Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays an important role in your body. You can get magnesium from eating foods like meats, nuts, grains and vegetables, but some people need to take a supplement. Before you take a magnesium supplement to help treat muscle or joint aches, talk with your doctor about the correct dosage and potential drug interactions.
Magnesium affects nearly all parts of your body, but it plays an essential role in the healthy function of your muscles, as well as your heart and kidneys, says the University of Maryland Medical Center. Magnesium also stimulates enzymes that help normalize your body's levels of calcium, potassium and other essential vitamins and minerals. If you have muscle pain or spasms, magnesium may help to relax your muscles, notes the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. If you have joint pain due to certain medical conditions, magnesium supplementation could ease the aches. Additionally, magnesium helps to block excess calcium from depositing in your muscles.
Magnesium supplementation could help treat muscle and joint aches due to medical conditions like fibromyalgia, restless legs syndrome and osteoporosis, says the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Magnesium may also help ease your muscle pain and other symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome , or PMS, notes the University of Michigan Health System. The same is true for dysmenorrhea, a condition involving painful menstrual cramps. You could take magnesium to help treat joint pain due to rheumatoid arthritis as well. No conclusive medical research supports the use of magnesium supplements to prevent or treat any health condition, however.
The recommended daily requirement of magnesium intake is 400 to 420 milligrams for adult men and 310 to 320 milligrams for women, says the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Pregnant women should get 350 to 360 milligrams of magnesium each day, while breast-feeding women should get 310 to 320 milligrams. Daily requirements for children are lower, with infants requiring 30 to 75 milligrams, toddlers 80 milligrams and older children up to 13 years of age 130 to 240 milligrams. Teenage boys need 410 milligrams of magnesium per day, while teen girls require 360 milligrams. Adults who need to take a magnesium supplement for muscle and joint aches or other health issues typically take 250 to 350 milligrams daily, notes the University of Michigan Health System. Ask your physician about the dosage that's right for you before you begin taking a magnesium supplement.
Aside from treating muscle and joint aches, magnesium supplementation may help treat asthma, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome and glaucoma, according to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Magnesium could help prevent noise-induced hearing loss, heart failure or arrhythmia and migraines, as well as treat kidney stones, autism, mitral valve prolapse, preeclampsia, anemia, urinary disorders, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, anxiety, Raynaud's syndrome and high cholesterol.
If you take magnesium supplements, you could experience side effects like diarrhea, says the University of Michigan Health System. Taking too much magnesium could also cause cramps, nausea and vomiting, and toxicity can even cause death, warns the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Magnesium supplementation could be dangerous if you have heart block, renal insufficiency or end-stage renal disease. Magnesium supplements can also interact negatively with certain medications, such as antibiotics, calcium channel blockers for hypertension, hormone replacement therapy, medications for diabetes, levothyroxine and Fosamax and other osteoporosis medications, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center. Magnesium can also interfere with amiloride, digoxin, nitrofurantoin and neuromuscular blockers, as well as iron and folate supplements.