Fact: “Studies suggest that magnesium deficiency is usually the cause of Muscle Tension, a condition that is experienced by an estimated one out of two Americans. Magnesium eases Muscle tension. It stops the same muscle tension that makes your neck, back, and really any body part hurt, resulting in an overall improvement of how you feel. Magnesium works with the calcium in our bodies to help our muscles contract and then relax. Muscles contract with the help of stored calcium. Magnesium is the mineral that helps them relax. Without enough magnesium, muscles are unable to fully relax after contraction. This is what causes pain from muscle tension.”
Two great ways to get more Magnesium
Are you low on Magnesium
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and it is necessary in regulating over 300 biochemical reactions that maintain human life. Magnesium is vitally important to normal function of the human body.
“There are biochemical reactions underlying all body processes, from the digestion of the foods you eat to your ability to generate enough energy to go for a walk.”
Every single cell in the human body demands adequate magnesium to function. Your bones, muscles, chemical and hormonal balance, and your nervous system all depend upon having sufficient magnesium on a cellular level. The brain and the heart are two organs that produce a large amount of electrical activity, and which can be especially vulnerable to insufficient magnesium levels.
Proper magnesium ratios are important for the body and need to be balanced with calcium in the cells. Even a small deficiency of magnesium can lead to a dangerous calcium imbalance and lead to problems like calcification and cell death can occur. This opens the door for symptoms such heart trouble, migraine headaches, muscle cramps (spasms) and premenstrual cramping.
Magnesium Is removed during food processing
Unfortunately, in the farming process the soil is depleted of its natural magnesium. Add to this that hybrid plants are bred to survive despite the low levels of magnesium in the soil. Farmers take the time to boost growth with chemicals like nitrogen but never replenish the natural magnesium levels.
Water was once a good source of magnesium, but Fluoride in drinking water has eliminated that option. fluoride binds with magnesium and creates an insoluble mineral compound that gets deposited in the bones. This causes brittleness and increases the risk of bone fractures. There is a type of water that comes from deep wells that have magnesium at their source, or from glacial runoff that is still rich in minerals. You can not find magnesium in urban sources of drinking water whose source is usually from rivers and streams, which are low in magnesium. Even bottled water is quite low in magnesium.
These additional dietary factors can also deplete magnesium. Caffeine, sugar (It takes 28 molecules of magnesium to metabolize a single glucose sugar molecule), over processed food, excess alcohol, produce grown in depleted soil, foods high in phytic acid, birth control pills, hypertension medicine, diuretics, insulin, and certain antibiotics (among others) deplete magnesium levels. Sweating often from exercise or other causes can also deplete magnesium.
Replace the Magnesium
What Does Magnesium Do?
Magnesium is necessary for hundreds of functions within the body, but is especially important for:
Makes your bones strong but flexible at the same time, and sometimes is more important for your bones than Calcuim. It Keeps your blood pressure at normal levels. It can prevent and reverse kidney stone formation. It can help you get restful sleep. Magnesium can prevent congestive heart failure, it is very effective in easing muscle cramps and spasms, lowers serum cholesterol levels and triglycerides, and lowers insulin resistance, prevents atherosclerosis and stroke. It can stop cluster and migraine headaches, improve your circulation, eases fibromyalgia and chronic pain, and improves asthma and emphysema. It if very good for encouraging proper elimination (helps with constipation)
Ice pick headaches are a sign you are low in Magnesium
In today’s world over 80% of tested adults are low in magnesium. Unfortunately, blood tests are not an accurate way of checking magnesium levels because less than 1% of magnesium is in the blood. In is found in higher concentrations in the bones, muscles, and organs. Low magnesium levels are diagnosed by symptoms, and the following symptoms can point to low magnesium levels:
- Ice pick headaches
- Inability to sleep or insomnia
- Sensitivity to noise
- Mental disturbances
- Anxiety, depression, or restlessness
- Muscle soreness or spasms
- Infertility or PMS
- High levels of stress
- Heart “flutters” or palpitations
- Fatigue or unusual tiredness
- Coldness in extremities
- Fuzzy brain or difficulty concentrating
- Allergies and sensitivities
- Lack of appetite
- Back pain
- Body odor
- Bad short term memory
- Poor coordination
- Insulin resistance
- Carbohydrate cravings
- Frequent cavities or poor dental health
- Gut disorders
- Kidney stones
- Thyroid problems
If you have more than one of the above symptoms you could benefit from magnesium supplementation.
How To Get Magnesium
There are several ways to supplement, and a mixture of more than one type of magnesium supplementation seems to be most effective. The best way to supplement with magnesium, in my opinion, is by using it on the skin. This is not only the safest way, since the body will only use what is needed, but the most effective. Unlike internal doses of magnesium, topical magnesium does not have to pass through the digestive system and kidneys and can more quickly enter the blood and tissues of the body.
I have experimented with a variety of magnesium supplements over the years and now stick exclusively to Magnesium Oil Lotion because I found it to be the most effective.
If you on the go and short on time my second choice would be with a drink. Natural Vitality Calm is a magnesium drink that has a reputation for being a top quality magnesium supplement. My favorite is the raspberry lemon flavor and is really very satisfying. You can buy Natural Vitality in a container or in individual packets.
I use them both. I use the spray when it’s convenient, and then the drink when I’m on the move. I’ve used them both at the same time to speed the results, and this works very well.
Magnesium eased my tension
I am a very uptight person. I actually didn’t know this for most of my life because I had always been that way. I didn’t realize I was tense, but I do know I had to go to the chiropractor with back pain quite often. It actually took me a very long time to realize, or even accept that tension was the cause of my pain.
Two Things Causing My Headaches
About two years ago I started having terrible headaches I would compare to a migraine. I found out that I had a terrible sinus infection in my Sphenoid that was causing them. I describe here Sinus Infection Page how using Flonase in a certain way cleared up my sinus infection, and the daily headaches I got from that. I was feeling good after that. It was like a new lease on life. That is until my headache came back. This time I was having headaches about once a week and would last for two days. With the sinus infection it was every day, so I knew this was something different. I used the Flonase, and it didn’t help like it had before.
I Just Needed to be Pointed in the Right Direction
I was speaking to a friend one day and really just complaining about my headaches coming back off and on. He knows me pretty well, and he said “You are one of the tensest people I know. Your headaches are from tension. You need to relax.” Because I am such a worry wart I always over research everything. I found out a lot about what tension does, and it can really affect you negatively if you don’t do something about it.
The Old Way of Thinking
Here is what you can do about it. If you’re tense, or if you’re stressed out, you are probably going to stay that way. That’s who you are. You can try all kinds of things to relax such as yoga, meditation, and all that other stuff, but realistically it is going to be a constant fight. If you go to a doctor they will prescribe you drugs. Muscle relaxers, or something like Valium to relax you. They will work. They will work very well, but you will be drugged up. That is the old way of thinking.
“Calcium Contracts; Magnesium Relaxes”
I think I had a Magnesium deficiency. I asked a friend if they knew of any kind of natural alternative for muscle relaxers. They said magnesium. I’m going to get straight to the point and tell you how to stop the pain now, and then put all the details about how Magnesium works at the bottom of this page. My friend had this lotion, which I highly recommend. It kills a tension headache in ten minutes. I just rubbed it right on my shoulders, and left it there. Here’s a link to that lotion. Link: Magnesium Oil Lotion. That lotion worked so good! I felt so good to have some control again.
What I usually do is rub it on, throw my shirt on, and head off to work. It works better and faster than anything else. That lotion stopped my headaches so I knew it was the muscle relaxing properties in magnesium that was helping. My back quite hurting after about 15 years of a straight aching pain. I was quite a bit less grumpy. I needed some form of magnesium that worked this good but in a more convenient form. Pills do not work well by the way. I’ll go into that later. After some searching I found it. It is a mix called Natural Vitality Calm. You mix it up, and drink it once a day. Stop after about a week and see if you still have headaches. If you do, drink it for another week. I drank it for one week, and my headaches, neck pain, and back pain, are gone! I believe I had a magnesium deficiency, and now it’s back to normal. You can find this stuff in stores. I bought mine at a Publix Grocery Store. If you can’t find it here is a link to it at Amazon.com. Link: Natural Vitality Calm Drink
If Magnesium Doesn’t Help: It might Be a Sinus Infection
If you have followed my advice on how to get rid of a tension headache, and it didn’t help, chances are that you have a sinus headache. On this page I will tell you how to get rid of your sinus infection. Link to that page
Raw Facts on Magnesium Deficiency
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), magnesium assists in regulating “diverse biochemical reactions in the body.” Some of these reactions include muscle and nerve function. In addition, magnesium also helps to transport ions of calcium and potassium across cell membranes, which is critical to those functions. In terms of tension headaches, this ion exchange is facilitated by magnesium, which acts as an electrolyte to balance the fluid levels that carry electrical impulses across membranes. This exchange is what allows muscles to contract and then, more importantly in terms of tension headaches, to relax. Muscle tension, especially in the shoulders, neck and jaw area is a common cause of tension headaches. Given its role in ion exchange, a deficiency in magnesium would likely contribute to muscular tension. Conversely, adequate levels of magnesium would maintain muscles in a more relaxed state, which would decrease the likelihood of developing a tension headache.
Headaches vs Migraines
Magnesium is now starting to get attention in the natural health press as being helpful for migraines, cluster headaches and tension headaches. One study showed that patients with migraines got almost immediate results for receiving 1 gram of magnesium sulfate intravenously. In 32 out of 40 patients complete elimination of migraine pain was observed within 15 minutes. Other physicians have prescribed oral magnesium oxide or other magnesium supplements, with good but slower effect.
Magnesium is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the United States. The average American diet is estimated to have only 250 mg of magnesium per day, whereas the average Chinese diet has 650 mg. For therapeutic purposes, it is often enough to dose 400 to 800 mg of magnesium to stop a migraine.
What is a Tension Headache Like?
A tension headache is generally a diffuse, mild to moderate pain in your head that’s often described as feeling like a tight band around your head. They are the most common type of headaches among adults. They are commonly referred to as stress headaches.
Insomia is bad for your health: How to sleep better
Good sleep is one of the cornerstones of health, without which optimal health will remain elusive. Impaired sleep can increase your risk of a wide variety of diseases and disorders, including:
Mood disorders like depression
Numerous factors can contribute to poor sleep, including vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The featured article by LiveScience1 highlights three nutrients tied to three common sleep problems. To this, I would add melatonin, which is both a hormone and an antioxidant:
Magnesium deficiency can cause insomnia
Lack of potassium can lead to difficulty staying asleep throughout the night
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to excessive daytime sleepiness
Irritability is just the beginning
“Other symptoms and signs of magnesium deficiency and discuss laboratory testing for this common condition. Continuing with the symptoms of magnesium deficiency, the central nervous system is markedly affected. Symptoms include insomnia, anxiety, hyperactivity and restlessness with constant movement, panic attacks, agoraphobia, and premenstrual irritability. Magnesium deficiency symptoms involving the peripheral nervous system include numbness, tingling, and other abnormal sensations, such as zips, zaps and vibratory sensations.”
Magnesium can help your hearing
During the past 20 years, research into the role of diet on hearing has suggested a whole range of vitamins and supplements that contribute to the health of your hearing. Vitamins A, C, D and E can help decrease your susceptibility to noise and improve your overall nerve health. Vitamin D seems especially important to the health of your ears, and more importantly, a deficiency of magnesium in your diet may impair your body’s ability to absorb this important vitamin. Minerals such as copper, iodine, iron, potassium and zinc are also recommended for hearing health.
Stress is destroyed by magnesium
Stress can cause magnesium depletion and a lack of magnesium magnifies stress. When stress becomes constant in our lives—be it mental, emotional, environmental or physical—the continual state of hypervigilence of our bodies and cells can make our health suffer. This is especially true when one is low in magnesium—often the case in today’s diet of highly processed foods. Going through a stressful period without sufficient magnesium can set up a deficit that, if not corrected, can linger, causing more stress and further health problems.
PMS and magnesium
“Ever wonder why you crave chocolate before your period? It’s because your body is clamoring for magnesium, and, ounce for ounce, dark chocolate (80-plus percent cocoa) has more magnesium than any other food. Magnesium levels fluctuate during a woman’s cycle. The higher the estrogen or progesterone, the lower the magnesium. During the second half of the menstrual cycle, when both estrogen and progesterone are elevated, magnesium plummets. This can result in spasms in the brain arteries — a prelude to PMS and migraines. Increasing dietary and supplemental magnesium can help relieve PMS-related symptoms, such as headaches, bloating, low blood sugar, dizziness, fluid retention and sugar cravings.”
Infertility can be inproved and it can help with pregnancy too
However on the flip side, low levels of Magnesium can attribute to an increase in muscle contractions that lead to cramping, poor fetal growth, preeclampsia, and even fetal death. The battle with infertility is an emotional roller-coaster. It is stressful. When one is deficient in magnesium, stress levels, caused by the stress-chemical of cortisol, increase dramatically. And in turn, magnesium levels plummet even further. To restate that simply: Magnesium deficiency causes stress, which in turn decreases magnesium – it’s a vicious circle.
The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.