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Thread: Calcium vs. pain

  1. #1

    Calcium vs. pain

    Chock this up for the calcium vs. pain debate. I've tried several calcium supplements in my three years with SCI. After reading research, I determined that calcium carbonate is the best for me. (I sought it through those little tasty Viactiv chews.) Now for the wrench in the works. I experience classic, burning neuropathic pain in my hamstrings and calves. I came across an online research abstract that says calcium plays a key role in the body' s transmission of pain signals from nerve cells to the brain. (I had this research premise verified by a doctor.) Rather than go on drugs with questionable side effects (Neurotin), which always seems to be the HMO doctor's first intervention these days, I opt for non-pharmaceutical options when possible. On a whim, I started by eliminating my calcium supplement. While I can't say the pain intensity has vanished, the frequency of pain episodes has been decreased dramatically. Any thoughts on this? I would welcome any additional non-pharmaceutical ideas to address neuropathic pain. Also, I feel a bit compromised by giving up the calcium because I fear I could really be setting myself up for radical osteoporosis. On the other hand, I have a life to lead, and can't sit around lethargic on yet another medication like Neurotin.

  2. #2

    Calcium & Pain

    I'd heard that one shouldn't take calcium within 3 hours of taking other meds as it would interfere with absorption of the other meds. I may have heard that it was involved with nerve signalling, but hadn't put together the possibility that it could actually increase pain, so your research and experience is a very interesting finding.

    There's a pharmacist who specializes in pain meds on and I'll put the question to him and see if we get an answer.

    How about Evista (raloxifene (sp?))? I believe it comes in a once-a-week formulation now. I realize you were looking for non-pharmaceutical solutions, though.


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