Pain and Depression Relief with Magnesium and Fats


If you frequently suffer back or neck pain, it is likely you lack magnesium and important helpful fats. It is interesting that not only are these nutrients important to avoid pain in muscles and joints, they are also necessary for strong mental health.


A study in Sweden assessed 174 people on long term sickness leave due to pain in their muscles and joints; the most common complaints were neck pain and back pain. During the assessment it emerged that 7 out of 10 people had significant mental health problems as well as the pain.


A conventional approach to health would view such pain as being quite different to mental health, however, if we look at this from a holistic naturopathic view there are many similarities. Naturopaths use nutrition, massage, herbal medicine, relaxation techniques and exercises to help back and neck pain. The nutritional advice includes increasing magnesium and helpful fats. These same nutrients are important for mental health especially depression and anxiety.


  • Muscular problems, especially tight muscles, result if magnesium levels are low; supplements of magnesium help reduce muscular pain.
  • Muscle tension, such as tension headaches, common with anxiety, can be eased with magnesium. Supplements of magnesium also help improve depression.
  • Magnesium acts on the nerves in a similar way to pharmaceutical drugs (benzodiazepines) that are used to decrease anxiety and relax muscles.
  • High quality fats are needed for healthy muscles bones and joints; in addition to helping directly, they help absorb vitamins needed by the bones and joints.


Recent research has shown the importance of Omega 3 in both mental health, especially depression, and for the health of bones and joints, and it can also reduce nerve pain. Other types of fat such as omega 6 and omega 9 are also important to decrease inflammation, which helps both pain and mental health.


Original Article February 2013

Copyright Jaine Kirtley