MDMA and chronic back pain

In the mid-1980s I suffered a painful back injury from weight training. The upper back pain became chronic and the associated nerve inflammation caused partial paralysis of the left arm. My doctor prescribed various treatments in an attempt to resolve the problem, but nothing worked.

Drug treatments included valium, flexeril (muscle relaxants), and opioids (for the pain). The problem had persisted for several months when, for experimental purposes unrelated to the back injury, I took about 100 mg of MDMA intranasally. I was not especially surprised that the acute effect of the drug included alleviation of the back pain. However, I was very surprised when I awoke the next morning to find that, for the first time in many months, the back pain was still gone.

The pain did not return and over the following weeks the partial paralysis of the left arm completely resolved to the point where I was (very thankfully!) able to return to vigorous physical activities such as rock climb! ing and surfing. Although only a single case, this experience suggests the potential utility of MDMA, given in a single dose, to alleviate chronic back pain.