Is there a link with Chronic Pain and Magnesium Deficiency?
Did you know that a large number of people in Australia suffers chronic pain? A ratio of one in five people are affected by chronic pain in Australia; this number is greater for people over the age of 65. The number of chronic pain sufferers is predicted to increase in the near future affecting up to five million of the Australian population.
Arthritis has been identified as one of the major contributors for chronic pain and disability in Australia. Arthritis affects 3.85 million Australians; that is approximately 18% of the population (Arthritis & Osteoporosis New South Wales, 2016).
Chronic Pain: Arthritis & Magnesium link
Arthritis has been described as the term 'umbrella for more than 100 medical conditions that affects the musculoskeletal system' (Arthritis Australia, 2016). The symptoms of arthritis can include:
- inflammation and joint cartilage damage
- Stiffness in the joint
- pain on movement
- loss of joint function
- Posture deformity can sometimes be noticed and:- Difficulties performing daily activities like walking, cooking a meal, driving a car or lifting.
Arthritis is the general term used to described inflammation of the joint. Whenever the body encounters injury, infection or some irritation; The body goes through a process of inflammation triggered by our immune system. Depending on the site of injury/inflammation; the symptoms may vary. For example, if it's near the bone or joints; the muscle will go through the process of inflammation to protect the surrounding bones or tissues, if it's allergic triggered for asthma sufferers for example; the lungs will swell up etc (1). Our body will undergo inflammatory process mostly at the site of the injury; inflammation is a way the body eliminates the irritant and to enable the surrounding tissues to go through repair. Magnesium plays an important role in ensuring that this process is done effectively.
Benefits Magnesium with chronic Pain
Magnesium plays an important role in our body; magnesium has over 300 functions in our body. Magnesium deficiency is a common problem affecting the populations today. Research indicates that chronic pain sufferer with arthritic type pain are magnesium deficient (2)
When we are magnesium deficient:
- We are at risk of getting more injuries
- Our bodies ability to repair itself and fight infection is limited as our immune system are not at their strongest.
- When a person is magnesium deficient it contributes to exaggerated response in our body's response to immune stress and oxidative stress is the consequences of the inflammatory response (Sircus, pg. 230).
- Our body's ability to minimise inflammation during injuries is impede (2).
- Calcium in our body is not properly absorbed, magnesium deficiency can cause calcium to move out of the bones, while having adequate amount of magnesium intake causes calcium to move from the tissues into the bones. Thus high magnesium levels leads to bone mineralization (Sircus, 2011, pg. 53).
- Most inflammation occurs at the site of the bones and joints; research has shown that magnesium oil is the most natural pain relief that can be used in the body. When Magnesium oil is sprayed onto the affected area; the pores of the skin rapidly absorbs the magnesium chloride (magnesium oil) and can help with easing the pain and reducing the inflammation at the site (3).
The role of magnesium in relieving pain?
- Magnesium minimise the inflammatory process our body goes through during an injury
- Magnesium has a huge influence on the NMDA receptor in the body: these receptor is responsible for sending pain signals to the brain. When the NMDA receptor is occupied by magnesium, it sends a signal to the pain nerve to 'switched off' (3).
- Magnesium has a role in strengthening the cells in our body thus reducing the inflammation process and systematic stress that out body goes through (Sircus, 2011, pg. 231).
Can magnesium oil be used to relieve arthritic pain?
Arthritic pain can be treated with magnesium oil sprays to relieve muscle pain. It is also a better alternative than using opioid type medications. Opioid drugs are often the solution for joint pain that cannot be treated with aspirin or other Non Steroidal Anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) medicine (5). Using opioid medicine for pain relief can cause more harm than good in the long term. Opioid medicines (e.g. morphine, Endone) may provide an instant pain relief however can be harmful to our body over long term use as the body develop tolerance to these medicine over a long period of time (5).
This could result for the body needing larger doses to achieve an adequate pain relief outcome; as a result the person suffering from pain will require greater dose of these medicines to relieve their pain. Magnesium oil spray use can provide effective pain relief for arthritic symptoms, help induce better sleep and lower the anxiety level in people.
When an individual who have been accustomed to the intake of opioid drugs start using magnesium sprays, the threshold of their pain increases and gradually use of drugs can be reduced. The process however takes substantial time and withdrawal from the drug cannot happen overnight (Sircus, 2010).
Application of magnesium oil for muscle pain?
- Always rinse off sweat from the body before the application of magnesium oil. This is to avoid the sodium (from the sweat) from competing with the magnesium to enter the cells of the body.
- Choose a good brand of magnesium spray to ensure maximum concentration and ultimately maximum penetration of the mineral. Downunder Magnesium Oil spray has the highest concentration of magnesium oil in the market; 1050mg of magnesium chloride per teaspoon
- Daily application of magnesium oil spray for people suffering Arthritic pain can help minimize and/or relieve their pain in the long term.
- For maximum benefits: it is recommended to take magnesium oil spray prior to sleeping and leave the oil on the skin overnight.
- Alternatively; applying 2 - 3 scoops of magnesium flakes (magnesium chloride flakes) in a warm bath tub and then soaking the whole body , or 1 scoop in a bucket of warm water and soaking your feet will not only help relieve your muscle aches and pain but will also provide your body with magnesium supplemement.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information presented on this websites is for research and education purposes only.
(1) Campaign for pain (2016) The Hard Facts about pain, Available at: http://www.campaignforpain.org.au/painful-facts/hard-facts-about-pain.html (Accessed: 28/11/2016).
(2) James, Andy (2016) Can Magnesium Oil help with Arthritis and Joint Pain?, Available at: http://themagnesiumperfection.com/103/arthritis-joint-pain/ (Accessed: 28/11/2016).
(3) Ngaio Richards (2016) Magnesium Oil: Top 5 Benefits for muscular pain, Available at: http://houseoffertilityandhealing.com.au/top-5-benefits-of-magnesium-oil-for-muscular-pain/ (Accessed: 28/11/2016).
(4) Sircus, Dr M (2016) The Hard Facts about pain, Available at: http://drsircus.com/medicine/magnesium/inflammation-and-systemic-stress (Accessed: 28/11/2016).
(5) Sircus, Dr M (2011) Transdermal Magnesium Therapy : A New Modality for the Maintenance of Health, 2nd edn., Bloomington IN, United States: iUniverse
(6) Arthritis Australia (2014) What is Arthritis?, Available at: http://www.arthritisaustralia.com.au/index.php/arthritis-information/what-is-arthritis.html(Accessed: 28/11/2016).