People experiencing chronic pain are often desperate for relief. After trying prescription medications, nerve blocks, complementary medicine, and sometimes even surgery with no relief, they may be willing to try nearly anything for even the smallest reduction in pain. For some, this search for relief has led them to transdermal magnesium, a treatment for pain that has anecdotal support without much focused research. But does magnesium supplementation work, and if so, should there be further study on transdermal magnesium specifically? Let’s take a look.

What is magnesium?

Magnesium is a mineral that is crucial to all systems and processes in the body – over 300 enzymatic systems altogether. The list of functions of magnesium in the body is too long to elaborate upon here, but magnesium is involved in everything from organ function to growing hair and nails to maintaining heart health.

That one mineral can do all of this good in the body should be reassuring, except for one thing: people in the U.S. are not getting enough of it. In 2009, the World Health Organization published a report indicating that 75% of adults are not getting the recommended levels of daily magnesium, with one in five adults getting less than half of what they need.

Basic symptoms of magnesium deficiency include:

  • Twitching or cramping muscles
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Headaches and migraines
  • PMS
  • Obesity (with or without high blood pressure)
  • Constipation
  • Anxiety
  • Heart palpitations
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue

These are basic warning signs that can indicate, among other things, that magnesium levels are low, but these are just the beginning.

The top four killers in the world: all related to magnesium deficiency

Because magnesium is so crucial to the functioning of the entire body, it stands to reason that low levels of this mineral would lead to serious, systemic issues.

These are the top four causes of death across the globe, and they are all tied significantly to magnesium levels. The warning signs of many of