Findings from a recent study published in the Journal of Integrative Medicine revealed that the use of transdermal magnesium chloride may improve scores on the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire for patients with fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome with no known cause. In addition to widespread pain, patients with fibromyalgia have fatigue, depression, and sleep problems, with about 3.5% of women and 0.5% of men in the United States receiving a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Some preliminary evidence shows that fibromyalgia is an oxidative stress disorder and deficiency in trace elements and antioxidants may have a role in the development of its associated symptoms.
Magnesium is a trace element that activates almost all enzymes of the glycolytic and Krebs cycles, and is necessary for the biological synthesis of adenosine triphosphate. There is clinical evidence on the similarity between the clinical symptoms of fibromyalgia and magnesium deficiency, including the findings of tender points that indicate magnesium may be involved in fibromyalgia pathogenesis.
In the study entitled “Effects of transdermal magnesium chloride on quality of life for patients with fibromyalgia: a feasibility study”, a team of researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester conducted a pilot study to examine whether transdermal magnesium could improve quality of life in female patients with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
A total of 40 female patients with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia at the Mayo Clinic Fibromyalgia Clinic were identified using the fibromyalgia clinic database. Each patient was given a spray bottle with a transdermal magnesium chloride (MgCl2) solution and was asked to apply 4 sprays per limb 2 times per day for a period of 4 weeks. Patients were then asked to complete at baseline, and week 2 and 4 the Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, SF-36v2 Health Survey, and a quality-of-life analog scale.
Using an intention-to-treat analyses the results revealed that of the 24 patients that completed the study, at week 2 and 4 the Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire subscale and total scores were significantly improved. The results also demonstrated a significant improvement in all subscales of the Revised Fibromyalgia Impact. However, skin irritation was a common adverse event and accounted for many study dropouts.
“The results of this pilot study suggest that transdermal MgCl2 applied twice daily on upper and lower limbs may be beneficial for patients with fibromyalgia. Further dose-finding studies with a larger sample size and including intracellular magnesium measurements in the setting of a randomized control trial seem indicated”, the researchers concluded in their study.