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Using Mushrooms for Pain Control

Lion's mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is edible and may reduce inflammation and biological markers of Alzheimer's

People are talking about the magical properties of mushrooms. Wait – I am not talking about “Magic Mushrooms” – I am referring to the possibility of Using Mushrooms for Pain Control and the surprising beneficial aspects of certain other medical mushrooms that are being studied today. Mushrooms as alternative anti-inflammatories may bypass many of the negative side effects of NSAIDs and decrease dependence on Opioids that are occasionally used as a substitute.  But are we ready to be using mushrooms for pain control? Let’s look at what is being said about mushrooms, and whether it is of value to go there after a car accident, work injury, or regular life challenge. Basically, we are talking about the usability of mushrooms for pain control. We will talk more about that when you make your appointment. 

Do Mushrooms have Anti-Inflammatory Properties?

 The National Institute of Health has an excellent workup on mushrooms as the potential natural source of anti-inflammatory compounds. Keep in mind as well that mushrooms have been a component of traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.  Mushrooms contain many bio-active compounds that exhibit significant anti-inflammatory properties. There are a lot of proprietary articles out there (essentially advertising) that talk about extensive research on mushrooms that are already in products. The reality is that while the study of the compounds is under way, the study of implementation of these is relatively early. The challenge will be to put these into use as cost-effective supplemental medicines. However, there is a lot of potential for the future.

Are Mushrooms plants? Which are of value?

Mushrooms are a fungus, which of course is not a plant. Mushrooms don’t contain chlorophyll and have to take nutrients from other materials. There are huge varieties of mushrooms, but the ones we are most likely looking at now are in species you might recognize, like Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, Shiitake and Reishi mushrooms. You might have seen Reishi mushroom in some of the detox products on the shelf at Blue Heron Chiropractic, and you may have eaten a whole pile of Shiitake mushrooms in your lifetime. The reality, however, is you might have to eat a very large quantity of mushrooms to derive clinically substantial anti-inflammatory results from them. But while a plateful of mushrooms might not be specifically on the treatment plan, we all know that every little bit helps. Let’s look closer though.

What about Pain Control, Specifically Mushrooms for Pain?

In the clinic I often discuss pain pathways with patients and it is true that inflammation can be a source of pain. That type of pain then would be a sequelae or a result of inflammation. Treating inflammation can decrease pain related to inflammation. A supplemental medicine made from mushroom bioactives might then have an anti-inflammatory benefit and decrease the painful presentation. Pain from other pathways, like neurogenic pain (nerve pain) not directly related to inflammation, might not be impacted at all by a mushroom bioactive. Thus, a $45 tube of “Pain Relief Ointment” made from mushrooms would probably not be a good choice for your sciatic nerve pain. There are some crossovers and exceptions, so let’s talk about that in your appointment. If you are taking a mushroom product, we can talk about that.

Did I see Mushroom Medicines for pain on the Internet?

There are some mushroom products available promoting Pain Control. So, given that the article we showcased above did not talk about mushrooms for pain, perhaps we have to take these “with a grain of salt.” And yet, there is a lot of potential for the future. While on this thought, I personally would direct my patients away from products containing camphor or menthol or both – which are not from mushrooms. Camphor or Menthol might have a limited,  temporary impact on pain pathways, and they are inexpensive and available anywhere. Let’s continue to promote research on mushroom properties. If you have a mushroom idea – come talk about it.

Mushrooms for inflammation and Alzheimer’s Disease? What?

In an article I had written a few years ago when I had become aware of The End of Alzheimer’s work by Dr. Dale Bredesen, MD , There are mushrooms  – specifically Lion’s Mane that may produce benefits that decrease the deposition of Beta Amyloid in Alzheimer’s Disease. Now, the Bredesen Protocol  is highly debated and I am not going to unpack that here – other than to say the debate is about the standards of his research and not the quest itself.  At the same time, even though Bredesen’s work has rushed to the market, it shows some promise. Given that there really is no other similarly available protocol – think about this – even if it is only 50% effective it is more than 100% effective than other protocols that don’t yet exist.  (As an aside, you can individually adapt parts of this protocol and add them to your life plan – let’s talk about them in a session at Blue Heron Chiropractic. ) 

If Mushroom products are not quite readily available, are there other options to NSAIDs for inflammation?

There are certainly options to NSAID medications that we recommend to our patients. We have fire-tested many of these solid products from proven companies and they have withstood challenges. People have used them safely and they are reasonably affordable. Usually, people want to do their own research, and we can discuss that in your session or you can take our recommendations home with you. We do keep a couple of these on-hand to get your started.  Since you can probably get them cheaper online, we suggest you grab your first bottle from us, and then order your repeats from them. Let’s talk about it in the clinic!

Can I skip my Appointment and treat my Problem with Supplements Alone?

We don’t think so. Your results are likely to be partial or negligible. Most of the conditions we see people dealing with are benefitted by physical medicine like chiropractic manipulative therapy, physiotherapies, lifestyle advice, and exercise – as well as supplementation or medicines. I think those additional supplements supplement or add to the work of improving your vitality. As always, it is not what is coming into your body from the outside, as much as it is improving and optimizing the pathways you already have inside. Let us help you identify them.

Is Blue Heron Chiropractic masking for the COVID Pandemic at this time?

Since this is an interesting question with all the new variations showing up, and the question about immunity and whether the tests can detect Covid as effectively, the Doctor is going to mask for your session.  We do this out of an abundance of caution, especially since we don’t want to spread a community infection and was also want to be able to continue to treat you. Doctor Sibilla will be getting a new vaccine as soon as it is available, along with his flu shot. We are still sensitive for folks who are immune compromised, have “Long Covid”, or need special considerations. A patient can wear their own mask at any time, and If you would like a mask and don’t have one, we can provide it.  If you have flu-like symptoms, are sneezing of coughing or blowing, we may provide you with a mask, so we can continue to serve you better. You can access Chiropractic safely and securely at Blue Heron Chiropractic & Healing Arts Center, with Dr. Dana Sibilla, DC DABCO FIANM.

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