LDN and pain relief — the nettle and the sting

About three years ago, I fell on some black ice, landing  hard on my palms and one knee. I healed quickly and didn’t think much more about it. However, since, during times of low atmospheric pressure–as in an impending storm, I find that the pain comes back, twice so far, much worse than it was in the original fall.

The first time this happened was extremely painful. I squirmed my way into the car to see my doctor, who prescribed an opiate with many warnings. I took it. Nothing happened–like taking air pills. I had to call back and point out that LDN was an opiate blocker.


So, NSAIDs were my only other option. she prescribed diclofenac, brand name, Voltaren.

That sort-of worked, although it has the same warnings as other NSAIDs. Stomach bleeding and elevated liver functions. She also gave me a topical variety of the drug, which would provide some pain relief, without any gastric interaction, although the side effects are still the same.

I rarely take it, until I really need it. Frankly, it’s like taking 5 aspirins.

I needed it badly at the end of January. Unfortunately, I found out that the drug’s side effects were intensified by a few other things I was taking. My bloods showed the evidence of elevated liver and kidney functions. More on that in the next post.

As I have little choice in the way of pain relief, as opiates or synthetic opiates such as Tramadol, are completely blocked by the LDN, I did learn one interesting fact.

If I MUST take a pain reliever, taking diclofenac with stinging nettle intensifies the effect of the drug. As I’ll never take more than one per day again, this is good to know.

Research has found some evidence that rubbing stinging nettle leaves on painful joints can provide pain relief. One study also found that eating stewed nettle leaves was a helpful addition to the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac.

I hope my liver and kidneys can forgive me.

Update 3/30/16:

I had the occasion to try (that is, to really really need) some diclofenac, and took a 50mg tablet with 2 x 500 mg capsules of nettle. (As tempting as the stewed leaves might have been, I found the capsules easier to find at this time of year.Plus, I could hardly move for back pain, and kitchen was already messy enough without the addition of weed-stewing.) Seems to have worked. One pill lasted until evening, and I got some relief.

Also had x-rays on my arm and spine. Turns out there is damage to the C6-C7 vertebrae at the base of the neck, which explains the arm and shoulder pain that comes and goes. This month, it’s affecting my back, from shoulder blade to knee, and it’s a real bummer. Heat, rest and snarkiness are helping.


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