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    Distinguished Community Member Sherman Peabody's Avatar
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    Default Alternative treatments for chronic pain


    Kratom for chronic pain relief

    The DEA has threatened to make kratom a schedule 1 drug, but has put that move on hold due to public outcry and until further studies have been done. Currently it can still be purchased in 45 states that I know of. This may be something you might want to look into, if you haven't already.

    From what I've seen kratom affects people differently. I have had tremendous relief from kratom. I can still use doctor-prescribed opioids at night only for pain, but use kratom during
    the day. This has kept me from becoming addicted again. There are many testimonies of folks who have been able to withdraw successfully using Kratom.


    Just wanted to point out that kratom isn't a miracle herb that harmlessly replaces opiates, as it is an opiate itself basically. Although mitragynine and 7-HO-mitragynine are sort of tryptamines technically, they hit the mu opiate receptor so are physically addictive as well. The reason it works to mask withdrawal is because you're taking an opiate to avoid withdrawal. There is cross-tolerance there and trust me, as a former kratom addict for 7 years, there are withdrawals. If used sparingly to help with harder opiate withdrawal, it might be able to get you through without producing its own dependence as long as you stop using it as soon as you're through withdrawal. But ultimately I've seen a lot of people just trade one opiate addiction for another, while claiming to be opiate-free. Of course there are advantages to being addicted to kratom over being addicted to heroin, since kratom is legal and easy/safe to get and have in your house, and you're not in danger of overdosing with it.

    Ibogaine, on the other hand, has the effect it does through giving you a powerful experience and having some profound effects on various systems of the brain. Ibogaine (which was how I got off opiates - after 7 years I moved to oral opium which was certainly worse than kratom) made me not WANT any opiates or kratom ever again. It also removed the withdrawal. It also changed my life is various other ways, I developed much healthier patterns as a result of it and started playing music again which is basically the joy of my life. It's such a tremendously better solution to opiate addiction than kratom. Though most people need to go to a clinic which is outrageously expensive. Personally I did it at home, with my friend overseeing me. We had a heart monitor on me and he checked it periodically through the first 12 hours. I actually loved the experience, it felt comfortable for the most part and I didn't get nauseous. I took half TA extract and half ibogaine HCl (they usually just use HCl at clinics). It seems like the full spectrum of plant alkaloids changes/fills out the experience substantially.

    Xorkoth (Bluelight)


    Back in the 70s, people dealing with heroin withdrawal found that injected megadose vitamin C made an injection of heroin do NOTHING - no vomiting, no rush, no getting high, nothing.

    In some states with compounding pharmacies there is a thing called Myers Cocktail which is usually an IV solution of vitamin C, frequently B vitamins, sometimes calcium or magnesium - and it would likely do similar healing, since in 1943 Dr Frederick Klenner used it to cure something like 49 cases of polio, if the myelin sheathing was not destroyed (calcium EAP proven in double blind studies to rebuild myelin sheathing) then he cured Multiple Sclerosis and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease - both considered incurable by "doctors")

    Liposomal vitamin C is almost as effective as the injectable megadoses, and one can make an effective similar solution. It's called liposomal vitamin C, although technically it is different to a degree, but the effectiveness is what I'm looking for. It requires one of those ultrasonic "cleaning" baths, some ascorbic acid (mine from the co-op) and some other ingredients I don't recall - available knowledge on the web.


    For people suffering from chronic pain, ketamine may be the answer.

    At his worst, Brett Lovell, 32, experienced such searing pain that he couldn't straighten his arm, and the fingers of his left hand curled up like a claw. The pain had him downing 25 pills a day. Then he undertook an experimental treatment - a seven-day coma in which he was pumped full of a drug called ketamine, which doctors use as an anesthetic. The experimental procedure gave him fleeting hallucinations, but it helped. "I can enjoy life better today," said Lovell, who is down to just one pill a day and can maneuver a computer mouse.

    Ketamine is now being touted as a revolutionary treatment for a severe pain disorder. In the treatment, ketamine is infused intravenously and continuously while patients are supported by a ventilator - and are virtually dead - for days.

    Robert Schwartzman, chairman of neurology at Drexel University College of Medicine, is the U.S. pioneer of the experimental treatment, which resets the link between the pain sensory neurons and the brain.

    He equates the brain to a computer. "For five days we turn your computer off so you're not having any pain," he said. "When the brain is turned back on, the pain system is "rebooted."

    Considered a safe anesthetic, ketamine is chemically similar to PCP and causes inebriation, hallucinations and dissociation, a sensation that patients are not in their bodies. These side effects have led to its popularity at raves and reports of use as a date-rape drug.

    The extreme nature of treatment speaks to the desperation of those with chronic regional pain syndrome or reflex sympathetic dystrophy, a condition that affects 1.5 million Americans, according to the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association. The syndrome produces intense, burning pain, and causes normally non-painful sensations - touch, movement and temperature - to be agonizing.

    "It makes you feel like you've been doused in gasoline and set on fire," said Cynthia Toussaint, 44, a sufferer in Valley Village, Calif., who runs a nonprofit organization to help women in pain.

    The condition can result from any type of injury, such as a turned ankle or carpal tunnel syndrome. It develops in 1-2 percent of fractures and 2-5 percent of peripheral nerve injuries.
    The body's pain system, which is necessary to telling us something is wrong, goes awry in these cases. When pain fibers from the injury site activate, they trigger a chain reaction that changes the structure of the pain neurons. These changes provoke the neurons to fire even more - like a car engine revving out of control - which creates more pain, said Daniel Carr, chief executive officer of IDDS, a New York City-based company that is testing a ketamine nasal spray.

    The syndrome often goes misdiagnosed and mistreated, said Schwartzman. Most of his patients have already seen 10 other doctors by the time they find him. And, many, especially children, face skepticism from their doctors, who think the patients are just trying to get attention.

    "I got such horrible looks from doctors, like I had two heads," said Megan Vanatta, 21, of Washingtonville, N.Y., who has had the disorder since she was 7. "Doctors would ask, 'Are your parents fighting? Do your parents abuse you?' "

    The earlier the condition is treated, the more effective it seems to be - but there is no cure and no one treatment works universally, experts say. The ketamine coma is only for the most serious cases. A number of U.S. doctors use ketamine in small doses to treat pain while patients are awake, but Schwartzman and two German colleagues, Ralph-Thomas Kiefer and Peter Rohr, are the first to infuse it in comatose patients for up to seven days. So far, the trio has treated 26 American patients in Germany. All patients received significant temporary pain relief, and nine remain completely pain-free from nine months to three years after the infusion.

    Ketamine is FDA-approved in the United States for two-day use when the patient is awake, but Schwartzman holds out little hope that the coma procedure will ever be allowed here.
    At Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia, Schwartzman studies ketamine use for less severe patients and as boosters for those who have returned from Germany.

    He just finished a study of 50 patients who were awake during five days of ketamine use - also not enough, he said - and plans to go back to the FDA in a couple of months for approval to try 10-day outpatient infusions. It may seem strange for a mind-altering substance to be used medically, but the history of ketamine is like many other drugs - if it works for one thing, scientists say, let's see if it works for another.

    "The problem unfortunately is that we have so many horrible diseases related to the brain and so few drugs," said Bita Moghaddam, neuroscience professor at the University of Pittsburgh who uses ketamine in rats to mimic schizophrenic symptoms. "If you have a drug you think is relatively safe, you have to use what you have."

    Ketamine has also been used to study alcoholism and dementia, and explored as a treatment for sleep apnea and addictions and an aid in psychotherapy. While many severe pain sufferers are enthusiastic about the ketamine coma, researchers are more cautious.

    "Initial observations are exciting," said Srinivasa Raja, director of pain medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "But it has to be tempered with the fact that they are not blinded observations. They have to be followed through over time."

    Timothy Lubenow, a pain specialist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, had a patient who went to Germany and "had great pain relief up until the plane ride back," he said. "She bumped her knee, which was the affected part, and the pain came back."

    Schwartzman hopes that continuing research on treatments for severe pain will yield alternatives to the ketamine coma and that in the future "we won't need the ketamine sleep."

    But, "right now, for dreadful patients, the only thing I've seen work is to have them go to sleep," he said.


    I deal with chronic neck/back pain as well as neuropathy. I was on opiates, Neurontin and Lyrica for years. The opiates worked for a time but tolerance developed and it will damage your gastrointestinal system. Lyrica and neurontin did nothing for my neuropathy. Then I tried cannabis. Indica is the only strain that worked. I made a tincture with cannabis and pure grain alcohol. It works great. I take it sublingually. It works so much better than smoking it. I think the natural anti-inflammatories in the cannabis build up over time and help even more.


    In March of 2015, researchers from Brazil published the first clinical trial exploring the potential therapeutic benefit of ayahuasca. Ayahuasca is a botanical hallucinogen used by indigenous groups of the Amazon for ritual and medicinal purposes. The ayahuasca beverage contains two ingredients. The first is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), which inhibits the breakdown of specific neurotransmittors, molecules used by neurons to communicate with each other, such that their effectiveness is increased. The second is dimethyltryptamine, or DMT, a psychedelic compound. Traditionally, the ayahuascan MAOI is from the bark of Banisteriopsis caapi, a jungle vine, and the DMT is from Psychotria viridis, a shrub common in the northwest of the Amazon. These plants are boiled together and concentrated over several hours. Interestingly, other MAOIs have been used for years in treating depression and Parkinson’s disease. For example, many MAOIs prevent serotonin degradation, increasing its signaling capacity. However, available MAOIs are not routinely used as they have a significant risk in interacting with over-the-counter medications and other prescription medicines and require strict diet restrictions, as they can cause high blood pressure.

    In the study, six patient volunteers diagnosed with recurrent major depression were given ayahuasca prepared by members of the Santo Daime community in Brazil. Patients’ moods were analyzed for two weeks prior to drug administration, as well as at multiple intervals after drug administration. Three weeks after drinking the ayahuasca, almost all patients had reduced depressive symptoms. Not all patients saw dramatic decreases and throughout the course of the three weeks, and in some, moods did fluctuate from above the initial scores to below the scores seen at the conclusion of the three weeks. Although some patients experienced vomiting that is known to occur after consumption of ayahuasca, no other adverse side effects were noted. It is important to note that the sample size used in this study was very small, but the results are interesting.

    Magic mushrooms and ayahuasca have only recently entered the medical sphere as potential depression treatments. Ketamine is an anesthetic, used to treat chronic pain and has the potential for addiction and abuse. It also can cause severe confusion or hallucinations. It has long been known that ketamine acts as an antidepressant at a surprisingly rapid rate, in comparison to other antidepression treatments. Unlike the current available treatments that require several weeks or months that take effect, ketamine has been found to suppress depressive symptoms after a single dose, occuring within hours of drug administration and lasting about a week.


    Ibogaine, in threshold doses, is known to reduce pain. And generally patients do not experience pain during a full dose. However, it is common for pain to emerge afterwards, especially
    in patients who were treating chronic pain with opiates. Learning to work with pain management effectively is critical to continuing care.

    Long-term opioid use is known to cause hyperalgesia, an increased sensitivity to pain. This may exacerbate chronic pain symptoms in people for whom it either is or is not an underlying condition. If hyperalgesia has been ruled out as a factor, a thorough assessment of pain management options should be explored in collaboration with the patient.

    If patient has detoxified from opioids, but continues to experience symptoms of chronic pain, and/or requests for pain medication to be re-administered, opioids can be prescribed under appropriate medical care in minimal possible doses. Patients should be counseled about the risks associated with the reduced tolerance, and referred to a pain management specialist.


    Most people are not aware that Iboga is profoundly effective for treating severe pain caused by nerve damage. The majority of people I've talked to have never heard of it, or have only heard of it in the context of treating addiction. The reason I am writing this is because I suffered from debilitating pain that made me feel like my life was over. I lost hope. When I went into the Iboga experience this summer, I had absolutely no idea it would do anything for my damaged nerve. Little did I know. For three whole months after taking a good dose of Iboga, the noribogaine was still flowing in my body, and I was able to do things that I had not been able to do in a long time.

    I had got it into my head that my nerve was damaged, and that there was nothing I could do. It's hard not to when everything you try doesn't help or only makes it worse. After the first 3 months, I began to notice my symptoms were coming back because the noribogaine metabolite was finally being flushed from my body after all that time. I made a conscious decision to break away from the beliefs I had about myself and my situation.

    So for the past month or so I have been taking ~1g of potent Iboga bark per week. It allows me to function on a level that I never thought possible. I feel more like myself now than ever before. I can live and be happy and not even think about my nerve. I am doing more than I ever could before with this disability, and I feel like it's exponential—the more I do, the more I can do. It's an exercise. A constant process.

    Iboga allowed me to take a step back into my self unadulterated by the constructs of my mind and start working every day to be the better person that I have always wanted to be. It feels almost cheesy saying this- but I feel like Iboga saved my life. My work with it keeps evolving, too.

    I was recently able to give up an 11 year cannabis addiction, as well as coffee and nicotine overnight with 1g of potent bark, good food, lots of water, and meditation. I did this because
    I always told myself I never could, or I never wanted to, but I just got fed up. I've been perfectly happy, and sober (except for Iboga effects, which are mild), for the first time in my life. I honestly never ever thought this was possible and I am loving it. I am sure I will use cannabis again, but it feels good to take a break and not be dependent.

    So, in conclusion, if you are in a country where Iboga is Legal, and you suffer from chronic pain that nothing else seems to help, you may want to consider this medicine.


    I sustained damage to my sciatic nerve. Basically what happened was I caused the fluid inside of a disc to leak out and burn the nerve. From what I was told this isn't common,
    but when it does happen, people report the same symptoms years later.

    After I took Iboga root bark I remember walking comfortably for the first time since it happened. Before it felt like I was walking on burning electric knives. This comfortable feeling gradually faded because I had it still ingrained in my head that I was messed up for life as the Iboga started to wear off ~3 months later. After continued microdoses and meditation I gradually both mentally and physically was able to put this horrendous incident in my past. I am not 100% and can feel it still hindering me, but I don't let it bother me anymore. It both masked the pain at first and then aided in the healing process that is still undergoing.


    Eric Kast conducted a study on fifty gravely ill patients in great amounts of pain. The subjects were treated with Demerol, Dilaudid and a 100 g dose of LSD in order to compare their analgesic action. The results showed that LSD produced more prolonged and effective pain relief than either of the other two analgesics (Kast and Collins 1964: 291). His pioneering work went on to inspire other studies using LSD to control extreme pain. Kast himself went on to carry out further experiments on patients with malignant terminal diseases. 80 subjects were administered 100g of LSD which allowed them to be more responsible to their environment and their family. It was concluded that LSD helped lessen the patients' physical distress and lifted their mood and outlook (Kast 1970: 380-381).


    Ibogaine does have dangerous interactions with opioids - when used irresponsibly. What I want to relay, specifically, is that at LOW doses (again, 10-20mg) the opiate reset effect is
    fairly minimal - it seemed not so much to reset tolerance as to halt its development, which allowed me to use the chemicals I needed to in a stretch without incurring a massive habit, something that may be INCREDIBLY useful to people in chronic pain management situations.

    -cdin (Bluelight)


    Many people with chronic pain report an absence or major reduction in pain after a treatment, even when they took ibogaine for another issue. It is also possible that ibogaine only helps with certain types of pain. For example, I interviewed 2 women who had chronic pain after a car accident. One reported a significant reduction in pain for up to a year after her session.

    From the book Ibogaine Explained, by Peter Frank


    Nature’s solution to opioid addiction?

    Susan Ash, who worked as a park ranger for the National Park Service and served as conservation director of Oregon Wild for two years, also says that kratom gave her back her life.
    Ash’s health problems started with a flu-like syndrome. She developed excruciating pain in her knees, hips, and elbows; she found herself sleeping for 4-5 days at a time, stumbling out
    of bed only to eat a bowl of cereal and use the bathroom, and then going back to sleep.

    None of the doctors she consulted could tell her what was wrong.

    Ash was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a catchall medical condition categorized by chronic pain and fatigue believed to have no cure. Her doctor prescribed powerful and highly addictive opioid medication for the pain. When the prescription narcotics made her sleepy and unable to focus, the doctor gave her another prescription, Adderall—a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine that is used for attention disorders. When the Adderall exacerbated the panic attacks she had had since she was a kid, the doctor added yet another drug to counter the anxiety.

    “At one point in my life, I was on 13 medications,” Ash tells me. Her story of hundreds of visits to the doctor and piles of prescriptions sounds eerily similar to Devine’s: “A huge cocktail
    of medications that included three highly controlled and addictive substances.”

    It was not until three years after the onset of symptoms that a test revealed that Ash had late-stage Lyme disease, most likely caused by a tick bite during her time in the woods.
    But by then, like more than 2.1 million other Americans, Ash was addicted to opioids.

    In 2012, after her sister and brother-in-law sat her down and told her they felt it was no longer safe for her to be around their children, Ash entered a 45-day rehab. When she left, doctors prescribed her yet another narcotic [this time Subutex (buprenorphine)] to treat the opioid addiction, as well as to manage the ongoing pain. The doctor told her she would probably be on it for the rest of her life.

    Ash was desperate. She had been treated with antibiotics, via a chest port, for the Lyme disease and was still battling chronic pain, fatigue, and chronic nausea—the effects of long-term antibiotic use. She had learned about kratom a few years before from a participant in an online Lyme disease support group. She had tried it a few times when her prescription medication ran out. Now she decided to quit the Subutex and use only the plant medicine. It worked. These days Ash takes red vein kratom for pain (one to three teaspoons a day, depending on her pain levels) and green vein kratom for fatigue (also about one to three teaspoons a day). In 2014 Ash founded a nonprofit, the American Kratom Association, to educate the public about the health benefits of kratom.

    When asked if she finds kratom addictive, Ash says “When I was on the narcotics I was counting the minutes before I could take my next dose. This is completely different. It is nature’s solution to opioid addiction.”

    -Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D.


    I was in a car accident in '09 that messed my back up. Fast forward three years I was taking 120 morphine, 180 Norco, 120 Baclofin, 60 Depakote, 90 prozac, 30 Ativan, and 60 Buspirone a month. I was in a fog that led me to crash both our cars, get fired, and miss an important surgery for my daughter all in one day. That was enough for my wife she threatened to leave if I didn't go to rehab. So I did and weaned off meds with Suboxone. After I was off everything I would just lay in bed all day and take hot showers. My back hurt so bad I couldn't sleep for long or work or do anything before it literally drove me mad. I found Kratom almost three years ago and it has been a life saver for me. It's not a miracle cure, but helps me enough without the horrible side effects. Kinda like an umbrella, it's great for the rain, but it doesn't keep you completely dry. I've been working steady for the last two and a half years, and the dynamic in our house is lie night and day from my zombie days. I hope we are all contacting everyone we can about this because this decision to ban kratom will supremely affect people like me negatively. Doctors cannot be trusted with our care. They are just shills for Rx companies.

    -Casey Brassfield


    I suffer from chronic pain, and I have found kratom to be helpful without the side effects, and dare I say, cost of Rx medications. Our healthcare system penalizes people in pain, who suffer from chronic illnesses by elevating their meds and then declaring that amount life threatening. I have had several of my meds cut back by both the Dr and my insurance without an option to fall back on, leaving me angry and frustrated on top of being in pain. Kratom has given me the freedom to use it when I need to and to use only as much as I require. No Rx med allows for skipped doses. Kratom is the best "personal healthcare remedy" available, and it is affordable to just about everyone. We must fight to keep it legal.



    It's worth noting that kratom is also physically addictive, it also hits the mu opiate receptor which is what makes opiates euphoric and addictive. It's certainly a better alternative than hard opiates and might be the best replacement for some, because it's easier to get off of than methadone or suboxone. It's short acting so the withdrawal is much shorter. I got into opiates with kratom, I was addicted to it for 7 years before switching to stronger opiates. I was taking it 3-5 times a day but even once a day (which was how it started) for a while landed me in withdrawals. For me, it was easier than full opiate withdrawals, except that the restless energy was much worse. For me that's the worst part of opiate withdrawal. I experienced not only restless legs, but restless ARMS, even my entire body. it was so horribly uncomfortable and made sleep impossible for 5 days or so.

    Just wanted to say that kratom isn't harmless, it IS essentially an opiate. But I agree it can be a godsend to people.

    -Xorkoth (Bluelight)
    Last edited by Sherman Peabody; 10-16-2017 at 09:19 PM. Reason: Link leading to a "buy something" page.

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