Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

MSM Experiment

Posted by Aly on 9/16/03 at 12:11 (130218)

Hello all,

Some of us have been trying MSM to see if it helps alleviate our pain. I found this on the internet, regarding how much MSM to take:

'For general maintenance and health 1000-2000 mg per day
For back, knee, head, wrists(FEET??)problems etc. 2000-8000 mg per day
For pollen sensitive persons 3000-4000 mg per day'

Based on the above, I've just upped my dosage to 6000 mg per day. It's been 2 weeks since I started MSM, I think I'm a little better (seems when I have a bad day, I seem to recover from it faster) but I'm not sure. I think for me, 2 weeks just isn't long enough to judge... Will update in a couple more wks...

For those of you who are also experimenting with MSM - any changes?


Re: MSM Experiment

Kathy G on 9/16/03 at 16:44 (130258)

Thanks for the report, Aly. I went for my annual physical today but I forgot to ask my doctor about MSM. I looked at it at Costco but can't decide on whether to try it or not. I know I don't see any difference with the Fish Oil. Well, as I write this, I take that back. Maybe it has helped my hand some. It's hard to say; it just seems to hurt all the time. (It's OA - has nothing to do with PF but I thought it might help me with the overall inflammation.) You know how it is, with pain. After a while, you can't remember what it's like not to have it and it becomes hard to say whether it's better or you've just grown accustomed to it.

Last week you had a neat link on MSM and now I have time to study it. I am very curious about why the doseage is different for people with pollen sensitivities. I'm sure I'll figure it out when I do some investigating.

Re: MSM Experiment

marie on 9/16/03 at 19:55 (130285)

Thanks for the report. I have been taking 2000 per day for about 7 months now and I am doing very well. I know I may never be able to play tennis but I can walk...pretty fast now. I take a combination of MSM and Glucosamine...two in one. I started taking MSM because the Vitamin Store's owner has fibromyalgia and arthritis and she told me it's all she takes. So i thought what the heck and tried it. All I know is that I'm sticking with it....because I can walk, stand in line and even dance a little.

Re: MSM Experiment

Aly on 9/17/03 at 13:16 (130347)

Hi there Kathy,

I think that the pollen reference was for how much MSM to take to treat pollen allergies, if I recall the context correctly. I should've posted the link - I have no idea where it was now! :)

Is Fish Oil supposed to do something for inflammation? (What, a supplement I've overlooked for my PF??) It so happens that I started taking it about a month ago anyway, b/c I don't like seafood but know that fish is a good part of a healthy diet... How much do they say you should take for treating something like PF?

Re: MSM Experiment

Aly on 9/17/03 at 13:19 (130348)

Oh Marie, I do hope you'll play tennis one day, or do whatever it is you used to do before the PF. Your mention of tennis made me long for it - I used to love to play (not very well, admittedly, but it was the one sport I really enjoyed.) Oh well, one day. For now, I will set my goals on the walking, standing in line, dancing again!

Re: MSM Experiment

Kathy G on 9/18/03 at 13:30 (130453)

I have tendonitis in my hand and found out a few months ago that I also have fairly advanced osteoarthritis in that hand, as well as in the other. It's in the CMC joint which is at the base of the thumb and having an aching thumb can really limit your activities. The doctor seems to think that I may have to consider surgery within the next year or so, and I'm hoping to avoid that as long as I can.

There isn't a whole lot written on osteoarthritis and I'm quite amazed. There's tons on rheumatoid arthritis which I don't have, thankfully. It seems as though OA is almost considered a part of aging although the doctor said that at 54, he's a little surprised at how advanced mine is and how much swelling there is, given I've been on Vioxx for years.

One of the things I did learn from my research is that Fish Oil is supposed to help reduce the inflammation of OA. I currently take 2 - 1,000 mg capsules a day. I think they recommend more but my stomach won't tolerate any more. I figured one fringe benefit might be that it would help my PF but I can't honestly say that it has. On the other hand, from what I can read, it's a supplement that few of us wouldn't benefit from. I have slightly elevated cholesterol and am interested in seeing if it has lowered it at all, as that is supposed to be one of its benefits. It also is believed to help prevent heart disease.

A few issues ago, Consumer Reports ran a study of it, and after reading it, I figured everyone should be taking it!

Re: MSM Experiment

Kathy G on 9/18/03 at 13:41 (130455)

I should add that one of the things that they strongly recommend for people with OA is walking. Well, we all know I can't do that. Then there's weightlifting, but I can't do that because of my hands, even with supports. Then there's swimming. I can do that in the lake and ocean in the summer but I'm allergic to the chlorine in indoor pools so I can't do that. There's weight loss but I'm not overweight. Heck, I'm not going to give up one of the activities still available to me!

I've pretty much stopped worrying about it and do the best I can. I could get so frustrated that I would drive myself out of my mind if I chose to dwell on all the things I should be doing but can't do! On days that those thoughts present themselves, I practice Julie's breathing techniques and get myself busy to keep from obsessing! :D

Re: MSM Experiment

Aly on 9/18/03 at 14:16 (130458)

Hi Kathy,

When you say you can't do weightlifting is it b/c of your tendonitis or does it have something to do with OA? I ask this because I've had tendonitis in both hands/wrists/forearms for over 5 years, caused originally by my computer keyboard. I also had bad pain in the base of my thumb joint. Even one pound weights would cause everything to flare up, and I believed that I would never be able to lift weights again. I pretty much avoided anything using my arms - I carried grocery bags by hanging them in the crook of my arm (or got my boyfriend to carry them all!), pushed open heavy doors with my shoulder, etc. I can remember being in so much pain that on occasion I drove with my elbows!!

About 6 months ago I had to work off-site in a different office, where my keyboard was completely non-ergonomic. Two full days of keyboarding and I had the worst flare-up ever, with the possible exception of the very first one. Anyway, I was unable to work and had to go out on disability for 2 wks, and my doctor sent me to physical therapy. I was forced by my therapist to do specific exercises for my wrists & forearms with one pound weights, despite the fact that it felt worse (how sad that I'd gotten to the point that 1 pound felt heavy for me!) and I had to take NSAIDS to get through it. It took 2 or 3 months but I am now better than I've ever been since I first had tendonitis. It seems that all those years I spent avoiding stressing the area was only weakening it further and ensuring that my muscles would not be able to handle the workload that daily life required (thus leaving my tendons to do all the work.) I do have to keep everything ergonomic still - a few nights without the correct computer setup flared everything up again...

I don't know if this info helps you at all, but I had to write. Having both feet and wrist problems was very depressing. I was so excited to be able to actively change my pain level, at least in one area! I am literally typing pain-free (and without wrist wraps or supports!) for the first time in years. I look forward to every opportunity to use the muscles, instead of avoiding it. I see a heavy door as an opportunity now, to work those muscles and keep them pain free. I must stress that I know nothing about OA, but saw during a *very* brief search on the internet that weightlifting can help. Only you know what's best for your body though, and as I said I know nothing about OA, so if I'm off base then just disregard. :)

Take care & good luck,


Re: MSM Experiment

Kathy G on 9/19/03 at 08:30 (130512)

Thanks so much, Aly! We seem to share similar problems! My tendonitis (it's actually called Dequervains Tendonitis) started, ironically, when I purchased Miriam Nelson's book, Strong Women live Longer. I started her weightlifting regime and the pain started in my hand. I went for OT for quite a while and I have a series of exercises I do with putty to strengthen my hands and keep them flexible. I also had iontophoresis (sp?) and ultrasound. She made me a custom splint and I wore it for a while and then was relatively painfree for over a year.

When I started working at the library, the pain came back with vengeance and I couldn't even stand the custom splint. That's what drove me to see a hand specialist who was aghast because I had the tendonitis but also had this fairly advanced OA in the CMC joint. He couldn't believe I hadn't seen a doctor for it. I pointed out that I thought the pain was from the tendonitis. When I'd had x-rays in '99, there was no sign of arthritis whatsoever. Not only that, I had been taking Vioxx and Glucosamine w/chondroitin for quite some time.

You're right about food shopping --- that and driving, when it's acting up, absolutely kill me.

I asked the doctor if I could try lifing weights and he just kind of smiled and said I could try it, with the supports on. He said the rule of thumb (no pun intended) should be, if it hurts, don't do it. I tried it and it hurt.

I'm glad to hear of the progress that you've made and I haven't completely given up. Today I have a few errands to do and then I thought I'd try crocheting. That's something I haven't been able to do much at all for the last six months or so.

One day at a time, as they say! Nothing is so bad that it couldn't be worse.

Re: MSM Experiment

Kathy L on 10/20/03 at 11:27 (134728)

My first post was back on Aug. 9th, and then 9/2. I'm still doing so well, I want to encourage others to try these supplements. I just got off my treadmill for a half hour... no PF pain at any time. I'm really very thankful, and feel I was very lucky to have stumbled on to these supplements. My doses are smaller now, I'm taking MSM 500mg once daily (started with 1000mg twice daily), Coenzyme Q10 50mg, Alpha Lipoic Acid 100mg, and Vit. C. And there are days I forget.
For those who didn't see my original posts, I had PF with so much pain I walked only when necessary, for 6 months. I'm pretty convinced the supplements, and rest, led to my recovery.