The Role of Magnesium Supplements

What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is a mineral found within the body which is necessary for the optimal function of many organs and tissues. Magnesium deficiency has been linked to several health conditions such as headaches, osteoporosis, diabetes, depression, chronic fatigue, premenstrual syndrome and more.

Magnesium can be obtained through dietary sources such as leafy greens, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains. However, studies have found that a significant number of Australian adults fail to meet their daily magnesium intake through diet alone (around 380-420mg per day).

Magnesium Supplementation and Chronic Pain Management

A study by Tarelton et al. found that increasing magnesium intake decreased the odds of developing chronic pain by 7%. Magnesium has been proposed to have positive effects on many forms of pain including neuropathic (nerve) pain, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, headache, and fibromyalgia (Shin et al., 2020).

Further, magnesium plays a crucial role in the prevention of central sensitisation. Central sensitisation is described as an increased sensory response (pain, touch, pressure). Due to its antinociceptive effects (inhibiting pain response from nerves), magnesium has been used to reduce hypersensitivity to pain in patients with central sensitisation (Vink & Nechifor, 2011).

Magnesium Tablets or Powder?

Practitioners prefer to offer dissolvable powders for magnesium supplementation due to its readily absorbable formulation. Studies have shown a decreased absorption of magnesium in tablet form due to the process of metabolization reducing its bioavailability (the amount of active ingredient within the circulatory system) (Fine et al., 1991).



Fine, K. D., Santa Ana, C. A., Porter, J. L., & Fordtran, J. S. (1991). Intestinal absorption of magnesium from food and supplements. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 88(2), 396–402.

Shin, H.-J., Na, H.-S., & Do, S.-H. (2020). Magnesium and pain. Nutrients, 12(8), 2184.

Tarleton, E. K., Kennedy, A. G., Rose, G. L., & Littenberg, B. (2020). Relationship between magnesium intake and chronic pain in U.S. adults. Nutrients, 12(7), 2104.

Vink, R., & Nechifor, M. (2011). Magnesium in the central nervous system. University of Adelaide Press.

Rotator Cuff Tears

Rotator cuff – most of us have heard of them, but how many of us know what they are?

The rotator cuff is a group of 4 muscles that stabilize and move the shoulder. The four muscles that make up the group are the supraspinatus, subscapularis, teres minor, and infraspinatus.

Tears to the rotator cuff can be extremely painful, restricting and debilitating depending on the case.

Tears are categorized into 3 groups:

  • Grade one tear (mild): muscle or tendon has been stretched/ pulled and less than 10% of the fibers have been affected.

  • Grade two (partial tear): between 10 and 90% of the fibers in the muscle or tendon have been torn.

  • Grade three (severe/ complete rupture/full thickness tear): more than 90% of the fibers have been torn

The most common tear is to the supraspinatus muscle (shown in the picture above). Tears can come about from trauma to the area or overuse/ progressive degeneration to the muscle or tendon.

Symptoms generally include

  • Pain at rest/ night time

  • Pain with lifting or lowering arm/ moving shoulder

  • Weakness when lifting/ moving arm

  • Restricted range of motion through the shoulder

  • Aching in the shoulder