The dietary supplement methyl-sulfonyl-methane (MSM) is a type of sulfur required for the formation of healthy tissues, tendons, ligaments and muscles. MSM helps fluids pass through the cell membrane more easily, which reduces inflammation and helps relieve pain. In addition, harmful substances such as toxins and lactic acid are more easily expelled from the cell. A study from Dr Ronald Lawrence indicates that MSM may be able to speed up healing of sports injuries.
Dr Lawrence and associates gave several athletes with acute sports injuries either an MSM capsule or a placebo for this trial. All of the athletes also underwent chiropractic treatment until their symptoms were improved. During the trial, the athletes’ symptoms were graded and the number of clinic visits noted. At the trial’s end, the athletes who had been taking MSM averaged 58% symptom reduction, compared to only 33% for those on placebo. Some of the patients who took MSM and received chiropractic treatment experienced very fast relief of symptoms. This meant that the average number of clinic visits for treatment in the MSM group was a significant 40% less than in the placebo group.
The researchers concluded that MSM exhibits an anti-inflammatory action, enhancing blood supply to injured tissues and reducing muscle spasm. They said that MSM “should be considered as an invaluable addition for treatment of short-term athletic injuries.”
Sources: Ronald Lawrence, Daniel Sanchez, Mark Grosman, “Lignisul MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) in the treatment of acute athletic injuries.” Greenville PA, 1999; Whitaker, J, “Try MSM for Relief from Muscular Pain.” Health and Healing:Oct 1997