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  • Writer's pictureDr. David satterfield

Magnesium Deficiency and Your Pain

Magnesium is important for over 300 enzymatic processes in the body! As a chiropractor, I see many people who present with back pain and are seeking the one "adjustment" that is going to fix everything and it is often more complex than that. Wellness is multifaceted and often combines physical components, nutrition, and spiritual/mental health.

Actually, when looking at these specific problems, for example, neck and low back pain, it is important to address the physical component through chiropractic care and exercise. This is part of the problem but it is also important to address lifestyle factors as well. Are we getting enough rest? Do we have a lot of stress? This is where nutrition comes in and can aide chiropractic care tremendously by providing our body the essentials to be healthy. This is where substances like magnesium, vitamin D, and healthy fats come in. The best source is always from a food source/nature but sometimes it is difficult to obtain the amounts we need for optimal health.

"The evidence in the literature suggests that subclinical magnesium deficiency is rampant and one of the leading causes of chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease and early mortality around the globe, and should be considered a public health crisis.”-DiNicolantonio JJ, et al. Open Heart 2018

📌Common Symptoms: Muscle Tightness/Soreness, Anxiety, Mild Tremors

📌Common Causes: Poor Diet (refined foods lose Mg), Malabsorption(IBS,Celiac,Crohn’s), Alcohol Intake, Declining Soil Levels (Mg levels in beef, cheese, and vegetables have dropped due to soil depletion.)

Since 1940 there has been a tremendous decline in the micronutrient density of foods. In the UK for example, there has been loss of magnesium in beef (−4 to −8%), bacon (−18%), chicken (−4%), cheddar cheese (−38%), parmesan cheese (−70%), whole milk (−21%) and vegetables (−24%).61 The loss of magnesium during food refining/processing is significant: white flour (−82%), polished rice (−83%), starch (−97%) and white sugar (−99%).12 Since 1968 the magnesium content in wheat has dropped almost 20%, which may be due to acidic soil, yield dilution and unbalanced crop fertilisation (high levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, the latter of which antagonises the absorption of magnesium in plants).62 One review paper concluded: ‘Magnesium deficiency in plants is becoming an increasingly severe problem with the development of industry and agriculture and the increase in human population’.62 Processed foods, fat, refined flour and sugars are all devoid of magnesium, and thus our Western diet predisposes us to magnesium deficiency. Good dietary sources of magnesium include nuts, dark chocolate and unrefined whole grains.--DiNicolantonio JJ, et al. Open Heart 2018;

So what? Realizing these nutrients deficiencies are often not enough to cause outright immediate disease or dysfunction but rather have substantial effects on long term health and longevity is important to understanding why correcting these relatively simple deficiencies can pay huge dividends towards our overall health.

Combining magnesium with chiropractic care is a great way to ensure you stay functioning at your best but as always consult with your practitioner first.

Dr. David Satterfield, Chiropractor

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