There’s no denying the importance of essential nutrients, including minerals such as magnesium, for human health. Magnesium plays a particularly important role in the regulation of nerve and muscle function, as well as in the maintenance of bone and DNA health. It’s therefore a popular and useful supplement for back pain, whether caused by spinal disorders or chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia. What most don’t know is that magnesium can also be administered transdermally through topical applications including magnesium gels and sprays. In fact, a study published by researchers found that hair follicles can facilitate magnesium absorption via the skin barrier.
7 Benefits of Magnesium Gel for Back Pain
- Relieves Acute Pain
Unlike chronic pain, acute pain is temporary and may last for just a couple of days or up to 6 months. A key difference is that acute pain is something that we all experience occasionally, as it is caused by soft tissue damage and injury such as a muscle pull or sprain. Magnesium has proven analgesic properties and the application of magnesium gel could help provide relief from back pain injuries, whether from trauma or overuse of muscles. Magnesium can also help because of its positive influence on tissue repair and exercise performance.
- Reduces Chronic Pain
Aside from its analgesic or pain-relieving effects, magnesium also helps to reduce chronic pain by addressing some of the underlying causes or risk factors. Many chronic diseases that cause back pain have an association with stress. For example, fibromyalgia flare-ups that cause widespread and chronic pain are exacerbated with exposure to high levels of stress. Stress disorders are also prevalent in individuals who suffer from chronic back pain and sciatica. We’re now learning from research that magnesium deficiency can significantly impact stress and anxiety levels, worsening back pain. Conversely, supplementation through oral and transdermal application can reduce stress and chronic pain.
- Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation is a healthy response to injury and infection, which results from an active immune system working to repair damage or fighting the infection. However, when inflammation remains even in the absence of infection and injury, it can cause chronic muscle and joint pain, also raising the risk of heart disease and diabetes among other conditions. This type of chronic inflammation is often linked to magnesium deficiency, wherein there is excessive production of inflammatory cytokines and free radicals. To counter this risk, you should increase dietary intake of magnesium rich foods and use magnesium gels for pain relief.
- Helps Repair Muscles
Magnesium is regarded as an important nutrient for bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts with good cause. It exerts a direct influence on energy metabolism and healthy muscle function, enhancing exercise performance and muscle recovery. In addition to increasing oxygen intake that is vital to cell development, magnesium also increases the efficiency of protein synthesis. By improving circulation to the muscles and reducing lactic acid buildup, it reduces post exercise muscle soreness and lowers the risk of muscle injuries, spasms, and cramps. This makes magnesium gels therapeutic for muscle injuries or soreness.
- Improves Mobility
Magnesium’s health benefits for musculoskeletal health and metabolic function are well recognized and these have significant impact on joint function and mobility too. With reduced inflammation and healthy muscle function, patients are less likely to be debilitated with back pain and other forms of chronic pain. In addition, magnesium was shown to suppress calcifications and ossifications in orthopedic patients, thereby restoring joint mobility.
- Reduces Neuropathic Pain
While there are other natural aids that can also provide pain relief, few are as effective as magnesium. This is because magnesium also helps to lower nerve pain or neuropathic pain. This type of pain is associated with excessive stimulation of NMDA, a neurotransmitter. The most effective medications work by decreasing and balancing NMDA, but they have severe side effects. Magnesium has been shown to be just as effective without posing the same risks. Another study looking specifically at neuropathic chronic back pain also found that it could relieve pain and improve lumbar spine mobility.
- Reduces PMS Symptoms
The increase in prostaglandins and other hormonal changes during PMS can cause a wide range of symptoms including painful cramps and lower back pain. Magnesium gel application could relieve many of these symptoms by reducing or preventing menstrual cramps and associated muscular pains. This action has been linked to its effect of relaxing the uterine smooth muscle and lowering prostaglandin levels. Magnesium may also work by lowering stress through its calming effect on the nervous system, regulating its response to hormones like progesterone.
Although increasing your dietary intake of magnesium is a good idea and will help, it is usually inadequate. Most people do not get the required daily intake of magnesium, making supplementation necessary. Unfortunately, magnesium supplements can cause diarrhea and gastrointestinal problems in some individuals. Magnesium gels are perhaps the best way to treat back pain naturally, as they provide the same benefits while bypassing the gastrointestinal tract entirely.
Authors Bio: Anita Fernandes has been writing extensively on health and wellness for over a decade. She has expertise in nutrition, fitness, public health, and weight loss and has contributed content to a variety of leading digital health publishers. Anita has a unique perspective on healthy living and lifestyle, as she has battled and overcome chronic back pains. She shares her experiences in an effort to help others overcome the physical and mental health problems that can sometimes seem insurmountable.