Magnesium & Myofascial Release
I have had the good fortune and the pleasure of having a wonderful internal medicine doctor, Jane Hightower, as my massage client. We started working together a few years ago. When she first came to me she was experiencing a similar injury as myself. We were both dealing with tight and compromised muscles attaching to our shoulder joint. This in turn was pulling on our first ribs near the Collar bone.
She had begun a treatment and a research project involving magnesium supplements to support and heal the MYOFASCIAL tissue and the softening and releasing of the tense musculature. She tested my tension points on the spot, and I too got on the treatment of 400 - 600 milligrams of magnesium a day. I was told to use 600 milligrams a day at least for the first 6 months. I used a very bio available Liquid magnesium for this first period called MEGA MAG. I purchased it at my local health food store, The Good Earth in Fairfax. Many health food stores have this, and it can also be purchased online.
I had been experiencing this shoulder discomfort for over 6 months. After a few months on the magnesium, combined with a couple of exercises to strengthen my TERES MAJOR, TERES MINOR and SERRATUS ANTERIOR muscles, I was finally seeing results.
The magnesium supplementation had the additional benefit of helping with a small knee injury I was having.
During that time, Dr. Hightower was already involved in her own studio of magnesium’s beneficial effects on MYOFASCIAL pain and also as a contributing factor of keeping at bay such illnesses as breast and colon cancer. Her paper on the studies she did was published in July of 2017 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
To understand the significance of Magnesium therapy to support Myofascial health and overall health of our muscles, we need to understand exactly what Myofascial tissue is. In an article by Aaron Martin, Myofascial tissue is described thusly:
“Myofascial tissue is a type of thin, strong, fibrous connective tissue that extends throughout your body to provide support and protection to your muscles and bones. Myofascial tissue fibers are made up of collagen and elastin fibers that are arranged in a web-like structure and that are suspended in a fluid called ground substance. With a tensile strength of more than 2000 pounds, it provides a strong support for the muscles, while at the same time allowing for flexibility. You can think of myofascial tissue as being similar to a mesh bag that contains your groceries. It is pliable, and can expand and contract as the contents of the bag change. It envelops your body like a wet suit, from the tips of your toes to the top of your head.
Trauma from whiplash, a fall, the effects of surgery or chronic bad posture are some of the things that can contribute to myofascial pain syndrome. But it's not just physical stress such as injury and illness that can cause the myofascial tissues to tighten. Emotional stress can have the same effect. This tightening can cause increased pressure on the muscles, nerves and organs that leads to chronic pain.”
As explained by this definition, it can be more understood how any health treatments that support myofascial tissue can support overall relief of body pain. Massage treatments such as Trigger Point Therapy, which is a form of Myofascial release, and magnesium thereapy, can be and effective form of pain treatment.
In Dr. Hightower’s article she describes the magnesium therapy thusly:
Multiple studies have shown that both vitamin D deficiency, as measured by total serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), and magnesium deficiency are common among patients with myofascial pain and fibromyalgia. In clinical research, magnesium supplementation has been shown to be a beneficial treatment for the associated myofascial pain, and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) supplementation has been inconsistent in its effectiveness for this condition [1–8]
Bagis S, Karabiber M, As I, Tamer L, Erdogan C, Atalay A: Is magnesium citrate treatment effective on pain, clinical parameters and functional status in patients with fibromyalgia? Rheumatol Int 33:167–172, 2013.
Multiple studies have shown that both vitamin D deficiency, as measured by total serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), and magnesium deficiency are common among patients with myofascial pain and fibromyalgia. In clinical research, magnesium supplementation has been shown to be a beneficial treatment for the associated myofascial pain, and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) supplementation has been inconsistent in its effectiveness for this condition
HERE is a link to her full paper.
I have found Magnesium therapy, taking 400-600 milligrams of bio-available Magnesium to be very beneficial in the healing of any of my muscle related injuries. Chelated Magnesium by Solaray is another on that Dr. Hightower suggested. This Supplement therapy, plus regular Massage Therapy sessions and some healthy physical therapy exercises suggested by a trained professional can be a great overall treatment.