Musculoskeletal pain has become a leading cause of disability. About 1.71 billion people worldwide suffer from musculoskeletal conditions, out of which 568 million people suffer from lower back pain. (1) Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a naturally occurring chemical in humans, animals and plants. (2) It is usually recommended for reducing pain and swelling. Also referred to as dimethyl sulfone (DMSO2) and methyl sulfone, (3) it is an organosulfur compound containing sulphur, proven beneficial in many health issues. (4) It can be produced in a lab by combining other substances like glucosamine or chondroitin (5) to treat various medical conditions.
Preceding its clinical application, MSM was used commercially as a high-temperature, commercial solvent, with its parent compound, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). (4)
Effects of Musculoskeletal Pain
Musculoskeletal pain restricts a person from performing day to day activities and limits a person’s mobility, which may lead to numerous health issues. Chronic pain can affect one’s social life, decrease productivity in their professional field and alter their lifestyle. Effective treatment for those who suffer from it is crucial to perform daily activities.
Application of Methylsulfonylmethane in the medical field
Methylsulfonylmethane has more than one use. It has been tested to cure more than just musculoskeletal pain and has been proven effective –
Effects on pain:
Methylsulfonylmethane has become a standard solution for improving inflammation and joint and muscle pain (4), mainly for arthritis and muscle recovery after exercise.
A study was conducted on 100 participants over the age of 50. They were given either an MSM supplement combined with vitamin C, collagen, neem and corydalis extracts or a placebo. Participants who took MSM for 12 weeks felt better in their joint pain, stiffness, and swelling than those who consumed a placebo. (6)
Another study on 100 adult participants with knee and hip osteoarthritis were prescribed MSM and placebo. Those given 6 grams of MSM per day for 26 weeks reported more improvement in their arthritis symptoms. MSM has also been very effective in reducing post-exercise pain and soreness. A study on 24 males reported less pain and discomfort after their exercise sessions than those who took a placebo. (6)
Effects on inflammation:
Its anti-inflammatory action helps with many conditions like arthritis, allergies, and skin conditions. (6)
Methylsulfonylmethane contains 34% elemental sulfur (3), a significant component producing collagen and glucosamine. These help in building healthy bones and strengthening joints. Further, it helps produce immunoglobulins vital for a healthy immune system. (7)
Methylsulfonylmethane in treating allergies:
Its effectiveness has also been observed in treating allergies. A study showed that a daily dose of 3 g of MSM reported reductions on more than 50% of their nasal allergy symptoms. (6)
Side effects of MSM:
No significant side effects have been reported in the administration of MSM. Although, some reports indicate mild skin and eye irritation when applied to the skin. (8)
There are no extensive studies on the long-term effects of the medication. (7) Also, not much information is available on its effects on pregnant and lactating mothers. (5)
It is always suggested to let your doctor know about the following before you start taking Methylsulfonylmethane:
- Your pregnancy or if you are planning one
- Any prior health condition
- Any other medication you are on
Shubham Pharmachem: Redefining Healthcare
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Shubham Pharmachem’s blog posts have been written with the information gathered from approved medical journals and websites online. Our research and technical teams strive to provide relevant information through such articles. We strongly advise readers to not consume or administer any medication without prior consultation with their doctor.