If you browse around the Internet for any length of time, looking for cures or treatments for foot pain and Plantar Fasciitis, you will most likely come across people (or companies) recommending that you take Magnesium supplements to help with your heel pain.
This does seem to be a more recent “phase” of suggested treatments and there is a little bit of science to back up the claims that it can cure your heel spurs or fascia pain.
However, the main evidence is purely anecdotal and the real truth is that there is no tested medical evidence that taking magnesium for plantar fasciitis will have any effect at all.
Despite this, making sure that you are not lacking in this critical mineral will ensure that your body is working correctly, so taking a supplement or adding some more magnesium-rich foods to your diet will not hurt and might have some overall benefits too.
What will taking more magnesium do for my feet?
Taking magnesium, or applying a spray, oil or cream to your skin is supposed to help break down calcium deposits in your body and with plantar fasciitis being closely related to heel spurs, which are calcaneus in their nature, this is where you will see the benefit.
The theory is that a reduction in calcium will help dissolve the heel spurs, making your plantar fasciitis pain go away.
Magnesium is also used to help reduce muscle cramps in athletes, either by spraying it on to the skin and massaging in or through adding it to a bath. Plantar fasciitis sufferers are reporting that taking supplements will keep their muscles and tendons supple and reduce any tensions in their feet.
How much magnesium should I be taking?
Oregon State University report that the recommended level (RDA) for magnesium is 310 to 320 milligrams for women and 400 to 420 for men (over the age of 31).
However, the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found that only 50% of the US population was getting the correct amount of magnesium each day.
Such low levels of magnesium (called Hypomagnesemia) can lead to long term health problems such as nerve and muscle problems, headaches and fatigue. On the flip side, having too much magnesium can also be dangerous if taken long term.
In theory, you should be getting the required amounts of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to keep it running properly, from the foods you eat. Having a balanced diet is important for keeping your entire body healthy, not just your feet.
However, it is possible that what you are eating does not provide enough of the specific vitamins or minerals, leading to you having a deficiency.
This is where taking supplements
Foods rich in magnesium:
- Bran cereals.
- Brown rice.
- Pumpkin seeds.
How do check if I have low magnesium levels?
When you take a magnesium supplement and are deficient already, it can help restore you back to a correct level, but without taking some proper test, how do you know you are deficient in the first place?
Low magnesium levels can be hard to confirm, even with the proper diagnosis. Only 1% of your body’s magnesium is found in your blood, so detecting if that small percentage is missing something might be quite hard. Doctors often like to look more at your symptoms, diet and lifestyle to decide if you are running low.
Having low Magnesium is often missed and can be called the invisible deficiency because it is hard to spot, so diagnosis might be hard to come by unless you find a sympathetic doctor or have an obvious gap in your diet.
The adult human body contains about 25 grams of magnesium. Over 60% of all the magnesium in the body is found in the skeleton, about 27% is found in muscle, 6% to 7% is found in other cells, and less than 1% is found outside of cells.
Where is magnesium found in the body?
- 60% – Skeleton
- 27% – Muscle
- 7% – Other cells
- 1% – Blood
Magnesium sprays, oils and baths.
One thing that scientists and doctors are aware of is that your body is not great at absorbing magnesium from food. Only around 45% of the Mg you eat via foods or supplements is absorbed into the body, with the rest being excreted out – so what can you do to improve how much you get into your bloodstream?
It is becoming more popular to use a spray such as EASE, ointment or cream and apply it directly to any areas that are aching on your body – your feet included.
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If you are adding magnesium to your diet, it will be affecting your entire body, but rubbing some cream into the arch of your foot will allow the mineral to be absorbed specifically to the area affected by plantar fasciitis.
You can also add some magnesium to a bath and soak your feet or your whole body, allowing it to seep in through your skin, direct into your bloodstream.
Wrapping it all up – does it work?
So, despite there being no direct peer-reviewed evidence that using magnesium for plantar fasciitis works, ensuring that you are getting enough in your diet is critical for the successful operation of your body, mind and feet.
Eating more Mg rich foods or taking a magnesium supplement is all well and good, but the fact that the majority of it is lost before it ever enters your bloodstream is not ideal, so applying it directly to your skin via a product such as EASE Magnesium to help ease aches and pains and keep your muscles and bones in good condition will help.