Magnesium is a mineral that provides a variety of benefits throughout the body and is involved in the function of nerves as well as muscles. Magnesium is a component of bones as well.
Within the muscles, calcium signals the muscle to contract, and magnesium signals the muscle to relax. When magnesium is low, muscles may not be able to relax and lengthen well. This can present symptoms ranging from muscle tightness to spasm and cramping. This is particularly the case after a motor vehicle collision where many structures are injured and need extra magnesium.
The nerves and brain need extra magnesium while recovering from injuries. Magnesium helps increase antioxidants in the brain and help reduce inflammation. Excess inflammation after an injury can lead to further damage in the brain.
Good food sources of magnesium include dark chocolate, avocados, nuts, legumes (beans), flax seed, whole grains, bananas, and leafy greens.
Magnesium can be obtained from Epsom salt baths as well. Epsom salt is another name for magnesium sulfate. Epsom salt is typically used in a bath to cover large areas of the body, but can also be used by applying dissolved Epsom salt to wet towels to cover specific areas or areas that are hard to cover using a bath. Epsom salt easily dissolves in water. After dissolving Epsom salt in warm water, a small towel can be dipped in the water, and applied to affected areas of the body.
Smaller baths such as a foot bath may be used as well to address the legs and feet. Epsom salt baths are particularly good for relaxing tight muscles.
Magnesium supplements are available as well and may be more convenient to take. While magnesium is fairly safe, there are some potential side effects with magnesium supplementation. When excess magnesium is taken, it can have a laxative effect.
Magnesium supplements and Epsom salt should not be taken if you have kidney injuries or reduced kidney function, which can result in difficulty eliminating excess magnesium.
A variety of magnesium supplements are available. Magnesium oxide is a common type. Better supplements for magnesium include magnesium citrate, magnesium malate, magnesium glycinate. Magnesium L-threonate is a type of magnesium that is able to pass through the blood brain barrier more easily than other types of magnesium. The blood brain barrier protects the brain from pathogens and toxins, and only allows select chemicals and nutrients to pass through. Therefore, magnesium L-threonate is able to have a larger benefit to brain function and memory after brain injuries than other types of magnesium.
A chiropractic physician will be able to advise you regarding nutrition that is helpful while healing from auto collision and concussions. Contact one of our Chiropractors if you have been involved in an auto accident.