing pain.

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    Old 05-30-2003, 09:12 PM   #2
    winged phantom
    Senior Veteran
    Join Date: Jul 2002
    Location: Central Florida
    Posts: 956
    winged phantom HB User

    Hi AJ,
    I know you mentioned it to me in another post... What exactly is it and what is the usual dosage? I guess I should do the research... But I'm so glad it is helping for you! That must be a huge relief!

    I should check into it when I get back. thanks for the info.
    • 12/29/89 C5-6 Microdiskectomy (no fusion)
    • 4/9/03 ACDF C4-7 with plating and donor bone

    Old 05-30-2003, 09:25 PM   #3
    Posts: n/a


    The full name of the stuff is methylsulfonlymethane. Did you ever hear of DMSO that was used many years ago? MSM is kind of a cousin to that.

    The supplement catalog that I have (Puritans Pride) has it available in 500, 750, 1000 and 1500mg tablets, and also in powder form and a cream.

    It is also included in some glucosamine complexes. It
    is mainly touted for use to maintain healthy joints...something about sulfer complexes that is good for the joints.

    One other thing that I will mention is that I had avoided trying the MSM in the past becasue I am allergic to 'sulfa drugs' and assumed that I would be allergic to the MSM becasue it contains sulfer. I guess sulfer and sulfa drugs are two different things though. I found that info on a web site (but I can't remember which one). There was also a site that had a bulleting board and I found a lot of good info there, and a lot of personal stories of improvements from taking the MSM.

    HAVE A GGOD TRIP! HAVE FUN (but don't overdo!)


    Old 05-31-2003, 10:16 PM   #4
    Join Date: Jan 2003
    Location: St Catharines, Ontario, Canada
    Posts: 576
    joprud HB User

    Hi AJ,

    Thanks for sharing this info with have been such an awesome support to everyone since your arrival...I'm so glad that you've found something that has lowered your pain level some and is helping you sleep better...I'm glad you joined've been a great addition to our little is it that this board seems to attract such awesome people?...things that make ya go hmmmmm!

    Take Care,

    • Sept‘63,fall on back on stairs,compression fractures of T6 and T8
    • 1993 X-ray Diagnosed DDD
    • Nov,2002 MRI C4-C5 posterior osteophytic bar effacing ventral thecal sac, stenosis of neural foramina.C5-C6 posterior disc protrusion effacing VTS. Stenosis of neural foramina.C6-C7 posterior disc herniation effacing VTS.stenosis of neural foramina.C7-T1perineural cysts in both neural foramina.left convex scoliosis mid thoracic spine.wedging of T7. wedging of T5.degen.end plate changes at T8-T9. L4-L5 diffuse disc bulge effacing VTS.hypertrophy of facet joints,central spinal stenosis.L5-S1 posterior disc protrusion with associated tear of annulus fibrosis. hypertrophy of facet joints.S1-S2 Perineural cysts involving S1-S2 nerve roots.
    • So far have tried: meds,physio,acupuncture all to no avail.

    Old 05-31-2003, 10:18 PM   #5
    Senior Veteran
    Join Date: Apr 2003
    Location: Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts: 559
    jdog HB User

    What is MSM for the Acronym challenged?

    L3/4 Lam. 2/2001
    ACDF C5/6/7 8/2002
    L4/L5 Herniated 1/2003

    Old 05-31-2003, 10:48 PM   #6
    Posts: n/a


    You all are a wonderful little family to be a part of!!
    Even in the very short time that I have been hanging out with you all I have learned heaps and been blessed big time. Being in pain and having pyhsical problems may limit where we can go and what we can do......but it can't stop us from caring and being there for one another when the world gets us down.


    It's methylsulfonlymethane. If you were looking for it on-line or at a drug store in the supplements section, it would most likely be just labeled as "MSM" though. (at least that is what is on the label of the stuff I use.) I'm curious to see if it has the same effect on anyone else who tries it. I have a hard time finding things (natural supplements OR prescription meds) that work the way they are supposed to for me. The things that are supposed to make one drowsey usually get me wired. So I am pretty dang thrilled to have found something that has good effects and no negative ones.


    Old 06-01-2003, 01:19 AM   #7
    Senior Veteran
    Join Date: Jul 2001
    Location: australia
    Posts: 616
    mel333 HB User

    Hi aj,

    This is great news! I was taking MSM,chronditon and glucosamine a while back and gave up. I started taking it again aweek ago as I am scared of my up comming surgery and have noticed a slight improvement in my dodgy neck. I will take more now and thanks for the inspiration. What sort of dosages per day are you taking? Hope things keep getting better.

    23rd July 03, ADR c5/6
    Also disc bulges c3/4 and 6/7. Numerous facet and nerve blocks along with extensive conservative treatment prior to surgery.

    Old 06-01-2003, 08:27 AM   #8
    Posts: n/a

    Hi Mel,

    I have been taking the 1500mg tab at least twice a day (sometimes 3x) along with EsterC (I read somewhere that it was good to take the C with it).

    My surgery was very extensice and they straightened my scoliosis curve by 30 degrees and fused from C7 - T9. My back just constantly felt like it was totally tied up in knots. It's like taking a 'C' and pullint int into a '('. On one side the muscles were streteched out very tightly and the other side they were given a lot of slack. I could be sitting and just watching TV and have spasms that literally felt like I'd been hit with a brick that would make me jusp out of my seat.

    Prescription muscle relaxers had a very minimal effect, as did physical therapy and massage 2x week. The muscles were just TOO TENSED UP to generate any progress. I am supposing that 'my drastic results' with the MSM had a lot to do with the severity of my muscle pain and spasms. They still 'hurt' pretty much all the time.....but to a lesser degree.....and I can do more now without increasing the pain 'too' much.

    As for the long term benefits of the glucosamine and chondroitin that I take, and the MSM on the health of my joints.....only time will tell. But with the lessened muscle pain I have been able to do a lot more of my strengtheneing exerecises that are supposed to help support my spine and keep me from over using the areas above and below my fusion.

    What type of surgery is it that you are having?


    Old 06-01-2003, 12:23 PM   #9
    Senior Veteran
    Join Date: Jan 2003
    Location: Indiana
    Posts: 708
    franjo HB User


    Okay, you've got me hooked. I'm going to check this out for myself. It's exciting that you've experienced this improvement from pain. Certainly a reason to rejoice.

    Thanks for the info. I've already added it to "the list".

    Keep feeling gooder!


    Spina-bifida occulta; Congenital Scoliosis (dextrorotatory and 'S' curve, 42 thorasic and 57 degrees lumbar); Meningomyelocele (split cord @ L1); Diastematomyelia (re-sectioned at L2-3); tethered cord @ S-3; cysts on cord; various developmental abnormalities of the spine: narrowing of all disk spaces, defects in posterior arches, ectasia of the spinal canal and dura, segmental disease, sclerosis in L. iliac bone and adjacent sacroiliac joint, unilateral osteitis condensans ilium, hypertrophic facet disease L4-5 and L5-S1.

    Surgeries include, but not limited to:
    Lumbar fusion-1968
    Fusion with Herrington Rod instrumentation-1970
    Femoral osteotomy-1971
    Tethered cord release-1987
    Rod removal-1987
    Chiari-type pelvic osteotomy-1988
    Trochanteric osteotomy-1989
    Tethered cord release-2003
    Fusion with instrumentation with lots and lots of screws-2003

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