Do you need to see a chiropractor? If you do, it’s probably because you are dealing with a longstanding injury, or ache and pain that won’t go away. My name is Dr. Robert Fredrickson and I am chiropractor who is going to give you 5 reasons why you should be taking magnesium in addition to going to your chiropractor!
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Okay, I have said this before, if I was stuck on a desert island and could only bring one supplement with me, what would it be? Hopefully I would get enough vitamin d from the sun and enough healthy omega’s from the fish I was catching, and the ideal amount of probiotics from the wild plants and dirt I would encounter. Thus, my easy answer would be MAGNESIUM! I would definitely bring magnesium with me, and you should too!
Magnesium is important. Very important. Without magnesium, more than 300-600 biochemical reactions would be limited or ineffective. The reason I gave a range is that when I first learned about magnesium biochemistry in chiropractic school, we only knew about 300 enzymatic reactions that magnesium was needed for. Now, 7 years later, that list of magnesium enzyme dependent pathways is continually growing!
Magnesium is one of the most essential nutrients. It’s a catalyst for brain biochemistry and impacts our neuronal membrane. It helps give us energy! And it helps other vitamins and minerals like calcium and vitamin d work better. According to recent research, a deficiency in this mineral literally impacts longevity. Magnesium deficiency is also a principal driver in cardiovascular disease.
Okay so are you ready for the 5 reasons you should be taking magnesium in addition to seeing your chiropractor for musculoskeletal pain?
Here we go…
Okay, so Chiropractors of course treat a lot more than pain. But if you are going to a chiropractor for the first time, there is a good chance that you are having some pain or discomfort that is keeping you from living your best life. Let’s talk about how magnesium can help with pain!
Magnesium helps pain by helping with central sensitisation Central sensitization is basically a heightened perception of pain from the same amount of stimulus. Two examples of central sensitization are alloydynia and hypergesia..
An example I like to use of alloydynia is an instance when a small injury such as bumping your shoulder on a wall causes a massive pain and endorphin spike in someone dealing with central sensitization issues.
Examples of Central Sensitization are seen in cases
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Low back pain
- Chronic Neck Pain
- Migraine Headaches
- Whiplash Injuries
- Tension Headaches
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Knee Arthritis
- Chronic Fatigue
Magnesium and its use as an analgesic(pain relief) therapy for the treatment of acute or chronic pain has been suggested for decades. Its antinociceptive or pain blocking effect has been suggested to be due to the blocking of NMDA receptors, and thus, the prevention of central sensitization.
Okay now that we know magnesium can help normalize pain perception, let’s talk about the next function on the list…
#2 Muscle Tension!
Magnesium is critical for reducing muscle spasms and muscle tension. There is a good chance that if you sit behind a desk all day, that you are going to develop some muscle tension in the low back, mid back, and even neck area after time!
Inside the body, magnesium and calcium work together. If you accumulate too many calcium ions in the tissue, this will cause the muscles to contract and cause more tension and even spasms if they go too long. Supplementing or eating magnesium can relieve excessive tension and spasm by preventing and reducing excessive calcium in the soft tissues. This is also another reason why magnesium has so many studies for its effectiveness with fibromyalgia.
#3 Okay next on this list for magnesium we are going to talk about Bone Health.
Did you know magnesium supports healthy bone density? Women who have osteoporosis show lower bone magnesium content than those who are not deficient. Did you know that over 60% of our body’s magnesium is stored in the bone? Lifestyle factors like smoking and excessive factors have been shown to excrete magnesium and calcium from our bones to act as buffers. It is also known that excessive alcohol and stress causes our bodies to excrete magnesium in our urine.
If you are going to a chiropractor, they will be able to assess the integrity of your bones and joints, and see if your posture is causing imbalances on your skeletal system. If you are having pain and dysfunction chiropractor care can help! In addition to chiropractic care correcting imbalances in the muscles and joints, magnesium can help strengthen the bones and relieve tension!
#4 Nerve Pain
Did you know that magnesium can help with nerve pain? Nerve related issues are another common condition that chiropractors routinely treat. We know that magnesium can help calm down muscles and also help us sleep. But did you know new research is showing magnesium as a good drug free option for the treatment of nerve pain? A study from the Journal of Physiology confirms magnesium decreases nerve pain. A major mechanism of nerve pain is the excessive stimulation of a brain chemical called “NMDA.” Medications that help decrease this pain-carrying neurotransmitter have the downside of causing significant side effects. Magnesium seems to settle down NMDA without the toxicity.
Patients seek out chiropractic treatment because chiropractors are great at treating headaches and migraines. In addition to chiropractic care, magnesium is used to treat various types of headaches and migraines.
Magnesium is great for headaches and has been longed touted for it’s ability to stop the pressure and pain from migraines.
Magnesium’s effectiveness on headaches has to do with its ability to prevent brain wave signaling or cortical spreading depression. This is what can cause the aura or visual changes with migraines. You can dose Magnesium acutely when you have a migraine up to 400mg, and can help alleviate symptoms.
Another way magnesium can help with migraines is by blocking pain related symptoms in the brain like substance P and glutamate. Magnesium may also help prevent vasoconstriction in the brain blood vessels which is caused by the neurotransmitter Serotonin. Another great thing about magnesium is in doses of 400mg, it is generally regarded safe in pregnancy but always ask your doctor before taking new supplements.
Now that you know just how important magnesium is to musculoskeletal disorders, how did we become deficient in the first place?
Some estimate up to 80 percent of the American population is magnesium deficient. The additives and toxins in processed foods prevent much of the magnesium we consume from being absorbed into the body. Too much caffeine, stress and alcohol are also magnesium thieves. Various medications also deplete magnesium. As if that isn’t bad enough, our soil is so mineral depleted that when we do eat the good fruits and veggies, they do not contain the magnesium levels they once did.
Since it is difficult to get enough magnesium through diet alone, it is important to make sure to get the required amount through supplementation. There are many different forms of magnesium, so you want to make sure to take high quality magnesium that is easily absorbed by the body. Common low quality forms of magnesium include magnesium oxide and magnesium aspartate.
Fredrickson Health Solutions advises the use of high quality forms of magnesium, including magnesium glycinate and magnesium malate, where the magnesium is naturally chelated to amino acids that help it to absorb into cells. Quality of magnesium supplementation makes quite a difference in health benefits that you see. Discover how this miracle mineral can help improve your health!
Magnesium in headache
Magnesium in Pain Research: State of the Art
Magnesium in the Central Nervous System [Internet].
What is Central Sensitization?
Magnesium for skeletal muscle cramps
“Mg attenuates chronic hypersensitivity and spinal cord NMDA receptor phosphorylation in a rat model of diabetic neuropathic pain,” The Journal of Physiology. Published online before print September 13, 2010, doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2010.197004.