Monday, November 5, 2007

Who told you to put the balm on?

JACKIE: You put the balm on? Who told you to put the balm on? I didn't tell you to put the balm on. Why'd you put the balm on? You haven't even been to see the doctor. If your gonna put a balm on, let a doctor put a balm on.
KRAMER: I guess I screwed up huh Jackie?
JACKIE: Your damn right you screwed up. Where the hell did you get that damm balm anyway?
KRAMER: The Maestro.
JACKIE: The who? What are you talking about Maestro?
KRAMER: My friend he's a conductor.

JACKIE: Oh oh oh, so a Maestro tells you to put a balm on and you do it?
KRAMER: Well my stomach was burning.
JACKIE: I tell you what this is. This is a public humiliation.
KRAMER: Well I didn't know the balm was gonna work.
JACKIE: Do you know what a balm is? Have you ever seen a balm? Didn't you read the instructions?
KRAMER: Well I ...
JACKIE: No one can tell what a balm's gonna do. They're unpredictable.


Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is a chemical compound with the formula (CH3)2SO. It is a by-product of wood pulping. In 1963, Stanley Jacob, who was working with organ transplant patients in Oregon, discovered that it had the distinctive property of penetrating the skin very readily without damage and could carry other compounds into the biological system. He has since spent his time studying the various uses of the compound.

After rubbing it on the skin, the user notices a taste that has been described as oyster- or garlic-like. It also often causes skin irritation where applied.

In medicine, DMSO is predominantly used as a topical analgesic, a vehicle for topical application of pharmaceuticals, as an anti-inflammatory, and as an antioxidant. It has been examined for the treatment of numerous conditions and ailments. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved DMSO usage only for the palliative treatment of interstitial cystitis. It is taken orally for rheumatoid arthritis. Also, DMSO is commonly used in the veterinary field as a liniment for horses.

DMSO reduces inflammation by several mechanisms. It is an antioxidant and supposedly scavenges the free radicals that gather at the site of injury. DMSO was the first nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory discovered since aspirin.

FDA Holdups

Why hasn’t it been FDA approved? There are several reasons, none of which (in my opinion) have anything to do with the dangers/side effects of DMSO. First, getting a drug or compound through the FDA approval process is extremely time consuming and expensive. It is not worth it unless the drug/compound is patentable, which DMSO is not. This is probably also the reason that good 'ole Marijuana has not been granted full approval. Second, like aspirin and marijuana, DMSO seems to be effective in many different uses; the FDA seems more comfortable with drugs that have a single use. And third, in the FDA's defense, DMSO is a hard compound to conduct double-blind studies with due to its distinctive smell. Note: Some studies have shown possible eye problems (glaucoma) with long term exposure to DMSO and there was one death due to an alergic reaction in the 1970s.

Using as a Treatment for Running Injuries

DMSO does not cure the typical running injuries, but due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it seems to do well at relieving many soft tissue injuries, particularly when they are close to the surface. While the underlying cause of the injury isn't helped, often the inflammation itself becomes the problem after awhile. Upon using it, you will probably either realize improvement quickly, or not at all so you shouldn't use it longterm.


1: I'm not a doctor. I'm not recommending that you use DMSO.

2: It will irritate your skin, give you bad breath, and suck any impurities on your skin into your body, so be sure the application site is clean.

3: Be sure you get "vet grade" DMSO and not industrial grade.


WynnMan said...

Is the balm similar to Icy Hot, Bengay, or is it more medicinal?

The TENS unit is a small elector stimulus unit. Same type of unit pysical therapists use when doing iontophoresis treatment to "itis" areas, etc.. You can get them fairly cheap online PT, or through an actual PT, and in many cases insurance will cover it.

Scott Dunlap said...

Love the Kramer analogy! Very interesting about DMSO.

Glad to have you in the blogging world, Paul!


David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

Medicinal" is an understatement.

Be careful, for sure, but I can say it reduces pain.

Great use of TV as a teaching tool.