The below provides a general overview on this topic and may not apply to everyone. Any treatment protocol should be discussed with a qualified healthcare practitioner ... Please refer to: Medical & Legal Disclaimer.
Managing the Pain
Massages: Endorphins are released during a massage, and these endorphins prevent nerve cells from releasing more pain signals.
Not everybody likes the idea of acupuncture (which is also very helpful in controlling pain) or has the funds for regular professional massages. However, there are a wide range of home-use massage tools and devices that give you access to a healing massage whenever you need relief in the comfort of your home.
- Please click here for information on the benefits of massage.
Knee Health Nutrition
Vitamin C: Moderate to severe knee osteoarthritis is on the rise due to an aging population and increasing rates of obesity. A recent study suggests that fruits with a high vitamin C content can improve bone health of the knee. In a 10-year study of nearly 300 healthy adults, researchers found that an increased intake of Vitamin C was linked to a 50 percent less risk of bone marrow lesions, important markers in the pathogenesis of knee osteoarthritis.
Vitamin D: Previous research linked higher vitamin D levels to improved muscle strength and function in the knee. (Source: "Effects of Antioxidants on Knee Cartilage and Bone in Healthy, Middle-aged Subjects" by Y. Wang at al, Arthritis Res. Ther. 7/6/07; "Vitamin D Improves Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis," www.nutrainingredients.com, 10/21/04).
MSM, methylsulfonylmethane (METH-əl-sul-FON-il-METH-ane) provides sulfur, a vital building block of joints, cartilage, skin, hair and nails, and methyl groups, which support many vital biochemical processes in the body, including energy production. MSM is a naturally-occurring nutrient found in small amounts of many foods. As a dietary supplement, MSM is synthesized. When made correctly, it is identical to that found in nature. MSM can be taken alone or in combination with other joint health supplements, such as glucosamine and chondroitin. Published, peer-reviewed clinical research in the U.S. has shown MSM is safe and effective in increasing joint comfort and supporting a normal range of motion.
Relevant Research / Human Clinical Trials:
Kim LS, Axelrod LJ, Howard P, Buratovich N, Waters RF. Efficacy of methylsulfonyl-methane (MSM) in osteoarthritis pain of the knee: a pilot clinical trial. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 2006;14:286–94.
Southwest College Research Institute, Southwest College of
Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences, Tempe, AZ, USA. [Abstract on PubMed]
In 2004, Kim et al conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to evaluate the effects of distilled MSM on mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the knee. Participants received 3,000 mg twice daily of either placebo or MSM (OptiMSM, Cardinal Nutrition, Vancouver, WA)) for 12 weeks. Patients were evaluated using standardized clinical efficacy scales as well as for several secondary endpoints, adverse events, and clinical laboratory markers. Compared to placebo, those taking MSM had statistically significant reductions in pain and in difficulty performing activities of daily living. Statistically significant reductions in serum homocysteine (a risk factor for cardiovascular disease) and urinary malondialdehyde (a marker of oxidative stress) were also observed. There were no significant adverse events in the study.
Engelke UF, Tangerman A, Willemsen MA, et al. Dimethyl sulfone [MSM] in human cerebrospinal fluid and blood plasma confirmed by one-dimensional (1)H and two-dimensional (1)H-(13)C NMR. NMR Bio Med 2005;18:33l–6. Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Laboratory of Pediatrics and Neurology, L-6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands. [Abstract on PubMed]
(1)H-NMR spectroscopy at 500 MHz was used to confirm that a previously unidentified singlet resonance at 3.14 ppm in the spectra of cerebrospinal fluid and plasma samples corresponds to dimethyl sulfone (DMSO(2)). A triple resonance inverse cryogenic NMR probe, with pre-amplifier and the RF-coils cooled to low temperature, was used to obtain an (1)H-(13)C HSQC spectrum of CSF containing 8 microM (753 ng/ml) DMSO(2). The (1)H-(13)C correlation signal for DMSO(2) was assigned by comparison with the spectrum from an authentic reference sample. In plasma and CSF from healthy controls, the concentration of DMSO(2) ranged between 0 and 25 micromol/l. The concentration of DMSO(2) in plasma from three of four patients with severe methionine adenosyltransferase I/III (MAT I/III) deficiency was about twice the maximum observed for controls. Thus, DMSO(2) occurs as a regular metabolite at low micromolar concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid and plasma. It derives from dietary sources, from intestinal bacterial metabolism and from human endogenous methanethiol metabolism. Copyright (c) 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Barrager E, Veltmann JR, Schauss AG, Schiller RN. A multi-centered, open label trial on the safety and efficacy of methylsulfonylmethane in the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis. J Altern Complement Med 2002;8:167–74.
In a open-label study of 55 patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR; hayfever), MSM at 2600mg/day significantly reduced upper and total respiratory symptoms within 7 days; lower respiratory symptoms were significantly improved from baseline by week 3. No significant changes were observed in plasma IgE or histamine levels. Few side effects were associated with the use of MSM and no patient dropped out of the study due to adverse reactions. Energy levels increased significantly by day 14. The results suggest that MSM may be an efficacious in reducing symptoms associated with SAR.
Lawrence RM. Methylsulfonylmethane (M.S.M.) A double-blind study of its use in degenerative arthritis. Int J Anti-Aging Med 1998;1(1):50 [abstract].
In this abstract, Lawrence presented data on a "preliminary study" in which patients suffering from degenerative arthritis were treated with either 2,250 mg per day of MSM (Adaptin, no manufacturer specified) or placebo for an unspecified length of time. Sixteen patients were reportedly enrolled in the study. Eight received MSM and six received placebo. The author does not indicate what treatment, if any, was administered to the two remaining patients. Lawrence reported "a better than 80 percent control of pain within six weeks of beginning the study." The title of the abstract indicates that a double-blind protocol was followed.
Usha PR, Naidu MUR. Randomised, double-blind, parallel, placebo-controlled study of oral glucosamine, methylsulfonylmethane and their combination in osteoarthritis. Clin Drug Invest 2004; 24:353–63. '
Randomized, double-blind trial comparing MSM, glucosamine, both, or placebo for osteoarthritis of the knee. Approximately 30 patients per group. Dose was 1,500 mg per day for 12 weeks. The efficacy parameters studied were the pain index, the swelling index, visual analogue scale pain intensity, 15m walking time, the Lequesne index, and consumption of rescue medicine. There were statistically significant decreases in pain with Glu and with MSM respectively. The combination treatment resulted in a more significant decrease in the mean pain index than either treatment alone. Conclusion: Glu, MSM and their combination produced an analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect in osteoarthritis. Combination therapy showed better efficacy in reducing pain and swelling and in improving the functional ability of joints than the individual agents. In reality, however, this was an exceedingly poorly reported study and these conclusions must be considered dubious.
Vidyasagar S, Mukhyaprana P, Shashikiran U,et al. Efficacy and Tolerability of glucosamine chondroitin sulphate - methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM) in osteoarthritis of knee in Indian patients. Iran J Pharmacol Ther 2004;3:61–5.
Pearson TW, Dawson HJ, Lackey HB. Natural occurring levels of dimethyl sulfoxide in selected fruits, vegetables, grains and beverages. J Agric Food Chem 1981; 29:1019–21.
Performed at Crown-Zellerbach, this study documents the presence of MSM (DMSO2; Me2SO2) in asparagus, alfalfa, beets, cabbage, corn, cucumber, oats, swiss chard, tomatoes, apples, raspberry, beer, coffee, milk and tea.
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