|A 48 year old man presented with persistent lower back pain. He had recently modified his sitting arrangements in his car and at work, however was still having to take OTC NSAIDS 3-5x per week. He considered the pain a major obstacle in his daily tasks and sleep.
The patient was prescribed 1000 mg of DL-Phenylalanine 1-2x daily as required.
After two weeks the patient had experienced a noticeable reduction in pain, which allowed him to reduce his NSAID use to once or twice a week. The patient was also planning to engage a physiotherapist and commence physical therapy to address the functional causes for the pain.
Mechanism of Action
A potential mechanism in the pain relieving effect of DL-Phenylalanine is through its impact on Enkephalins. Enkephalins are endogenous analgesics that result in decreased sensation of pain upon binding to the opioid receptors. DL-Phenylalanine is hypothesised to block degradation, resulting in increased levels of Enkephalins, without the risks of addiction associated with pharmaceutical opioids.