Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fight the Pain, Final!

DLPA (DL-Phenylalanine), a dietary supplement sold in most health food stores, claims to aid in chronic pain management. Most commonly precribed for patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, I began taking DLPA in hopes of relieving some of my own aches and pains. Need to play catch up? Click here.
Over 1 month ago, I started taking two 500mg pills of DLPA daily because I suffered from muscle and joint pain in various areas of my body. Prior to my little science project, I would take numerous OTC pain relievers: Aleve, Excedrin, Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Bayer, etc. Four days into taking DLPA (and not taking the OTC pills), I became plagued with migraines. Was this my body's way of telling me that the OTC pain relievers cause more harm than good? The chronic headaches are symptoms of detoxification in the body. Hmmm, interesting... and kind of scary!
Throughout this study, my overall pain ratings lacked luster. My hopes and expectations lied more along the lines of, "OMG! My pain is gone! I'm a healed woman- a believer!!!" Instead, I found little improvement.
Lower back ache, R & L sides (2)

Upper central glute pain, L side (2 when resting, 6 when running)
Central trap/ rhomboid pain, R side (2)
Improvement? Yes! Overwhelming joy and excitement? Not so much...
Overall, I'm pleased that my pain has subsided. It's nice to be able to move my R shoulder again without having to employ other muscles to assist. I'm can't say that the improvement is 100% from DLPA, but I believe that it helped.
Here's my challenge question: Should we keep searching for the all mighty, magical pain reliever? Or instead adjust our focus to the culprit (the source of pain to begin with)?

Study complete, case closed. On to the next topic!! Stay tuned for more pain management techniques!

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