Muscle soreness and magnesium deficiency
It will come as no surprise that we encounter a lot of people struggling with sore muscles.
There are hundreds of different causes of sore muscles and soft tissue pain ranging from traumatic injuries to simply sleeping "wrong". If the soreness becomes chronic (i.e. lasting for weeks or even months on end), it may be due to a magnesium deficiency. Could this be the case for you? The only way to know for sure and to rule out other causes is to visit your health care provider, but knowledge is power: read on to learn more and see if it could perhaps be magnesium, or lack thereof, that is causing your discomfort. According to Statistics Canada, more than 34% of adult Canadians consume below the suggested daily intake of magnesium. One of the implications of low levels of magnesium is muscle fatigue, muscle pain, spasms and cramps, and tension headaches. Magnesium and calcium are the main players on the team that operates your muscles:
Calcium plays a key role in the process of your muscles contracting, while magnesium is the all-star of the process that makes your muscles release.
If you are experiencing frequent muscle cramps and spasms, it is possible that your magnesium intake is lower than your calcium intake, resulting in your muscles being unable to relax fully between every contraction. Additionally, without enough magnesium in your system it can be difficult for your body to flush out lactic acid – the byproduct of a muscle contraction – resulting in muscle soreness. If you experience frequent tension headaches, it could be that this process of improper muscular release is occurring in the muscles of your head and neck.
At the cellular level: magnesium blocks the calcium channel, preventing an excessive increase in intracellular calcium levels, which reduces muscles cramping/ spasm.[/caption] Lifestyle changes can be a good first step to increases your magnesium levels. Tweaks you can make to your diet include reducing caffeine, alcohol and soft drink consumption, reducing sodium intake, increasing consumption of leafy greens, and eating more raw nuts and seeds. In addition, reducing stress can help minimize magnesium wastage. But the most consistent, effective and easiest way to improve your magnesium levels is to take a magnesium supplement regularly. For the convenience of our patients, we stock a supply of high quality magnesium supplements in the clinic (we carry Metagenics brand), or you can easily find magnesium at your favourite local health food store.
We recommend you consult with a healthcare professional to rule out other causes for your sore muscles but increasing your magnesium levels may be the simple solution your body needs. Our chiropractors are trained to determine the root cause of your pain and can also make recommendations regarding your magnesium levels and how best to obtain target amounts of magnesium through supplementation. Give us a call or leave a comment below to learn more!
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