Living with chronic neuropathic pain can be challenging. Neuropathic pain refers to the pain associated with the body’s nervous system not functioning the way that it should. The way the nervous system responds to stimuli in people with chronic neuropathic pain is quite different from the way the nervous system functions in someone without neuropathic pain.
For those who live with neuropathic pain, there are a variety of medications available to try and help manage the pain. These medications are not always geared towards curing the root of the pain, but rather they are used to control the pain and decrease the severity and frequency of pain flair-ups.
Many are not aware that magnesium, an over the counter supplement has been shown to have a similar effect on neuropathic pain as some of the prescribed neuromodulating drugs. While studies have shown that magnesium can help to better manage neuropathic pain, you should always ask your primary health physician before starting a new supplement regimen. Not everyone is able to safely take all supplements and so, speak with your doctor to find out if these supplements can be beneficial to you.
Magnesium is a fairly inexpensive over the counter supplement. Magnesium is a crucial mineral for the function of the human body. Magnesium can also be found organically in foods such as spinach, brown rice, peanuts and some fish. Magnesium is involved in regulating blood pressure, maintaining strong and healthy bones as well as regulating the rhythm of the heart. It is also known to function as a form of mild laxative. Magnesium is also being closely looked at as a way to manage chronic neuropathic pain.
Most people in North America as not taking in adequate amounts of magnesium. Those who are deficient in magnesium have shown a spike in inflammation markers throughout the body. This increase in inflammation can lead to a number of chronic illnesses including heart disease, osteoporosis and chronic pain.
Research on the effects of magnesium on neuropathic pain is still being done. While scientists can’t say for certain why magnesium seems to help in managing neuropathic pain, the thought is that the effect of magnesium on inflammation throughout the body is a large factor. It is also thought that magnesium works to prevent the receptors that are responsible for regulating pain from “activating” in the cells of the nerve.
A small study out of Europe was conducted on individuals who suffered from chronic neuropathic pain. In the study, half of the participants were given a large amount of magnesium through IV. The other half were given a placebo. They were then asked for their pain scored at random and following a variety of stimulation. The group that was given high volumes of magnesium reported significantly less pain than those who were given the placebo.
While studies and research are still being done to determine the relationship between neuropathic pain and magnesium, many health care professionals have recommended magnesium supplementation along with prescribed medications, diet and exercise to manage neuropathic pain.
If you or someone you know is living with chronic neuropathic pain, consider speaking with your primary health care provider about the effects of magnesium on the body and the potential benefits of magnesium on your chronic neuropathic pain.