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March 2022

Does Magnesium Help Low Back Pain?

Data suggests that 39% of adults in the US experience back pain. It can range in severity from minor to debilitating. You might get questions about whether magnesium helps. What should you tell patients?

A small clinical trial in patients with chronic low back pain shows that receiving an IV magnesium solution might reduce pain better than placebo. But it’s not clear if taking magnesium supplements by mouth will help. In fact, another clinical study in patients with acute low back pain shows that taking magnesium by mouth twice daily for 10 days along with etodolac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), doesn’t offer any benefits over etodolac alone.

But there are some other treatments that can help provide relief. Therapies such as chiropractic, massage, acupressure, tai chi, and yoga all have supportive and promising research suggesting they’re worth a shot. There’s also evidence that applying capsicum topically can reduce pain. Check out our Comparative Effectiveness Chart for Back Pain to learn more.

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