The first ever study of its kind has been completed at the mayo clinic in Rochester, Minnesota about the effectiveness of magnesium applied to the skin for the treatment of fibromyalgia. This follows results from several studies which have found a detrimental correlation between decreased magnesium levels and fibromyalgia symptoms, such as tender points. “Abraham and Flechas postulated that low magnesium levels in muscle cells may be a factor in fibromyalgia development.”
Magnesium has many functions throughout the body, from blood sugar and blood pressure regulation to nerve and muscle function. This is in large part due to the fact that magnesium is part of the enzyme activation process throughout the body. This study explored the efficacy of the use of a magnesium spray solution to the limbs of fibromyalgia patients twice daily for a four-week period. The estimated dose of magnesium is 400 mg per day. The only known side effect of transdermal application of magnesium is skin irritation.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition of unknown etiology with symptoms of depression, fatigue, and sleep disturbance being the most common symptoms after pain. This study looked at “6 symptoms associated with fibromyalgia: migraines, headaches, leg cramps, fatigue, joint pain, and muscle pain.” Patients who tolerated the spray saw improvement of fibromyalgia symptoms within two weeks and these gains were maintained for the four-week period.
Research participants established a baseline and improvements through self reporting and the use of questionnaires. This study confirmed existing medical research, which says that maintaining therapeutic serum magnesium levels has been linked to a lowering of fibromyalgia symptoms including depression, tender point score, and fatigue.
This is a promising study for the use of topical magnesium as a treatment for fibromyalgia patients. It offers a clear alternative to oral magnesium supplements, and since most fibromyalgia patients tend to have a large regiment of oral treatments, this application may be well suited for this population. Moreover, magnesium offers a safe natural treatment alternative to the potentially harmful side effects of many pharmaceutical treatments. Although magnesium is available from multiple food sources, the depletion of soils and invariability of diets suggest that a supplement of magnesium for the treatment of fibromyalgia is needed.