A Pain in the…. (Part 2)
Muscle pain can have many causes. It can be anything from injury, genetics, medication side effects and a number of diseases. The most common causes of muscle pain I help with are problems that cause muscle pain especially Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR), Fibromyalgia (FM) cramp restless leg syndrome and side effects of cholesterol lowering medication.
Nutritional medicine for Muscle Pain
The good thing about muscle pain is that there are a number of effective nutritional medicine strategies we can use. In general terms our goal is to help relax stressed muscle fibres and improve muscle oxygenation through improved circulation which is especially important at night for conditions like cramp and restless legs.
A note on Restless Legs
Over the years I have helped a number of people with Restless legs. While Magnesium is important there are other minerals including calcium, many vitamins and antioxidants that can all help calm this distressing condition. I have found that timing of doses is very important.
I start with multiple products at high doses and reduce as benefits appear. While this is general advice I combine Cell-X, Cell Basics multi-minerals and Magnesium with the highest loading in the evening and before bed. I have spoken to one client recently where the problem has almost disappeared.
Pain from statin medication
In some cases muscle pain is due to commonly prescribed statin (cholesterol-lowering) drugs. This is usually caused by significantly reduced circulating Co enzyme Q10 as the medication reduces new cholesterol production at the same rate as it reduces essential C enzyme Q10. A high quality Co enzyme Q10 like the US patented CoQsol can really help.
PMR and FM need different approaches
Some diseases cause muscle pain. Two of the common diseases is the inflammatory condition PMR and the non-inflammatory muscle problem. While symptoms can be similar they are very different. With PMR we target over-production of certain inflammatory immune system chemicals (cytokines) and help restore immune function.
With FM we focus on adding compounds like Magnesium and MSM (Sulphur) to relax and oxygenate muscles. We also target cell energy systems compromised by the condition adding a range of mitochondrial nutrients and energy intermediates like D Ribose.
Once we know the cause of the pain my role is to identify the healing processes damaged or affected by the problem. For example cramp and restless leg syndrome can be an indication of mineral deficiencies or poor peripheral circulation.
Personalised Nutritional Support
What I do is to create a nutritional support programme with appropriate diet, supplements and lifestyle measures designed to help re-start healing processes. Even after 20+ years I am still amazed how the body will respond to targeted nutrition. As an example people with cramp generally respond very well to Magnesium therapy. The best Magnesium supplements use the expensive but better absorbed (with fewer digestive side effects) amino acid chelated forms.
I like magnesium chelates di-glycinate and aspartate as they are quickly absorbed and gentle on the digestive tract. Magnesium citrate is also effective as it is very rapidly absorbed. Avoid supplements with Magnesium oxide as this inexpensive form is very hard on the digestive tract. Click here to read more about Abundant Health Magnesium.
While Magnesium can be very effective some people need to be careful with Magnesium therapy especially those with digestive issues or on some medications. The key to Magnesium therapy is to start with dosages high enough to get results but take these factors into consideration.
In some people poor circulation is a major contributor to both cramps and restless legs. This can be caused by injury or even dehydration but commonly just reduced nighttime circulation to the tiny capillaries that bring oxygen and nutrients to muscle fibers. Antioxidants such as OPC, bilberry and Acai berry can help. Click here to read more about Acai Plus.
As always, feel free to contact me directly by email or phone to answer questions or to create a personalised programme.
John Arts (B.Soc.Sci, Dip Tch, Adv.Dip.Nut.Med.) is a nutritional medicine practitioner and founder of Abundant Health. If you have questions or need help you can contact John 0800 423559. You can email John at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that the health advice given through this column is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any health problem. © John Arts 2019