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Physical therapy and maintenance

The idea to post more about this recently came from reading a bit of
the thread about carpal tunnel and ASTYM. I had to look ASTYM up to
see what it was, and that got me thinking, and doing things a little
differently, and thinking it might be useful to write a teensy bit
more about my own experiences. I already wrote about stretching,
massage, exercise, nutrition, electrical stimulation (and let’s not
leave out another of the most important aspects, rest). The latest
thing I tried is DMSO, and I found myself thinking “why the heck
wasn’t I using this 20 years ago?!”. To which I answered myself
"well, I did try it 20 years ago, but the real question is ‘why the
heck haven’t I been using it for the last 20 years?’ ". To which I
have to admit that I don’t have a very good answer. I must not have
thought that it was that great back then, or that I wasn’t really
having enough of a problem to think it was worth the trouble and
expense of using it, or whatever. Whatever. I will be using it for
the next 20 years, because the stuff works great, and looks to be
benign, for the most part, and failed approval for human use largely
because certain groups of people sometimes don’t want people in
general to be able to benefit too much from something that’s very
beneficial, but also very cheap, and non-regulatable, making it a
lousy thing to try and make money off of. I haven’t looked into it’s
history that much, but it appears to have fallen into that nefarious

  • and mostly unnecessary, i.m.o. - category of treatments that
    people can do for themselves, that work, but for whatever reason,
    have not made it through the established medical channels to get
    official approval. Anyway, I’ve also ordered a book, by Dr. Morton
    Walker, ‘DMSO : Nature’s Healer ’ (How To use DMSO To Relieve Pain,
    Increase Circulation, Repair Tissue Damage, and Fight Degenerative
    Diseases). I mentioned this to my wife, who casually relayed details
    of how her and her ex husband used to use DMSO all the time when they
    used to work out lifting weights. They used to have sore muscles,
    strains, etc., and “rub some of that stuff on and be back in the gym
    in no time”. Mr. Ex was doctor of internal medicine, by the way, so
    these weren’t your average bozo experimenting with fringe treatments.
    Or maybe it is frings, and if so, I could give a flying fig. It was
    Senor Serendipity working it’s ways of wonder again, like it usually
    does, that facilitated me acquiring my current tub of wonder gel. I
    had called one local propane provider, but they were taking too
    long, so I dropped in on another one, one that I’ve been driving by
    for almost four years now without knowing what it was. ’ So-and So’s
    Propane and Feed’, the sign (sort of ) says, so I walk in and look
    around on the shelves while they doodle with my paperwork. Pills
    and potions and ointments and brushes and other assorted doodads,
    all intended for horse care and maintenance , and sitting there
    innocently was a little white jar, 1 lb. of 90% DMSO gel, not
    approved for use on humans, to be sold as a solvent only. Commonly
    and widely used on horses though . More will probably be posted here
    about it’s use, straight from the horse’s mouth, as it were (or will

Dar Shelton


Thanks for the reminder about DMSO, my wife was diagnosed with
Carpel Tunnel recently and she’s willing to try it. We’ll see how it


As a fibromyalgis sufferer, I am very interested in DMSO, and an
doing research on line about it. I am very interested in personal
experiences of using it, and how it worked out. In particular–
concentration, what (if anything) was it mixed with, where/how often
was it applied, how often, etc. The articles I have found so far are
sketchy on details.


As a fibromyalgis sufferer, I am very interested in DMSO, and an
doing research on line about it. Please, be VERY careful with that
stuff! We sometimes use DMSO with horses, but my father " an
orthopedist " has always lectured me not to get any DMSO on myself
because he thinks it’s so darn dangerous! He said they’ve been
trying to find ways to use it with medicine because of it’s ability
to cross cell membranes so easily, but they haven’t had much success
with it as compared with it’s negative side affects. DMSO crosses
cell membranes very easily, so in theory it can be used to help
medicines cross over into effected areas of the body. But anything
that can bring ‘good’ things across can also bring a lot of ‘not so
good’ things across. My dad says it also might possibly have some
negative side affects on the heart. You don’t want to play with that!
Like I said, we use it with horses, but ALWAYS with gloves on so we
don’t get it on ourselves. We use it in horses by mixing it with
steroidal anti-inflammatories as a sweat for non-acute leg injuries.
But the big thing to remember is that a horse with a leg that isn’t
working is potentially a dead horse. Not because we’ll put the horse
down if it can’t work, but because if one leg is off, either the
other legs take too much pressure and founder (potentially deadly),
or the horse’s kidney, liver, etc. stop working because if the horse
isn’t moving correctly, it’s body functions don’t work correctly. So
for horses, the bad side effects of DMSO are out-weighed by it’s
positives for the life of a horse, but not for a person. My advice
would be not to use the stuff! Also, I’ve accidentally gotten a
little DMSO on my fingers before. I IMMEDIATELY tasted garlic in my
mouth. That’s how quickly it goes through your blood stream.

DMSO is used in many human OTC topical pain medications. Many of
which are used in hospital ER’s. It is a carrier of other meds and
is considered to do this job very well. I don’t think that the taste
of garlic, which is there, has been proven to be harmful although I
stand to be corrected.

Many years ago, when it took two people to raise up a ramp on a old
horse trailer, my student was so excited about hearing she had won,
as we were just lifting the ramp, let her side go, and the thing fell
on my foot. My toe was smushed, and people rushed to get my boot off.
My toe was huge and pounding. LOL Not funny at the time, but
definitely would have been a cartoon… I told her to grab the DMSO
and pour it on my toe. All the way back from the event all I could
taste was garlic, and it wasn’t funny.

We hosed it and of course I lost the nail, but it grew back
eventually. Back then, in 1965, we used leather gloves, because I
don’t remember anyone but nurses and doctors using latex gloves. Even
a drop on the skin can cause it. I still have a bottle of it from the
80’s in my First Aid kit for the barn with a package of latex gloves.


DMSO is used in many human OTC topical pain medications. Many of
which are used in hospital ER's. It is a carrier of other meds and
is considered to do this job very well. I don't think that the
taste of garlic, which is there, has been proven to be harmful
although I stand to be corrected.

That may be so, but you should ONLY use it with a doctor’s orders.
There are very few people who’s advice I take as an absolute, and on
many things, I tell my dad that he’s being an idiot (what you’re
kids are supposed to do). But when it comes to medical stuff, I
listen to him 100%. The man’s a Johns Hopkins trained surgeon, and at
73 he’s on every darn national board out there and requested to teach
at every convention out there. And he’s one of the only doctors I
know who thinks it’s his duty to give free medical care to those who
can’t afford it. You don’t see that much any more. So I wouldn’t take
his advice lightly. He always tells me that if something seems like a
good quick fix, then it will probably hurt you, and he seems to
think DMSO can easily be just that. I would stay away from it unless
your doctor gives you a prescription.

I just started reading the book about DMSO by Dr. Morton Walker, and
the first chapter I started was the one on toxicity and side effects.
I haven’t delved deeply into it, but it appears that it is quite safe
when applied to skin, with a lethal toxicity rating in test animals
about 7 x safer than aspirin. I’m not going to argue with anyone
about this; the literature is out there, and there doesn’t appear to
be any real evidence that it’s dangerous as a topical remedy. I could
be wrong, because I haven’t read much, except breezing througha
chapter which details significant clinical tests, and all I keep
reading as I skim is things like “no significant side effects”, “no
harmful changes”, “blood levels return to normal soon after
application”, “no ill effects from normal amounts used on skin in
human tests”, etc… It burns for a few minutes but works like crazy.
Not just works a little bit; works like crazy. More later. My advice
is to research it (which I’m doing), talk to the doctor (which I’ll
get around to) and not listen to heresay or rumors(which I aint), and
then decide for yourself about use (which I done did and is doing)


it appears that it is quite safe when applied to skin, with a
lethal toxicity rating in test animals about 7 x safer than
aspirin. I'm not going to argue with anyone about this; the
literature is out there, and there doesn't appear to be any real
evidence that it's dangerous as a topical remedy. 

My reading on the internet (quite a few sites) is along the same


DMSO is a very powerful solvent. At very least you risk skin
irritations like dermititus etc. same as printers.

It is not something you want to casually expose yourself to.

Use it with appropriate caution - well ventilated, avoid contact,
etc. and you’ll be fine (for medium values of “fine”)

interesting thing about it being a good solvent - most gloves are
inadequate. see

Please take care. DMSO facilitates the transfer of other substances
into the body. It should not be used without proper evaluation of
your need for it. With outran hazmat response team we treated the
stuff as being toxic as we could not determine whether it was
contaminated or not.


I’m not a person to put my faith in Wiki – but — this is what
Wiki has to say about it…medically…


Use of DMSO in medicine dates from around 1963, when an Oregon
Health & Science University Medical School team, headed by Stanley
Jacob, discovered it could penetrate the skin and other membranes
without damaging them and could carry other compounds into a
biological system. In medicine, DMSO is predominantly used as a
topical analgesic, a vehicle for topical application of
pharmaceuticals, as an anti-inflammatory, and an antioxidant.
Because DMSO increases the rate of absorption of some compounds
through organic tissues, including skin, it can be used as a drug
delivery system. It is frequently compounded with antifungal
medications, enabling them to penetrate not just skin but also toe
and fingernails.

In cryobiology DMSO has been used as a cryoprotectant and is still
an important constituent of cryoprotectant vitrification mixtures
used to preserve organs, tissues, and cell suspensions. Without it,
up to 90% of frozen cells will become inactive. It is particularly
important in the freezing and long-term storage of embryonic stem
cells and hematopoietic stem cells, which are often frozen in a
mixture of 10% DMSO, Media and 30% fetal bovine serum. In the
cryogenic freezing of heteroploid cell lines (MDCK, VERO, etc.) a
mixture of 10% DMSO with 90% EMEM (70% EMEM + 30% fetal bovine serum

  • antibiotic mixture) is used. As part of an autologous bone marrow
    transplant the DMSO is re-infused along with the patient’s own
    hematopoietic stem cells.

In a 1978 study at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland,
Ohio, researchers concluded that DMSO brought significant relief to
the majority of the 213 patients with inflammatory genitourinary
disorders that were studied. They recommended DMSO for all
inflammatory conditions not caused by infection or tumor in which
symptoms were severe or patients failed to respond to conventional

DMSO has been examined for the treatment of numerous conditions and
ailments, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has
approved its use only for the symptomatic relief of patients with
interstitial cystitis.

In interventional radiology, DMSO is used as a solvent for Ethylene
Vinyl Alcohol in the Onyx liquid embolic agent, which is used in
embolisation, the therapeutic occlusion of blood vessels.

In medical research, DMSO is often used as a drug vehicle in In vivo
and in vitro experiments. However, when a researcher is unaware of
its pleiotrophic effects, or when the control groups are not
carefully planned, a bias can occur; an effect of DMSO can be
falsely attributed to the drug. For example, even a very low dose of
DMSO has a powerful protective effect against acetaminophen induced
liver injury in mice. DMSO is metabolized to dimethyl sulfide and
dimethyl sulfone. It is subject to renal and pulmonary excretion. A
possible side effect of DMSO is therefore dimethylsulfidemia, which
may cause a related blood borne halitosis symptom.

Veterinary medicine

DMSO is commonly used in veterinary medicine as a liniment for
horses, alone or in combination with other ingredients. In the
latter case, often, the intended function of the DMSO is as a
solvent, to carry the other ingredients across the skin. Also in
horses, DMSO is used intravenously, again alone or in combination
with other drugs. It is used alone for the treatment of increased
intracranial pressure and/or cerebral edema in horses.

Many years ago, when it took two people to raise up a ramp on a
old horse trailer, my student was so excited about hearing she had
won, as we were just lifting the ramp, let her side go, and the
thing fell on my foot. My toe was smushed, and people rushed to get
my boot off. My toe was huge and pounding. LOL Not funny at the
time, but definitely would have been a cartoon... I told her to
grab the DMSO and pour it on my toe. 

I did that to myself more than once with my first horse trailer. I
swear the ramp weight 300 lbs! But to the DMSO…what you did was the
worst possible thing ever for your toe! Even though I don’t agree
with using DMSO on humans without a doctor’s orders, if you are going
to use it, you know that you should never use DMSO on an acute injury
because it adds heat, and you can cause compartment syndrome. You’re
lucky you didn’t lose the toe! Compartment syndrome is the second
biggest reason for my dad’s having to amputate limbs, only surpassed
by diabetes-related amputations. Hosing/icing was correct (cold to
acute, ‘warm’ injury), but the DMSO added heat to an already 'hot’
injury. I’m sure you would always hose and ice a hot, swollen horse
leg, then maybe use a poultice wrap because it takes away heat. Then
you would maybe use a DMSO sweat only once all the heat’s gone and
you just want to work on swelling. DMSO adds so much heat that it
makes a good blister. And anything that produces enough heat to
blister will cause damage to a newly inflamed injury. If you’re going
to go ahead and use DMSO without a doctor’s orders, please DO NOT use
it on a new injury that has heat already! You could lose parts! I
would have sent this as private, but since you posted something about
using DMSO on an acute injury on the public forum, I wanted to post
the warning against using it on an acute injury in public.

Use it with appropriate caution. 

I agree.

I did decide to order some-- I went with the roll-on bottle, though
that was not cheapest, because it eliminates the whole gloves/no
gloves issue.

I’ll post when I have received it, tried it, an evaluated the


Seems like DMSO would be a good carrier for medicinal 420.

John Denver was a bit ahead of his time Rocky Mountain High of

Richard Hart G.G.
Denver Co.

Just to clarify this. My toe was throbbing, and this was done to stop
the pain until we got home, 250 miles back home from the event. I
went immediately to my doctor, who was a respected Orthopedic
Surgeon. He cleaned the area, and said we could wait until the
toenail came off on it’s own, or let him relieve the pressure. Since
it was still swollen, throbbing, he sterilized a pin, and put it in
the nail. The relief was practically instant, the nail came off in a
few days, and I’ve never had any ill effects 47 years later.

I also did not use DMSO unless it was prescribed by a vet, and only
once or twice and with the proper gloves. The 1985 bottle I still
have has a roller ball in it.

Since the 1980’s I have been using more holistic methods and
modalities on my horses, approved by my vet.

I’m sure that in 1965, the last thing I was concerned about at the
time was the efficacy or cautions with DMSO. I wouldn’t make that
mistake again to be sure, and I do know vets who have used this on
themselves for injuries. Not something I would subscribe to.

Thank you Eleanor for this post.

I'm not a person to put my faith in Wiki I assume you mean

No need to apologize for using Wikipedia. Currently, it’s as
reliable as the Encyclopedia Britannica or any other encyclopedia out
there, with the advantage that incorrect can be corrected
quickly. However, like any encyclopedia, it’s only a starting point
for serious research.

Al Balmer
Pine City, NY

I’ve bitten my tongue about this subject until the post about the
wiki definition. DSMO is one compound that needs much more
investigation. I’m not against, nor am I in favor What has been missed
is the dosage to be used, and all the tests and studies that were
sited in the wiki definition, are about diluted strengths.

Next that needs to be considered is the purity. Where was the DSMO
compounded? How reliable is the source? I sure would not want to use
DSMO that had not been medically compounded with the strictest of
measures for prevention of contamination. Sadly animals and their
medicines are not always up to standards we want.

For the open wound, there is a better way to treat it. Feet in
particular have what is called the filth of society (we walk through
it all day long) that clings to them. So a technique that can be used
by all of us from our stores of chemicals we use in metal working.
Boric Acid. Just get a bottle of Boric Acid solution. It sterilizes
and acts with osmotic pressure to draw infection out of a wound. Put
a gauze pad on the wound after you have washed it. Then put a bit of
the boric acid solution on the gauze about the size of a quarter.
After that wrap the area with cling wrap plastic wrap. Then I usually
reach for the substance that binds the universe, duct tape. You can
use regular medical tape but duct tape works just as well. Complete
tape off the area.

What this does is sterilizes the area, and the acid does not hurt.
Leave it on for a full 24 hours. Then change the dressing doing the
same thing. Do this for 3 to 4 days. It is what a surgeon had me do
for a patient that was having trouble with ulcer- ated sores on her
feet before they did skin grafts.

Boric acid cleans a wound better than alcohol. It also doesn’t sting
or hurt. You can if need be add a cold pack on top of the dressing. I
have a big bottle of it right next to several tubes of super glue in
case I slip and cut myself. I had my knee replaces last Year. No
stitches, no staples, no steri strips, it was just glued shut. I did
find it caused one side effect that should be studied. Where they had
slathered the glue on my leg. for months afterwards and especially
once all glue residue was gone, hair grew where hair had not grown
like that before. I literally had a Mohawk up the center of my knee.

Aggie in Florida going to the mouse house tomorrow.

“incorrect can be corrected” – incorrect according to
whom? Who is the “expert” who decides that what is put up in there
is or is not correct? Anybody can put up whatever they want to, in


Wikipedia is self referenced not peer reviewed such as encyclopedia
Britannica The difference is academic. With Britannica those who do
KNOW do the quality review.