MSM, also known as methylsulfonylmethane, is a well-known health supplement that has been used for many years for the treatment of various musculoskeletal disorders associated with pain. MSM is most commonly used for management of osteoarthritis pain. Osteoarthritis is a very common musculoskeletal disorder that affects millions of people globally. Osteoarthritis usually affects the large joints in the body and can cause moderate to severe pain. As the disease progresses, it leads to joint swelling and limited joint movement. The disorder is the most common cause of permanent disability in many people. Unfortunately, there is no cure for any arthritic disorder and the majority of treatments are only to manage symptoms. Most individuals with osteoarthritis require prescription pain medications that are not only prohibitively expensive but also associated with undesirable side effects.
Is MSM effective?
Because of lack of adequate therapies in conventional medicine, many people with musculoskeletal problems have been turning to MSM.
There is ample evidence indicating that use of MSM on a regular basis can not only help prevent progression of arthritis, but also relieve the pain and swelling.
MSM is not a one shot deal and it must be consumed regularly for a long time before its benefits can be seen on the joints. While MSM has been shown to be effective in osteoarthritis, it may also be useful for people with early rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and gout.
How does MSM work?
It is known that the major component of MSM is sulfur, which plays a role in the health benefits.
In most joint disorders there is a loss of cartilage, which leads to friction and pain when the joint is moving. MSM works by replacing the cartilage in the joints and also has the ability to relieve pain. Besides replacing cartilage, MSM also induces synthesis of more synovial fluid which helps nourish and lubricate the joint. The fluid helps prevent friction during movement of the joint.
Where can I buy MSM?
All consumers should be forewarned about fake and counterfeit MSM supplements. In fact, some MSM supplements have even been found to contain impurities. So always buy MSM powder from a reputable dealer. The two purest forms of MSM are OptiMSM sold by Bergstrom Inc. and MSM Pulver sold by Cell Nutrition. These two formulations are prepared under strict aseptic techniques using the current standards of manufacture.
How should I use methylsulfonylmethane?
MSM is best taken once a day with a glass of water. It is best to avoid taking MSM with other similar products to avoid interactions and side effects. The supplement should be taken at the same time every day. MSM can be used to prevent the development of joint problems and it can also be used to treat osteoarthritis.
What are side effects of MSM?
Some of the mild side effects of MSM include stomach upset and a headache. These side effects do not occur in everyone and tend to resolve spontaneously. Sometimes taking MSM with food prevents the stomach upset.
Anyone with an allergy should be cautious about taking MSM.
What precautions should I take when taking MSM?
Individuals with allergies should first speak to their healthcare provider before taking MSM. In many cases, the allergy is not to MSM but to the other ingredients in the formula.
MSM should not be taken by pregnant women or women who are breast-feeding since the long-term effects of this supplement on the infant are not known.
MSM is not a replacement for your conventional arthritis medications but only a supplementary therapy.
Can MSM help other medical problems?
There are some anecdotal reports that MSM can help people who have peptic ulcer disease, insomnia, diarrhea, upper respiratory infections, and allergies. Unfortunately, there are no clinical trials conducted on the effectiveness of MSM for the treatment of these disorders. The only way to know if MSM will work for these disorders is to try it out.
What is the dose of MSM?
The dose of MSM is 0.5-1mg/kg per day. MSM is widely sold in many health food stores, spas and is readily available over the Internet. MSM is available as a capsule, tablet, gel, lotion, or cream.
For oral dosing, the dose of MSM varies from 1-6 grams per day. The dose is generally divided into 3 equal doses spaced every 8 hours.
For topical application one just applies the oil to the skin 2-3 times a day. The oil can be gently massaged into the area where there is pain.
How long do I have to take MSM to get pain relief?
A single dose of MSM is not effective for pain relief. The supplement has to be taken for at least 2-3 weeks to get the desired benefit. However, if you have arthritis or back pain, then you may need to continue with MSM for many months.
Is MSM safe?
The major constituent of MSM is sulfur. Because sulfur is deemed safe there are no restrictions on the recommended dietary allowance. Thus, the manufacturers state that one can take as much MSM as one wants. This will result in no complications.