Relief From Chronic Pain
Citation:   iliek2biek. "Relief From Chronic Pain: An Experience with Capsaicin (exp108446)". May 23, 2016.

  transdermal Capsaicin
I'm writing this as I come down from an unexpected, yet positive experience with capsaicin. Here's the backstory:

I have been dealing with chronic pain in my head and neck following whiplash in a traffic accident 8 months ago. The pain has virtually taken over my life. I've had to temporarily withdraw from college, and I feel like a shadow of the person I was before the accident.

I've been seeking help from traditional doctors since day one. They did an MRI to rule out anything dangerous, which came back normal. Beyond that, the only thing they've prescribed that has helped is indomethacin, an NSAID normally used for arthritis. I've tried ibuprofen, tylenol, excedrin, caffeine, some Vicodin I got my hands on - the list goes on, and some of these drugs have helped in varying degrees.

I picked up some capsaicin cream [1 oz capsaicin cream 0.1] from CVS a few weeks ago. I have been using it sporadically on my hands and feet just to have some other sensation to feel aside from the constant head and neck pain. I didn't consider putting it directly on my head and neck until tonight.

I applied it pretty liberally along the painful areas. When the burn kicked in, it was immediately pleasant in a 'hurts so good' kind of way. The feeling resembled the sting of a nasty five-star in that fleeting instant of pleasure after the initial pain dissipates. If I were trying to sell it, I'd market it as the hot-peppery cousin of scratching a mosquito bite.

(Sidenote: I got some on my penis by accident, which was incredibly unenjoyable. I think it only works on areas where you've already been in pain for a while. I've heard of capsaicin being used as a vasodilator in erectile dysfunction, but it was pretty anti-stimulatory in my case.)

After the relief wore off, I hopped in the shower thinking that my experience was done. The hot water caused a lot of unpleasant stinging on my skin where I had applied the cream. I got out and toweled off, but it kept getting stronger and stronger. This was very unpleasant at first. My lips swelled up fat and red, and my eyes got bloodshot. At this point I knew that I just had to wait it out. I sat shirtless, upright, and motionless on my bed so that none of my skin would be further irritated.

As I sat, I inadvertently started to have a euphoric, meditative experience. The pain along my trigeminal nerve became more isolated.
As I sat, I inadvertently started to have a euphoric, meditative experience. The pain along my trigeminal nerve became more isolated.
It felt like a little lead marble rolling around through my face, neck, and head. I couldn't expel it from my body, but I was able to control its movement--upon focusing on my gums, the marble would roll to my gums. I'd focus on my right nostril, and it would go there, etc. At the same time, I was experiencing a general euphoria through the parts of my head and neck where the marble was absent. This yielded a clarity of mind that I haven't experienced in several months. I can't overstate how valuable it was to finally gain some separation from the pain. I will definitely experiment with this again.

Exp Year: 2016ExpID: 108446
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: 20
Published: May 23, 2016Views: 5,843
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Capsaicin (421) : Alone (16), Therapeutic Intent or Outcome (49), Medical Use (47), First Times (2)

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