Many people swear by MSM as an effective pain reliever in oral and topical application, but like other supplements, alternatives and prescription medications, it works excellently in some and not at all in some and in some, there can be unpleasant side effects.
As an example of this I will describe what happened with my sister and my neighbor who were both using mag oil (MO) for diverse body pain issues. Both were getting approximately 80% pain relief using Magnesium Oil (MO). My neighbor noticed, after years of use, that MO pain relief was declining and she came over to ask what I thought about it.
Previously she was using borax for pain management and it worked extremely well for her, but her doctor asked her to stop taking it, but did not explain why to her. From that point forward, her pain level increased and her quality of life (QOL) decreased very noticeably. I noticed when I would see her outside that she was moving very poorly and was obviously in pain. She normally had very good posture, but when I saw her outside, she was bent over and could not stand straight up. From that point forward she was using MO to effectively relieve the majority of her pain for years, but more recently she told me that MO seemed to be losing effectiveness for her and was wondering what else she could use. I asked her about going back on borax and she said her doctor was insistent that she not go back on borax, but still gave her no reason. Oddly, her doctor was not offering her anything to help her pain even though he could clearly see that she had deteriorated.
From that point forward, she started using topical MSM and that alleviated about 90 % of her pain so she was thrilled! She wasn't good with taking it orally because she couldn't get past the bitterness of it at the dosage she wanted to take and that dose made the MSM capsules too impractical for her. I was watching her and how she was moving and clearly the topical MSM was doing wonders for her. She was standing straight again and moving like a healthy 65 year old(she is in her early 80's). Needless to say, she is now a very happy lady!
On the other hand, my sister who is currently using MO to relieve pain in her neck and upper back with very good effect, wanted to give topical MSM a try also. First she tried it orally and found it to be too bitter to tolerate so she applied it similarly to how she normally applies MO and she was horrified to find out that almost immediately after applying MSM topically, she got that unbearable bitter taste in her mouth again! To add insult to injury, she also lost her sense of smell and taste for 2 to 3 days! She is now back on MO.For me, MSM and DMSO offer me no pain relief at all or at least none that I am able to discern, but I recognize that its effects vary widely from person to person. Borax on the other hand works unbelievably well for me while I have seen many people who did not benefit from borax. It's a lot about trial and error to see what works best for you.So there you have it, sometimes supplements work incredibly well for one person while being a nightmare for someone else or just not effective for the purpose!
MSM: Headaches and nightmares and excessive thirst as a side effect but wow, almost pain free. Had pain in knees, neck, hips, wrists, elbows, and shoulder, feet, back, fingers on right hand. I can function again without pain. Been only a week and a half since taking it.