I read with interest Dr. Koelker’s article/letter regarding DSMO and its pain killing effects and would like share my own personal experiences with it since I am an alternative health care practitioner (not a doctor). First, DSMO is a by product of the paper industry and yes, horse people have used this for years with excellent results. Outside of this country and within the US some doctors use it by injection directly into the joints with amazing results. A quick google search will bear this statement out. In my own experience I have used it topically for muscle problems such as pinched nerves, backaches, sore muscles, pulled muscles, etc. I have used both the gel form (which I recommend for areas of the body that the skin is not so sensitive such as legs and arms) in the pure form and then use the liquid form diluted to 50% for sensitive areas such as the neck and face (I suffer from TMJ and it works wonders for relaxing the involved muscles and stopping associated pain) and dilute down to 75% for back and front torso areas. My son is a runner and pulled a deep inner thigh muscle and used it (diluted DSMO) only twice with excellent results (pain was gone and he was able to run again normally). I use it on my dogs also (diluted). Personally I have put a few drops of peppermint essential oil into one ounce of the gel mixing well for joint pain I have in one knee due to having an ACL replacement a few years ago after an accident to stop arthritic pain. I use DSMO to help my clients (I practice massage therapy) with chronic neck and back pain from overly tight muscles. Usually it only takes a few applications to resolve such issues with muscles. Maybe repeated as needed and just a very small amount is sufficient…allow to dry before putting on clothing.
Word of caution. DMSO may cause a feeling of ‘burning’ and redness at the application site, similar to some essential oils with high phenol content such as basil and oregano. If you are sensitive to essential oils I would advise not to use DMSO. If you have skin conditions I would advise to not use DMSO. Do not use if you have a burn on site or sunburn. IF you choose to try DMSO I would advise to buy the liquid form (and its very cheap on ebay) and dilute 50/50 with water and test a spot on the inner elbow to see what reaction you may or may not have FIRST. If you use DMSO and the burn/stinging sensation becomes too much to bear you may simply use water to wash it off…no soap! just water and a wash rag to gently remove it. One other note: DMSO is drying to the skin so if you have dry skin already you may notice an increase in dry skin.
Overall, I have personally found DMSO to be of excellent pain relieving for sore muscle, stiff muscle (such as the neck) and back pain due to muscle issues and it does have its place in a prepared home’s first aid kit.
Thank you for your time and efforts to help others! – R. Laura