Tag Archives: DMSO

Bowed Tendons and Massage

Bowed tendons are most common in horses that work at speed. The inflammation and swelling is caused by rupture of tendon fibers. Aside from speed, other contributing factors are fatigue, poor conditioning, poor footing, poor shoeing, poor conformation…

Often with veterinary problems, there is too much to worry about (icing, medication, stall rest, etc.) to think about muscle spasms and compensations that may affect the outcome of the rehabilitation. The horse may recover, but never move as well as it did before the injury. This may be a sign that there are tight muscles and body work may be the answer.

When a horse is on stall rest and coming back to work, they are often given sedation and muscle relaxers so they don’t hurt themselves and others. Muscle relaxers and pain medication will relax all the muscles and mask problems, but as soon as they wear off, all the muscles will return to their state of tension.

Along with body work, cold laser therapy is wonderful for a bowed tendon, which by definition is inflammation (either acute or chronic) of the tendon fibers. Products such as Traumeel, DMSO, and Transfer Factor can also help greatly in the recovery process.



Ossifying Myocitus

Myocitus refers to a muscle. Ossifying is hardening. The condition is more common in breeds with dense muscles, like Quarter Horses and Mustangs.

Ossifying myopathy is a mechanical lameness caused by improper healing of an old injury to the belly of a muscle (as opposed to the fibrous ends that attach to bone). Scar tissue forms and the muscle loses its ability to stretch. The result is that the leg where the muscle is located loses it’s ability to move through a normal range of motion. There are several muscles in the horse that seem to be predisposed to this complication.

I recently visited a client, a Mustang, that was showing discomfort at the canter going left. Going in the other direction did not seem to be a problem. I worked on her, and much of her body felt great. This mare gets regular body work. Where I did find a lot of tightness and stress was in her left hind above the hock: the gastricnemius and semitendinosus muscle at the back of the thigh. When I watched her walk, the left hock was not flexing as it should.  Without X-ray vision, it is impossible for me to determine: Was the tight muscle coming from a bad joint? Or was the hock not flexing because of the tight muscle?

After a good massage session, the mare felt good everywhere except in that left hind. I suggested that my client have the vet come out. He felt that the leg had suffered some recent trauma (maybe a kick or wild pasture play) and confirmed the diagnosis: The muscle healing was being complicated by excessive fibrous connective tissue. The presence of this scar tissue severely restricts the action of the muscle.

In trying to avoid surgery (which has not had great success in other horses), we are all in agreement to try anti-inflammatory treatments, cold laser, DMSO massaged directly into the muscle, heat packs, good nutrition, and light stretching.

I will follow up in a few weeks, and hope to report good progress in returning to an active life for this sweet mare.



What is MSM?

MSM (methyl-sufonyl-methane) is a biological sulfur found in plants, soils, fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, eggs, meats, and milk. And as omnivores, many of us humans have a readily supply of it through what we eat. Equines rely on their plant based diets for their sources of sulfur.

Sulfur is one of the five basic elements of life; it is found in every cell in the body and is structurally and functionally important to hormones, enzymes, antibodies and antioxidants. Sulfur itself is held mainly in muscles, skin, bones, nails, and hair. It is essential for the synthesis of collagen, plays a role in energy production as a component of insulin, and is essential in maintaining the body’s crucial acid/alkaline (pH) balance.

The cycle of organic sulfur compounds begins in the oceans where microscopic plankton release sulfur compounds. These compounds (salts) are transformed in the ocean into a very volatile compound that escapes from the water as gas, which in turn rises into the upper atmosphere. This gas is exposed to ozone and ultraviolet light where it is converted into DMSO and MSM, which then returns to the surface of the earth as rainwater. Plants take up the two compounds into their root systems and concentrate them into their plant structures. Although MSM is found in food, commercially MSM (the clear crystals we’re all familiar with) is manufactured using a chemical synthesis process of reacting two raw materials: dimethyl sulfoxide from petroleum and hydrogen peroxide from methane.

This synthetic reaction process forms a new molecule: MSM. This processing requires a purification to remove excess impurities. There are two different processes for purification: distillation and crystallization. Distillation requires heat, taking the separate compounds to their unique boiling points (anywhere from 400 to 478 degrees). Crystallization requires solvents. Typically US made MSM is a result of the distillation process, while MSM from China and India is generally made by the crystallization process.

If you are seeking to supplement your horses with a plant sourced sulfur, look to kale as one of the richest sources of sulfur in the plant kingdom. Garlic is also is a high sulfur source. There are some advantages to feeding sulfur from plants: your horse gets the added benefits of the enzymes, fiber, and the co-factors found in whole food. The matrix found in whole food diets is one of the keys to digestion, bioavailability, and cell utilization in the body. Feed chopped kale at ¼ cup to 1/3 cup per day. Kale can be food processed and frozen for convenience.

Overall equestrians and riders can benefit from MSM to support healthy connective tissues like tendons, muscle and ligaments and thus is helpful for health challenges such as arthritis, and muscle pain. MSM sulfur is actually considered the building blocks of protein. The substance also removes toxins from the blood and lymphatic system, and is beneficial for the entire body.

Thank you Tigger Montague for this information!


DMSO and Its Healing Properties

DMSO : fights inflammation, pain, acts as an agent for other topicals, softens scar tissue, and much more.

Despite decades of research and thousands of studies attesting to its health-promoting properties, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) remains virtually unknown to the medical establishment and the public. For more than 40 years, Dr. Stanley Jacob has been battling the establishment over DMSO.  Dr. Jacob reveals new data showing the potential of DMSO in treating brain trauma injuries that afflict more than 50,000 Americans each year. I met Dr. Jacob years ago when our children attended the same middle school in Portland, Or. I’ve been using DMSO ever since, mostly for bruises and aches and pains, but there are many other applications.

Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is an anti-inflammatory and analgesic compound that holds promise in managing a wide range of debilitating health conditions. DMSO is an approved pharmacological agent in more than 125 countries, and its safety and therapeutic effects are backed by nearly 50 years of research and more than 10,000 scientific articles on its biological implications.

Unfortunately, the vast health-promoting potential of DMSO has gone unfulfilled in America, suppressed by a combination of bureaucratic ineptitude and pharmaceutical industry lobbying. In the United States today, DMSO is approved to treat only one medical condition: interstitial cystitis, or chronic inflammation of the bladder wall. Recent findings on DMSO’s ability to help manage the effects of head injury have renewed interest in the many potential therapeutic applications of this versatile compound.

According to Dr. Jacob, “DMSO is a potent free-radical scavenger and diuretic that reduces swelling and improves blood supply to the brain. This improves blood oxygenation to brain tissue. Injured brain cells often aren’t dead. When these cells get increased blood supply and more oxygen, and when the free radicals are scavenged, dying cells can recover, and brain swelling is reduced very rapidly.”

Dr. Jacob notes that in studies conducted from 1978 to 1982, “we observed that when the human brain was treated with intravenously administered DMSO after a head injury, the swelling could be reduced within five minutes. No other treatment comes close to acting that quickly. In patients given other commonly used therapeutic agents such as intravenous barbiturates, the brain continued to swell. We’ve known about DMSO’s efficacy for this type of injury for a long time.”

Astonishingly, however, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any new pharmacological agent of significance for the treatment of traumatic brain injury in more than three decades. With so much attention focused on the plight of severely injured soldiers returning home from war, Dr. Jacob is leading the charge to gain FDA approval of DMSO to treat this type of injury. He believes that DMSO would be more effective than some current therapies such as removing parts of the brain to reduce swelling.

“In my opinion, DMSO has the potential to be the pharmacologic treatment of choice for traumatic brain injuries from combat,” says Dr. Jacob. “There’s nothing that comes close to it in efficacy.”

DMSO has a long list of primary pharmacological actions, including fighting inflammation, relieving pain, improving blood supply, scavenging free radicals, softening scar tissue, and effects that may benefit autoimmune conditions.

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What is a Dropped Elbow?

The first rib is the smallest on the horse, but it carries a large supply of nerves that send signals to the front legs. If the first rib is broken, as frequently happens in a fall, or a kick,the swelling may put pressure on these nerves. The pressure can cause paralysis in the front leg. The knee will stay flexed and the toe will drag along the ground. The elbow will actually drop below its normal position. Most horse will make a full recovery with time if the injury is not too severe. DMSO is recommended (you can purchase from my sidebar) by many veterinarians during the healing phase. Structural integration and stress point therapy is crucial to restore a balanced way of going.

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