Chronic back pain can be caused by a number of factors, such as an old injury, arthritis or osteoporosis. There can also be more serious reasons for it (for example, tumours). This means that any back pain which lasts longer than a month needs to be diagnosed.
Relaxing properties of magnesium are used to treat both acute and chronic back pain. Being a powerful natural relaxant, magnesium plays an important role in reducing inflammations, relaxing muscles and joints while at the same time healing tissues.
Magnesium chloride is the most widely available and easily absorbable form of magnesium. While many people use it internally, it is transdermal applications of magnesium chloride that have come to light recently.
Our skin is a remarkable organ. While it serves as a barrier for larger, harmful substances, it can absorb minute particles like ions from salts. This is why magnesium chloride, magnesium sulphate (Epsom salt) and the Dead Sea salts respond so well to chronic back pain.
Having entered the body through the skin, magnesium ions get into the bloodstream and in this way benefit every cell. The effect is the deep relaxation of all muscle tissues, as well as a release of dopamine – the feel-good hormone, which plays a big role in pain relief. Using magnesium salts in baths, as sprays or in massages are by far the best methods of magnesium supplementation since it ensures that magnesium bypasses digestion.
Not everyone can take magnesium supplements, for all sorts of reasons. Even in people with healthy digestion, only about 50% of supplemental magnesium is absorbed – the other half is eliminated. Conditions such as IBS (‘leaky gut’), can further prevent absorption of magnesium from supplements. Used transdermally, magnesium ions get into the skin quickly and efficiently, which results in quick and very natural pain relief from both chronic and acute back pain.
There are 2 main forms of magnesium chloride on the market: salt solution, which is also called Magnesium ‘oil’, and crystallised magnesium chloride flakes. Magnesium flakes are obtained by 2 main methods – evaporation of the seawater (from the seas and oceans surrounding us) and extraction of underground salt deposits resulting from evaporation of ancient seas.
It comes out as thick brine which is then purified and is either used as is or dried to make magnesium flakes. Other magnesium salts include Epsom salt and the Dead Sea salt. By the way, swimming in the Dead Sea has brought many people with chronic back pain back to health! All of these products are very effective and deliver magnesium to the cells much more quickly than from magnesium supplements.
How to use magnesium salts for chronic back pain
- Magnesium chloride solution is sometimes called magnesium oil due to its oily consistency. In fact, it has nothing to do with oil, since it is a highly concentrated salt solution. But the soft, sliding action when rubbed on the skin makes it suitable as a massage medium or a body rub. Apply once or twice daily, or as needed, on the back, by massaging the solution into the body.
- Spray magnesium oil on the back once or twice a day, especially before going to bed.
- Compress – warm up the solution (mix it with water 1:1), soak a cloth, apply on the area, cover with a plastic sheet and a warm blanket. Alternatively, secure it with a bandage. Keep it on for 1-2 hours or as required.
- Bath/foot bath – add 250ml to a very warm bath or 50ml to a foot bath to relieve aching muscles and joints.
- Far Infrared Magnesium Body Wrap – the treatment developed, performed and taught by Galina St George. This is a very fast and effective way to deal with magnesium deficiency and back pain. See information below for bookings.
- Magnesium oil massage – you can massage parts of the body you can reach yourself. However, if you have somebody willing to massage you, it is both relaxing and more beneficial, since your body is more relaxed when you are lying down.
These procedures can all be done at home. Whichever method you choose, make sure you do it regularly, since a single application will help, but only for a short time. Regular applications will not only help reduce aches and pains and deal with a condition but will keep delivering magnesium to the cells which will at the very least help to manage pain even in the most desperate situations.
Learn how you can help yourself, family and friends, to deal with chronic back pain. We have a number of unique online courses which are available to therapists and members of the public. Find out more here.