Healing from Chronic Myofascial Pain—Support for Chronic Pain Sufferers


Treatments: Oral medications

Described below is one of the many approaches I've tried or considered trying for healing my chronic myofascial pain:

This content is not intended as and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. (See full Disclaimer.)

Other oral medications and supplements

BOTTOM LINE:  The following medications didn't help or had unacceptable side effects. Supplements haven't reduced my pain.

After the painkillers (e.g., oxycodone, hydrocodone) were ineffective, I took muscle relaxants (Flexeril®), NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Advil® and Aleve®), and anti-seizure medication (Neurontin®). None of them reduced my pain.

Then, I tried SSRIs (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, such as Cymbalta® and Savella®), which are prescribed for depression most often but also for pain. The Cymbalta made me vomit and the Savella made me nauseated. When I tried the Savella, it had recently been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for fibromyalgia (although that isn't my specific affliction). At first it made me nauseated, so later I took it at a very low dose. It had a very slight and temporary pain-reduction effect. (I'll never know if it was just the placebo effect.) However, it also gave me disconcerting heart palpitations, so I eventually stopped taking it, since the pain relief didn't last and the heart palpitations grew worse.

Like Neurontin, Lyrica® is another anti-seizure medicine that is sometimes used for chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia. I never tried it because of my track record with the other ineffective pills and my eventual significant healing through John F. Barnes myofascial release bodywork (​JFB-MFR PT).

I also tried vitamin D at the suggestion of my physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor. After a few weeks of seeing no effect, I stopped taking the vitamin. Months later I tried it again for a month or two, but I still saw no effect. Several years later, my vitamin D levels tested very low, so for general health I was taking vitamin D supplements again (from 2015 to 2016), but they didn't have a direct impact on my pain, so I stopped taking them. However, I plan on resuming taking them because if my overall health and vitamin levels are good, then maybe there is a better chance my pain can resolve easier.

Some people I've met have suggested other remedies, such as fish oil (Omega-3 fatty acid) supplements. I have not tried these because mind-body approaches ended up significantly helping me (e.g., JFB-MFR PT and reading about mindbody).

I feel that while some vitamins dietary supplements probably can't hurt, they are not the key to my ultimate healing from chronic myofascial pain. Addressing underlying physical and emotional traumas, which are held in the body's connective tissue, is what has helped me the most. I have, however, recently modified my diet, for general health and for the long shot that it might reduce my myofascial pain. In doing so, I've increased my intake of foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids (e.g., salmon, sardines, flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, basil, oregano, spinach).

In 2015, I also took an antioxidant nutrition supplement. After one month, I didn't see any change in my pain, but after three weeks I did notice a significant reduction in my allergic reaction to dust. When I began the supplement, I was already a month into my healthy diet of eating more antioxidants, which also may have affected my reduced reaction to dust, so I can't say for sure if the supplement had an effect.

Instead of continuing on the supplement, I've chosen to get my antioxidants through natural foods, spices, and herbs (e.g., berries, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, green tea, apples, walnuts), and my dust allergy is still under control. Various lists of antioxidant-rich foods can be found on the internet at sites such as Best Health, WebMd, Wikipedia, and Livestrong. For more information, see the Nutrition & environment link on the Self treatments & personal action menu, under the Treatments tab of this website.