Chronic pain is an extremely common problem; in fact, it’s estimated that 1.5 billion people (1 in 5) suffer worldwide. As something that can cause us a lot of stress in everyday life, many of us experiment with treatments and remedies for chronic or acute pain in an effort to avoid the side effects associated with prescription medications.
From creams and supplements to dietary changes and alternative therapy, we often have to go through several remedies before we find the right one or combination of treatments for us. Everyone experiences chronic pain differently, and everybody tends to respond differently to each treatment.
One supplement that is commonly used for pain relief is magnesium, which is often taken to treat a wide range of pains, from the side effects of chemotherapy and arthritis to postmenstrual pains and migraines.
What is magnesium?
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body, and we rely on it for many elements of our physical health. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to consume the right amount of magnesium by eating a balanced diet.
Magnesium can be found naturally in plant-based foods such as broccoli, almonds, swiss chard, spinach, and other leafy greens. It can also be obtained from some lightly processed foods such as dark chocolate and oatmeal, as well as many animal products.
While many foods we eat should contain the right levels of magnesium, over-farming is contributing to a lack of magnesium in the soil, and so we may be deficient without realizing it.
How do I know if I’m getting enough magnesium?
Without getting a blood test, it’s difficult to know if you’re getting enough magnesium or not, unless you’re severely deficient. If you’re not sure, head over to our other blog post Are You Getting Enough Magnesium? It’s also a good idea to be on the lookout for mood swings, muscle twitches, and fatigue, among other more serious symptoms.
What is magnesium’s role in the body?
Magnesium is an extremely important nutrient which helps our bodies to stay healthy and resilient. It helps to regulate our bodies’ blood pressure, blood sugar levels, nerve operation and muscle function. It is also responsible for communicating with our neurotransmitters, which can influence our stress levels and mental health.
The average adult male needs about 400mg of magnesium every day, and the average adult female needs around 310mg. The reason magnesium is so important to the body is because it is needed to maintain glucose levels which help us to keep a steady energy level.
Magnesium has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of depression, preeclampsia, migraine, coronary artery disease, insomnia, and asthma. It should be noted that this list is not exhaustive, and you can learn more here.
How can magnesium help relieve pain?
Magnesium for Pain: Physical
As we age, much of the discomfort we feel comes from our bones and muscles. Low levels of magnesium are often connected to inflammation, which is what causes our joints to feel uncomfortable or painful. Inflammation is also one of the biggest causes of aging and chronic diseases, so it’s something we should be doing everything to minimize if we want to live long, healthy, pain-free lives.
Magnesium has also been assessed as part of randomized group trials of children who suffer from migraines. Magnesium hasn’t yet been extensively studied as a remedy for chronic migraines, but this study noted that treatment with oral magnesium led to a significant reduction in subjects’ headaches. This study describes magnesium as a “safe, appealing complementary therapy.”
Magnesium for Pain: Mental
And it’s not just physical pain that can have an effect on our quality of life. Many people with recurring mental health issues also experience a co-occurring or recurring physical illness. This tends to make their symptoms worse, and thus recovery is more difficult. Major depressive disorder (MDD) is the biggest cause of disability in America for people aged 15 to 44. With mental health issues often comes a lack of energy, as well as physical aches and pains.
In addition, physical ailments also bring about anxiety, stress and insomnia. As we worry about the state of our physical health, our mental health is likely to suffer, too.
Thankfully, as we’ve explored, magnesium can effectively help to maintain a steady energy level, as well as playing a critical role in our brain function. With increased energy levels throughout the day, a steadier mood, and improved concentration, our mental and physical health is likely to improve.
Which Type of Magnesium is Best to Take for Pain?
Taking any form of magnesium will be better than nothing at all, but if you’re suffering from chronic pain from an issue such as joint or back pain, topical magnesium is going to help target those areas and relieve your pain.
Why is topical magnesium for pain relief so effective?
Topical simply means it is a cream or oil that can be directly applied to the skin, so topical magnesium for pain can target acute pains and get to work reducing inflammation as soon as possible.
Topical magnesium is an easy, convenient and affordable way to ensure that the additional magnesium you’re taking is getting to the most affected areas. Creams and ointments are also often more effective ways of absorbing certain minerals than capsules or tablets, because they can get into the bloodstream more quickly. Topical magnesium has been shown to reduce the inflammation that causes physical pain and is also helpful to those who are pregnant as it supports healthy lactation.
How do I apply topical magnesium for pain relief?
Where Can I Find Topical Magnesium for Pain Relief?
There are many sources of magnesium, through foods, supplements, and creams, but not all magnesium sources are created equal. Herbal Mana’s topical magnesium contains only the best quality USP (United States Pharmacopeia) Grade Magnesium Chloride Oil. Apply our magnesium creams once a day, around 20 minutes before you shower, to the area where you are experiencing discomfort. Start with a small amount, and increase the amount you use as you get to know the product.