You have likely woken up in the morning only to be greeted by inexplicable soreness and aches across your body. It makes getting up a challenge and staying up a chore. While it might seem like a burden you will have to carry for the remainder of your days, there may exist a solution. If you are tired of these constant aches and pains in your joints, it might behoove you to give this article a close read.
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What is Joint Pain?
Joint pains are one of those conditions that have no shortage of causes. The unfortunate reality is that you are more likely to go through life experiencing these pains multiple times than you are to avoid them. One of the leading causes of joint pains and aches is simply sleeping in improper positions or having bad posture. These issues cause your bones to suffer additional pressure for extended periods that are unhealthy for them. As a result, your joints become strained and ache in response.
Additionally, several conditions have joint pains as a symptom:
These are only a few of the conditions that will cause your joints to ache and cause you no end of pain and discomfort. Fortunately, despite the numerous conditions, you may yet find reprieve using certain medicinal aids to counteract the chronic pain and, if you are lucky, eliminate it altogether.
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium might seem like an intimidating term with a negative connotation if you’re unaware of how the body uses minerals. Magnesium is an extremely important mineral to the human body. Our bodies use magnesium in over three hundred different enzyme reactions, and the mineral is a primary factor in our muscle and nerve functions. Magnesium is also used to bolster the immune system to make you healthier.
Boosting your magnesium intake also bolsters the strength of your skeletal structure and reinforces your bones. Meaning, adapting to a diet of magnesium-rich foods can help combat joint aches and pains before they even manifest. Per Medical News Today, magnesium has been cited for six significant benefits:
- Bone Health: Magnesium has been linked directly to stronger bones, putting it on par with calcium as a necessary mineral.
- Diabetes: Magnesium promotes insulin metabolism and decreases the risk of insulin resistance, both of which factor into one’s susceptibility to diabetes.
- Cardiovascular Health: Studies conducted in 2018 and 2019 found that magnesium helps lower the risk of a fatal heart attack and stroke.
- Migraines: Magnesium deficiencies restrict blood flow, causing migraines. Upping your magnesium intake can help prevent these issues.
- Premenstrual Syndrome: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has found magnesium reduces bloating, mood symptoms, and tender breasts during premenstrual syndrome.
- Anxiety: A study in 2017 alleged that magnesium could help combat anxiety since low magnesium levels may inhibit activity in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. However, this research is not as conclusive as the rest.
The average adult body contains twenty-five grams of magnesium divided amongst our skeletal structure, muscles, soft tissue, and bodily fluids. Magnesium is so critical that deficiency of the mineral has severe ramifications for our overall health. If you are deficient in magnesium, you will experience symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, and general weakness. If left untreated, it can deteriorate into more severe conditions such as hypocalcemia (a shortage of calcium).
Because of the direct correlation between calcium and the strength of our skeletal structure, having a magnesium deficiency that further deteriorates into hypocalcemia can lead to severe joint pains and aches you might be experiencing.
As with any pain, mainstream treatments can be used to tend to your chronic ailments. Many of the options can even be executed from home. Treatment options can be divided into two types: home and medical.
Home Treatments Include:
- Exercise: By committing to a regimen of home exercises, you can strengthen your tendons, muscles, and bones and reduce the strain on your joints. The more you exercise a part of your body, the more resilient it becomes.
- Stretching: By stretching regularly, preferably before beginning your exercises, you allow your joints to ready themselves for the strain they are about to endure. As previously stated, reinforcing the strength of your joints will minimize the amount they will hurt under strain.
- Weight Monitoring: If you are an individual who is outside their healthy body mass index (BMI) range, the excess weight you carry can cause the same strain as poor posture. This can be corrected by adjusting your diet and committing to a healthier lifestyle to shed off those extra pounds and relieve the strain your joints suffer as a result.
- Alternatives: If you do not have arthritis, you can also seek out more basic treatment options. This includes anything from over-the-counter anti-inflammatories from your local pharmacy to an appointment for a deep tissue massage. These alternative options provide a more straightforward method for pain management, though with the risk of being less effective than the others depending on the severity of your condition.
If you are seeking full medical treatment for your pain, it is because you have a chronic condition that is far more severe than simple strain. Conditions such as gout or sarcoidosis can warrant intensive medical care at a hospital and, in the worst cases, even necessitate surgery. If you are concerned about your condition is too severe for self-treatment, you might want to consider consulting your primary care physician.
Severe conditions involving a lack of magnesium are rare, but minor deficiencies can happen, as can medical conditions that disrupt the body’s use of the mineral. Any major concerns are worth discussing with your doctor.
How Magnesium Helps Joint Pain
Magnesium strengthens the human body’s skeletal structure, thereby reinforcing the joints against any strain they might endure. Anything from excess weight to poor posture to genetic conditions can cause joint aches. The real concern is if magnesium intake would successfully mitigate the effects of severe conditions like arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent variety of arthritic conditions in the world and wreaks havoc on the knees, hips, and spine. In 2016, a study conducted by researchers Yaqiang Li, Jiaji Yue, and Chunxi Yang set out to determine how effective magnesium is against osteoarthritis. The study revealed that magnesium was, in fact, an effective therapy outlet for osteoarthritis, albeit with a limited model with which to observe the results.
This indicates that upping your intake of magnesium-rich foods or using magnesium supplements can help you handle the effects of osteoarthritis to a limited degree.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a more severe variant of the arthritic condition. Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. This means the condition is a result of your immune system attacking your body by mistake. The inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis is extremely painful but, like osteoarthritis, can be tended to using magnesium.
While most physicians might not prescribe magnesium as a primary supplement to alleviate rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, many have also found it extremely effective.
“In my experience, I find that magnesium in its many forms is very useful. Drugs used for RA drain magnesium from the body. Magnesium is a very powerful anti-inflammatory.” – Dean Stephens
“Oral magnesium in the form of powdered magnesium citrate dissolved in water and sipped through the day can be very helpful.” – Dean Stephens
Osteoporosis is a condition in which the body does not make enough or loses too much bone mass. It is often a consequence of rheumatoid arthritis but is far more common due to many conditions ranging from the physical to the mental.
A study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information sought to determine if magnesium intake could help combat the symptoms of osteoporosis. Citing a study from Pub Med, they found that Robert K. Rude discovered a direct correlation between magnesium deficiency to an increase of osteoporosis in rats.
“Epidemiological studies have linked dietary Mg deficiency to osteoporosis. As diets deficient in Mg are also deficient in other nutrients that may affect bone, studies have been carried out with select dietary Mg depletion in animal models. Severe Mg deficiency in the rat (Mg at <0.0002% of the total diet; normal = 0.05%) causes impaired bone growth, osteopenia, and skeletal fragility. This degree of Mg deficiency probably does not commonly exist in the human population. We have therefore induced dietary Mg deprivation in the rat at 10%, 25% and 50% of recommended nutrient requirement.” – Robert K. Rude
Another Pub Med article revealed that humans suffering from sickle-cell anemia and a low intake of magnesium seemed to be just as susceptible to the condition. By taking sixty adults in their twenties and race-compatible blood donors, they compared the bone mass density to determine if the lack of magnesium would contribute to the condition. The results proved that a magnesium deficiency did, in fact, impact the bone mass density in sickle-cell anemics.
Beginning in the 2020 pandemic, the symptoms of COVID-19 have included joint pain due to the sheer exhaustive effects of the novel Coronavirus. However, as shown in a study by St. Luke’s, magnesium can reduce the infection rate of this society-shattering disease. A study conducted in Singapore tested forty-three COVID-positive adults over fifty with magnesium and found that it reduced the symptoms and reduced the need for oxygen therapy by 87%.
How to Get Magnesium
Magnesium is found in a wide array of foods that, when consumed, bolster the concentration of the mineral in your body. Some of the most popular sources of magnesium to be added to your diet are:
- Soy Milk
- Black Beans
- Peanut Butter
- Whole Wheat Bread
- Brown Rice
- Fortified Cereals
- Kidney Beans
Adding some, if not all, of these foods to your regular diet, will do wonders in helping you cultivate more magnesium in your body to reinforce your skeletal structure and immune system. However, foods are not the only sources of magnesium. If you are deficient in this crucial mineral, you can also get specialized supplements that directly inject magnesium into your system without the proverbial middleman of the correct food.
Popular brands, such as Nature’s Bounty, offer magnesium supplements at your local Walmart or another convenience store. Or you can go the extra mile and investigate one of our proprietary specialized formulas for a boost to your magnesium levels and other crucial vitamins involved in keeping your body healthy.
Magnesium is a potentially irreplaceable supplement when it comes to managing your chronic pains and aches, even from arthritic diseases. However, like all good things, it may well carry its share of issues.
While magnesium is a mineral we naturally require for a healthy lifestyle, that does not mean it is good to overindulge. There is a rare condition that manifests from having too much magnesium in your body at any given time called hypermagnesemia.
Hypermagnesemia is rare because our kidneys are designed to purge any excess magnesium from our bodies to prevent any toxic side effects. However, if your kidneys are compromised in any way, you may find yourself at risk. Therefore, people with kidney issues are warned to avoid magnesium supplements unless directed by their nephrologist.
When suffering from hypermagnesemia, you will feel nauseous. Your muscles will also weaken and cause lethargy. You will also suffer from other adverse effects such as urine retention, diarrhea, and possible cardiac arrest. The condition is treatable, but if left unaddressed, it might prove fatal in a worst-case scenario.
Down to the Bone
Magnesium’s effects on joint pain and aches seem overwhelmingly positive, as many physicians and patients attest to its relieving effects. Magnesium allows the body to reinforce the skeletal structure and immune system, allowing your bones to withstand more abuse while also staving off diseases that might otherwise weaken them.
To that end, it may behoove you to consider adding more magnesium-rich foods to your diet to help stave off the pain you might be feeling. It can help reduce the inflammation from chronic conditions and muscle strains, which are also prime culprits for your pain.
However, it is also important to remember that there is such a thing as too much. If you suffer from kidney issues, keep your magnesium intake to a minimum to prevent hypermagnesemia and other toxic side effects from an excess of magnesium in your system. Remember to always consult your physician if you experience any of the symptoms of a dangerous disease.