Intravenous and oral colchicine is an invaluable treatment modality for people suffering from sciatica or chronic low back pain. Patients that have had sciatica for years despite seeing numerous specialists have experienced complete and permanent pain relief with as little as two intravenous colchicine treatments.
Below we have included a comprehensive article on colchicine published by the Michael Rask, M.D.
COLCHICINE USE IN 6,000 PATIENTS WITH DISK DISEASE & OTHER RELATED RESISTANTLY-PAINFUL SPINAL DISORDERS.
MICHAEL R. RASK, M.D., FAANAOS-C
Since my serendipitous discovery that colchicine heals patients with disk disease, I have now had success in treating over 6,000 patients. Of these 6,000 people, nearly 1,500 had had previously unsuccessful spinal surgeries (or other spinal procedures) done on them by other treating doctors. All of these patients came to me from many parts of our globe to seek a final end to their painful miseries. In this communication, I shall try to summarise the findings of these 6,000 patients whom I have successfully treated with Colchicine over the past few decades of my quite lucky discovery. In addition, I shall outline a Colchicine Treatment Protocol & bring you up-to-date on some other new findings concerning the use of Colchicine in resistantly-painful spinal disorders.
Over the past 3 decades of my discovery that Colchicine is therapeutic for disk disease (& for other related resistantly-painful spinal disorders), I have come to realise that there is something truly specific about Colchicine that brings about healing of these resistantly-painful spinal disorders. Also, I have come to know that Colchicine is an extremely safe medication (especially when used as I will outline below). To show Colchicine’s safety, for example, Colchicine is used to treat patients who have severe cirrhosis of the liver (in the end-stages of their lives) – to bring about healing of their damaged livers. Colchicine has been proven to extend the lives of these liver-damaged patients.
Because of this marvelous safety of Colchicine & also because Colchicine is man’s most powerful anti-inflammatory medication, before one entertains any thoughts of invasive procedures (diagnostic or otherwise) on human spines, intravenous & oral Colchicine should be used before delving into those more formidable & more risky alternatives.
Mechanism of Colchicine’s action in disk disorders:
Colchicine is man’s most powerful anti-inflammatory & his oldest medication. Alexander of Tralles is said to have given his soldiers Colchicine to enhance their health & their fighting abilities in those centuries before Jesus Christ was born. Colchicine seems to act directly on diskal inflammation, & the ancient miraculous medicine also tends to “deinflame” spinal nerve roots.
Prof. Herman J. Weinreb of New York City has found Colchicine to be extremely effective in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Prof. Weinreb believes that Colchicine’s main activity in humans takes place at the cellular micro-tubular level.
Colchicine’s effectiveness in disk disease can be immediate in the patient with severe diskal back pain and sciatica, as it miraculously works in the markedly painful patient who has acute, severe, gouty arthritis. Other times the patient may have suffered most intense unrelievable back and limb pains, over a long period of time, and this patient will sometimes permanently respond to only one intravenous injection of Colchicine. Equally as unpredictable is the patient who may come to you with resistant severe back pain and sciatica of very short duration & who might require many weeks or months of regular intravenous Colchicine therapy to gain relief from his (or her) back discomfort.
I never give up on treating a patient unless there is utterly no response to Colchicine whatsoever, or if the patient is too sensitive to Colchicine therapy. Generally speaking, it is important to see some response to one’s Colchicine therapy in order to continue it for any length of time. I have never seen a patient get worse from Colchicine therapy in the many thousands & thousands of patients whom I have treated over the past nearly 4 decades. Rarely a patient may not improve, but that is the exception, not the rule. Some quite well-known treatments, such as spinal surgery or chemonucleolysis, are unable to make such a claim of therapeutic innocuity.
Colchicine Proven Effective in Disk Disease
Colchicine has been proven effective in disk disease in Profs. Meek, Enrick & Giudice’s FDA-Approved Double-Blind Study. In that study, 2 equal groups of patients with severe disk disease were treated, one group with intravenous Colchicine & the other with placebo (intravenous saline). The chi-square test showed the effectiveness of Colchicine to be significant at the 99.0 percent level of confidence. All four parameters of that study (pain, muscle spasm, positive leg-stretching, & muscle weakness) showed a markedly good response to Colchicine with little, if any, result to the non-Colchicine intravenous. Prof. Xiao Yu Mu of Shandung Medical University in China has proven that oral Colchicine is effective in disk disease in his large double-blind study where a large group of disk-suffering patients were treated with oral Colchicine ( 1mgm/day for 14 days) & the other similar group with Indocin (Indomethacin) 75mgm/day for 14 days. Patients who took Colchicine had a 61.5% excellent or good result, while the indomethacin group had only a 16.7% excellent or good result. Also, side-effects in the Colchicine-treated group were much less than those in the indomethacin-treated patients!
Painful crystalline depositories in and around the herniated disk:
Most damaged disks and surrounding tissues have accumulated a certain amount of crystalline depository elements (gouty or calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate) in their interstices. These crystalline substances are exceedingly painful and irritating foci of inflammation. In these patients, Colchicine is most effectual in bringing immediate dissolution and “de-inflammation” of these irritating crystalline deposits, thus allowing the patient instantaneous pain relief. It is also known that one of Colchicine’s actions is anti-allergenic. There is a certain amount of atopism in the disk disease syndrome, and Colchicine is quite efficacious in countering it.
Amyloid deposits in the disk
There have been found amyloid deposits in herniated disks. Colchicine is an effective medication for preventing the deposition of amyloid in patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis or Mediterranean Fever. In may be that Colchicine prevents or ameliorates painful amyloid deposits in the damaged disk.
Eliminate All Harmful, Habit-Forming Substances. Also, at the time the patient is first seen, he (or she) is advised to throw away all harmful, habit-forming substances (such as pain-killers, tobacco in all its forms, narcotics, tranquilizers, sleeping-pills, mood-elevators, coffee, tea & the like); I just tell the patient to flush these harmful items down the toilet! It takes about 3 days to recover from the harmful habituation of any substances, after which the major potion of the craving for that awful substance is over. All of these harmful, habit-forming substances interfer with proper disk-healing, & also, they tend to block the therapeutic actions of Colchicine! Many long-term pain-suffering people have collected these harmful, habit-forming substances over the many years of their previous attempts at treatment from other doctors (especially if they have had prior unsuccessful spinal surgeries or chymopapain done on them).
On occasion, no NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug – Ibuprofen, Aspirin, etc.) is needed at all to bring about disk-pain control, & only the IV & oral Colchicine are required to complete the patient’s proper disk healing.
Weight Reduction & Control of the Patient’s Uric Acid Pool
Besides proper diet, weight reduction & stopping the use of tobacco & other harmful substances, sometimes it is necessary to control the patient’s uric acid pool with Colbenemid, Anturane, or allopurinol in order to hasten & enhance the patient’s proper disk healing.
Invariably, without exception, in every instance of my large series of patients whom I have successfully treated with Colchicine over the past nearly 4 decades of my discovery, PAIN is the patient’s major symptom. Once the patient’s pain is treated through proper disk healing with Colchicine (& the use of the other logical therapeutic measures as outline in this report), the patient leaves your care with his disk trouble cured & requires nothing further from you.
When the patient recovers, I see no need to continue IV Colchicine. Oral Colchicine should be continue on a daily maintenance basis to ensure good disk healing and eliminate the possibility that the patient might get a recurrence of his (or her) disk pain. All other NSAID medications may be stopped as soon as the patient no longer has back or limb pain.
Return or Sensation & Reflexes after Colchicine therapy
Numbness is the very last symptom to disappear in the Colchicine-treated disk disease patients. Deep tendon reflexes commonly reappear (sometimes within a few days) after the onset of Colchicine therapy. Muscle weakness must be worked at to get a complete recovery. Seldom does spinal surgery ever affect recovery of the patient’s deep tendon reflexes or return of their sensation! In fact, the only cases of paralysis or numb/dead limbs which I have seen in the many thousands of patients whom I have seen & treated over the past nearly 4 decades, have NEVER come as a result of disk trouble per se! Only when the patient has been unlucky to have had spinal surgery or chemonucleolysis (done by other surgeons) has the patient been left with paralysis or permanent numbness!
Reasons for Failed Therapy – It is imperative that the patient discontinue the use of all tobacco (or other harmful addictive substances). Tobacco & alcohol (& other dependency-producing substances) do interfere with Colchicine’s effectiveness in patients who suffer disk disease. Smoking or chewing tobacco cuts down oxygenation and circulation to the intervertebral disk. The use of tobacco drastically reduces the body’s own production of endorphins (our natural pain-relieving polypeptide).
In a very large series of patients years ago, Prof. Norbert L Enrick and I found that conservative therapy for disk disease is more likely to fail in those patients who smoke. Additionally, these patients who use tobacco (& alcohol) are more likely to have spinal surgery (or other dangerous invasive spinal procedure). Also, patients who smoke (or chew) tobacco are more likely to fail back surgery.
ANOTHER ESSENTIAL THERAPEUTIC MEASURE
Injection of “Trigger-Points”. This is equally as imortant in the proper treatment of diskal disorders as the use of IV & oral Colchicine. The name “trigger-point” is a misnomer, for it euphemistically trivializes the disabling intensity of this severely painful locus of acute or chronic inflammation. I prefer to call these severely painful & disabling areas: “Foci of Intense Inflammation”. Proper treatment of these focal “trigger points” is a singularly important part of disk therapy for any patient. I have seen too many patients who have had unsuccessful spinal surgery done upon them by other surgeons and in whom the reason for the failed back surgery was because the surgeon neglected to treat the patient’s painful trigger-points in the patient’s limb or trunk! Had this been done and the patient given Colchicine, the patient would have never had to have myelographic or surgical trauma.