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 (& vitamins)

BOTTOM LINE: Medicines didn't help or had unacceptable side effects; vitamins haven't reduced my pain.

After the painkillers (e.g., oxycodone, hydrocodone) were ineffective, at various times I took muscle relaxants (Flexeril), NSAIDsnon-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug(Advil, Aleve), and anti-seizure medication (Neurontin). None of them reduced my pain.  

Then I tried SSRI's—selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors—which are most often prescribed for depression, but also for pain (Cymbalta, Savella). The Cymbalta made me vomit and the Savella made me nauseous. 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 nauseous, so later I took it at a very low dose. It had 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 treatment).

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 vitamins. 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 am taking Vitamin D supplements again (have been since 2015), but they haven't had a direct impact on my pain. However, if my overall health and vitamin levels are good, then I 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 since mind-body approaches ended up significantly helping me (e.g., JFB-MFR treatment and reading about mindbody). I feel that while vitamins and oils 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 may have also 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. (There are various lists of antioxidant-rich foods that can be found on the internet: Best Health, WebMd, Wikipedia, Livestrong, etc.) See more information in the Nutrition & environment link under "Self treatments & personal action" in the Treatments tab of this website.