Chronic Lower Back Pain and Magnesium

Back and neck pain are the most common chronic pain conditions

Back problems are the most frequent cause of activity limitations in working-agee adults. Each year 13 million people go to the doctor for chronic back pain. It is estimated that the condition leaves 2.4 million chronically disabled.

Back and neck pain is the most common chronic pain conditions. Back and neck pain can arise from soft tissues, bony parts of back and neck, and joints holding the spine in alignment. It can arise directly or indirectly from the discs in the back or neck. It can also occur when nerves and nervous tissue, usually protected by the bones of the spine, are compressed by those bones. Back pain can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain that leaves the individual suffering and/or incapacitated. Back pain can be acute (immediate) or chronic (long-term). Acute back pain usually gets better on its own without treatment. However, chronic back pain may require medication and/or surgery.

Study: The effect of Magnesium

Magnesium (Mg) is found in large amounts in the human body and is involved in more than 300 chemicals reactions. Mg sulphate has a long history of use for the treatment.

In the randomised study , scientists evaluated the potential effects of Mg for reducing chronic back pain. They enrolled 80 subjects who suffered from chronic lower back pain and nerve pain, all of whom received traditional treatment such as physical therapy, antidepressants, and pain relievers. Also, half of the participants received Mg through an intravenous (I/V) infusion for two weeks and Mg capsules taken by mouth for four weeks, while other half received placebo during those six weeks.

The Results

The result suggested that the Mg group reported significantly reduced pain, compared to the placebo group. They also reported significant improvement in spine range of motion during the follow-up.

The research team concluded that receiving Mg through IV for 2 weeks and taking Mg capsules by mouth for 4 weeks may help reduce pain, and improve mobility in people with chronic low back and nerve pain.

Written By Nutritionist, Dr Zeeba Shariff who currently treats patients at the Osteopathic Clinic in Croydon .

Dr Zeeba Shariff qualified as a Medical doctor in 1988, in 2002 she also obtained her Master’s degree in Nutritional Medicine from the University of Surrey. She then did further training in applied Nutrition and Herbalism from the Centre of Nutritional Education. She is a full member of BANT, NTC, CHNC, The Nutrition Society, Candida Society, Cambridge Nutritional Science and Genova Diagnostics.

Reference for the lower back pain:

1. Natural Standards. The Authority on Integrative Medicine.

2. A Double blind randomised controlled study of the value of sequential I/V and oral Magnesium therapy in patients with lower back pain with neuropathic component. Anaesthesia- March 2013 68 - (3).