Staying well later in life Part 2 – Magnesium

Gosh our bodies are complicated old things! If I could summarise this latter part of 2019 it would be “powered by Magnesium”!

I like to think I am reasonably knowledgeable about health and nutrition but this totally surprised me. Last winter my left shoulder just stopped working and was excruciatingly painful, so bad I couldn’t work and couldn’t drive. After a few weeks this improved but while it was bad, I begged a walk-in emergency clinic to X-ray the shoulder (having literally walked from home as I couldn’t drive).

The response was lots of oohs and ahs. Calcified ligaments don’t always show on X-ray, but mine were so bad they did. This after years of misdiagnosis of frozen shoulder by my GPs. A follow up shoulder ultrasound scan showed all my shoulder ligaments were calcified (Calcific Tendonitis).

Physiotherapy was the only recommendation, but my shoulder was too painful at first. As the pain got less, the exercises did help. But, by then my right hip got really painful (it hadn’t really been right since an injury 3 years previously). This time it really got me down. Walking anyway was getting problematic and I had too much time off work already with the shoulder and secondary serious bladder infection. What to do?

I tried the GP again to no avail. Could they please check whether the ligaments in my hip were also calcified? No, I was sent for an X-ray. “Good news” I was told, “the joint is fine”. Great, I replied, but I am still in so much pain it’s hard to walk. So I was sent to physio for lower back pain (sigh).

In desperation I searched online, self help for calcified ligaments. I found a vlog which recommended Apple  Cider Vinegar (didn’t help), extra magnesium (I didn’t have) and some weird herb I hadn’t heard of.

Well the next time I got to a Holland and Barratt, I got some magnesium and my oh my! By now I have suffered for literally years, on and off. Within hours the pain was less and at manageable levels to do my physio. I was absolutely astounded how much difference it made. Some weeks on I have better muscle tone than I have had for years and my ligaments are working properly.

I looked up to see if there were any scientific research papers on the topic – and there are! The symptoms do typically cycle over time with no pain followed by acute pain which resolves over time. And plenty of evidence from the studies that magnesium really helps (though in some studies it was injected). Calcium has much lower solubility than magnesium but in the presence of magnesium, calcium is more soluble than it is by itself.

As well as the pain going and muscle tone improving, my energy levels increased and my general mood improved. I think my sense of smell has improved too? Yet, my normal diet is varied and not so terrible?

So, not a “cure all” for everyone, but I do feel that more people should know about this. There are also foods which are quite high in magnesium (often ones I have tended to crave for), but the supplements really got me on track.

So grateful to have got to the bottom of this!

12 thoughts on “Staying well later in life Part 2 – Magnesium”

    1. Oh, thank you, though it won’t cure all shoulder pain – it depends what’s causing it? Also, be aware that it’s possible things could get more painful before people get an improvement?? The re-adsorption phase can be pretty painful, in my experience. But I have been close to pain free for a few months now.

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  1. Walmart has Epsom salts high in magnesium you absorb through a bath with a little olive oil, for a cheaper way to get your magnesium. Soaking in a hot tub is also good for your back by relieving stress, a major factor. I also found out that a lack of vitamin D may also be responsible for back pain. Juicy article! Thanks for the feed :0)

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  2. Since I have had an ongoing shoulder problem and my right hip/S.I. Area is also problematic now morphing into sciatica, I have to get on the magnesium train. Thanks so much for sharing your experience! I always get a calcium-magnesium combo, but I’ve got to be more regular about taking it.

    Do you recommend taking magnesium by itself or with calcium?

    Thank you,

    Susan Grace

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    1. Hi Susan, and interesting point. Before I found the magnesium only, a friend had recommended “Osteocare” which is a combo and also helped. However if it is calcific tendonitis, the calcium build up on the ligaments is due to the imbalance between the magnesium and calcium, and magnesium is both more soluble than calcium but also seems to help make the calcium more soluble. So personally I swapped to just magnesium once I tracked it down. I eat dairy so am unlikely to need extra calcium.

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