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More than ever before, we now know that untreated or under-treated pain damages the body’s immune and neurological systems in the long term. The consequences can be devastating.

How can this be avoided? There are effective treatments for pain...but some can result in side effects (abuse, addiction, overdose) that are worse than the original pain itself.

LDN’s excellent safety profile makes it different. However, how effective is it for pain?

The body of published reports of LDN successfully treating different kinds of pain (especially pain that has not responded to other treatments) continues to grow.

Here are a few different kinds of pain that have been reported to respond to LDN:

  • inflammatory soft tissue pain - when organs, muscles or tissues are damaged and inflamed
  • nerve pain - when nerves are damaged
  • chronic pain - when it lasts for a long period of time

Using LDN to heal inflammatory pain

In numerous publications in medical journals, prominent institutions such as Penn State University, the Cleveland Clinic, and Vanderbilt University have reported that LDN relieves some of the troubling abdominal pain that accompanies inflammatory bowel disorders (such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s).

LDN’s Effects on Multiple Kinds of PainWhen Dr. Leonard Weinstock, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine and Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine, did research on LDN for psoriatic arthritis (painful joint inflammation associated with the skin disease) he found that giving LDN to patients resulted in up to a 60% improvement. “That’s something that you can take home and ask your doctor about,” he remarked to us.

LDN’s Effects on Multiple Kinds of PainFor rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis (arthritis affecting the spine), Dr. Guttorm Raknes and his colleagues published the first study about LDN. In his video interview with LDNscience, he discusses how taking LDN long-term resulted in less use of opioids AND other painkillers. This suggests that LDN provided enough pain relief that more medication was unnecessary. Patients themselves describe this effect here: Kayleen’s story of taking LDN for her rheumatoid arthritis and several other patients’ reports of successful treatment of RA with LDN.

Patients themselves write to LDNscience to report the life-changing effects of taking LDN for painful ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Several other patients using LDN to treat osteoarthritis volunteered to be interviewed about their experience. Alan told us, “I feel decades younger now,” while Deb shared that, “Once I actually started taking LDN, my pain was so relieved...I haven't needed the ‘heavy duty stuff’ anymore.” Watch and read how LDN changed Alan’s experience of osteoarthritis, and how one dose of LDN made a major impact on Deb’s 25 year history of osteoarthritis pain.

Using LDN to alleviate nerve pain

Nerve pain, also called neuropathic pain, is notoriously difficult to treat. In fact, in their article about treating cornea nerve pain, Tufts University and University of Arkansas clinicians describe such patients “extremely challenging to manage,” because it’s hard to relieve their pain. That’s why it’s particularly noteworthy that they recommend such patients take low dose naltrexone. Similarly, other universities have published reports about how LDN alleviated severe nerve pain from a burn injury for one patient, and LDN relieved 95% of the severe diabetic nerve pain of another. LDN worked where other treatments has failed, without any significant side effects.

Using LDN to relieve chronic pain

There are more than a dozen different publications about LDN for chronic pain, including chronic back pain (that many of us know so well!).  

LDN’s Effects on Multiple Kinds of PainIn LDNscience’s interview with Dr. Mark Schukhman, a Chicago psychiatrist/researcher, he explains that using LDN to treat opioid addicts (many of whom started taking opioids because they suffer from chronic pain) enables them to decrease or cease taking opioids, and more easily recover from “prolonged post-opioid use problems” that include highly elevated pain levels. Addiction specialists around the country are starting to use LDN for this purpose.

What about the experience of people using LDN for chronic pain? Here are a couple of highlights from our full-length patient interviews:  

LDN’s Effects on Multiple Kinds of PainKim used to be a “gym rat” until she became disabled from painful arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other conditions. Wanting to get off opioids, she found out about LDN but wasn’t ready to try it. That is...until her dog got sick and LDN worked so beautifully for her dog that Kim decided to try it herself! Her life changed because of that decision. Click here to see Kim’s story of chronic pain, dogs, and LDN.

LDN’s Effects on Multiple Kinds of PainLaura Dysart would come home from work each day, and go straight to the couch with a heating pad and Perocet to cope with the chronic bladder/pelvic pain of interstitial cystitis (IC). After 7 doctors, 2 surgeries, and many ineffective treatments, her doctor finally suggested LDN. Within days of starting, her symptoms started improving. Watch and read Laura’s LDN story to see how her life dramatically turned around thanks to LDN.

Don’t see your specific pain condition mentioned here? You may very well find it in the LDN user stories and interviews on LDNscience.

Using LDN to treat pain syndromes

In any discussion about pain, one seat at the table has to be for disorders in which pain is the core symptom. Think Fibromyalgia. Think Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). LDN has had surprising success in these disorders where other treatments have failed. There are more than a dozen different clinical trials/medical reports about LDN for fibromyalgia as well as about LDN use for CRPS (the before and after pictures are striking!). 

In interviews with LDNscience, experts from Stanford University, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and SUNY Upstate Medical University discuss the use of LDN to treat fibromyalgia.

LDN’s Effects on Multiple Kinds of PainSince Dr. Jarred Younger’s original interview with LDNscience, he has published the first clinical trials of LDN for fibromyalgia in 2009, followed by 3 others in 2013, 2015, and 2017. Dr. Younger reports that patient satisfaction with LDN has been very high, and that most individuals he’s evaluated reported no side effects at all, which adds to patient satisfaction. Dr. Younger and his colleagues think that LDN may act as an atypical anti-inflammatory medication and this should be studied further.

LDN’s Effects on Multiple Kinds of PainDr. Brian Johnson, of SUNY Upstate Medical University, shared the fascinating connection between the kind of pain that addicts feel when trying to stop taking opioids and the daily chronic pain of fibromyalgia patients. In Associate Professor Johnson’s interview with LDNscience, he describes how LDN alleviates hyperalgesia (elevated pain) similarly in both conditions because they may both be the result of endorphin deficiency.

There are also dozens of patient interviews and user stories about LDN for fibromyalgia and other pain syndromes. 

If you or a loved one suffer from pain, especially pain that has not responded well to other treatments, consider discussing LDN with a physician to see if it’s an option for you. If you need help finding a clinician familiar with LDN, you can make use of LDNscience’s prescriber directory.

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