Adore Your Pelvic Floor

Magnesium: The Muscle Relaxant

5th September 2018

Magnesium is a macro-mineral essential to almost all cells and is used for over 300 chemical reactions in the body. Most magnesium is stored in the bones and organs, with one of its primary functions being to keep muscles and nerves healthy. Magnesium is important for many processes in the body, including regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure and making protein, bone, and DNA. It is vital for a wide range of biochemical reactions, ranging from protein synthesis to blood pressure regulation and muscle contraction.

Magnesium has also been found to have effects on the nervous system, reducing symptoms of muscle spasms and twitches. The relaxation effects it has on muscles are also seen to affect mood, reducing symptoms of anxiety and promoting good sleep. A lack of magnesium creates multiple long-term health problems for the cardiovascular, muscular and nervous systems.

What role does magnesium have in good bladder function?

Magnesium is a mineral with an important role in muscle relaxation throughout the body. Due to its relaxing effect, it may be used to ease pelvic pain caused by tight or taut muscles. This effect occurs in both skeletal muscle (why and why magnesium help’s with muscle cramps and smooth muscle (such as in the bladder, called the Detrusor muscle).

Where there is an imbalance between available magnesium and calcium, there can be symptoms of contraction with insufficient relaxation e.g. muscle cramp, spasm, twitch, flicker or ‘jump’, which often occur in the eyelids. Magnesium has been described as a ‘’natural calcium-channel blocker’’ in the body – it counteracts the effects of calcium. Muscle contraction in the body relies on electrical activity (nerve impulses) in the nerve that connects to that muscle. The end of the nerve is called the synapse. The release of a chemical called acetylcholine at the synapse is responsible for the continuation of the electrical impulse further down the chain of nerves.

Magnesium actually inhibits this release of acetylcholine at the synapse. So, when a nerve is being ‘’over-stimulated’’, magnesium can actually calm it down. It has been used for migraine headaches for this reason. In a condition called Detrusor Over-activity, the bladder contracts without you giving it permission to do so. This can be associated with a feeling of urgency and sometimes leakage of urine, known as Urge Incontinence.

Magnesium has a vital role in bone health, lowers the risk of Osteoporosis and is a cofactor needed by Vitamin D, and Vitamin K.

What role does magnesium have – Constipation and colon function?

Constipation and prolapse is often the result of a cycle of straining, incomplete emptying and progressive worsening of prolapse symptoms. Inadequate pelvic floor relaxation and release with bowel emptying is one major cause of constipation and prolapse.

The action of straining and drawing the abdomen inwards strongly increases downward pressure on the pelvic floor and actually increases tightening of pelvic floor muscles and closing of the anus. This is the direct opposite of the desired effect of releasing the anal sphincter.

Constipation with a prolapse may be characterized by hard and/or lumpy pellet-like stool consistency; Long-term straining to empty the bowel; Sense of incomplete bowel emptying; Sense of rectal blockage and/or obstruction; Needing to manually support (using fingers) to empty; and Emptying the bowels less than 3 times per week.

Magnesium is used to prevent constipation. Magnesium relaxes the muscles in the intestines, which helps to establish a smoother rhythm. Magnesium also attracts water. The increased amount of water in the colon serves to soften the stool, helping to make stools easier to pass. There are different types of magnesium. Magnesium citrate, in supplement form, is an osmotic laxative, which means it relaxes your bowels and pulls water into your intestines. The water helps to soften and bulk up your stool, which makes it easier to pass.

What depletes our magnesium reserves?

Diets high in refined sugars and carbohydrates will make you burn through your magnesium reserve more quickly. Magnesium is a very key component of glucose metabolism and management. Stress can zap your Magnesium surplus. Magnesium supports the stress response, it suppresses the ability of the hippocampus to stimulate the ultimate release of the stress hormone, it can reduce the release of ACTH (the hormone that tells your adrenal glands to get in gear and pump out that cortisol and adrenaline).

Excess exercise or physical activity or if you have a manual job will consume significant amount magnesium. First, you will lose magnesium when you sweat. Second, you will burn a lot more glucose for energy, which as we said increase magnesium consumption.

People who suffer from IBD, IBS, Crohns, Colitis or Diabetes tend to be more deficient in this essential mineral, due to the fact the mineral is absorbed in the colon. Magnesium loss is also associated with chronic diarrhoea. People often use magnesium glycinate instead of other magnesium supplements, as the body finds it easier to absorb magnesium in this form. It is also one of the gentlest supplements on the stomach. Unlike other forms of magnesium that have a laxative effect, glycinate is gentle on the stomach, and delivers its prime role, as a muscle relaxant.

Some of the best sources magnesium are:

Leafy greens, such as spinach or chard, but there are plenty of other foods with magnesium as well such as:

  • figs
  • avocado
  • banana
  • raspberries
  • Nuts and seeds.

Author – Gill Bauer Adore Your Floor Coach Brentwood


34 responses to “Magnesium: The Muscle Relaxant”

  1. Michael Dawson says:

    I am a 58 year old male and have suffered pelvic pain for 20 years , most GPs do not recognise male pelvic pain or an uptight male pelvic floor , its taken me years to recognise the cause and only recently started taking magnesium supplement along with relaxation exercise, this could be the beginning of the end of my constant pain.

  2. Rose says:

    Thank you for this article. It answered many of my questions. I was taking magnesium for muscle spasms in my legs. 250 mg a day helped but I did not have complete relief. I increased it to 500 mg a day. I noticed I was having a great improvement in my urinary leakage when I increased my dose to 500 mg a day. This has been a problem for 40 years after I had bladder surgery. I’ve tried everything. I almost had an interstim placed for bladder control. No one ever suggested magnesium to me. What an easy fix. Your article is the only place I found that explains magnesium also helps smooth muscle contractions and can help bladder leakage. I wish I knew this 40 years ago. I am grateful for this article .

  3. Mark says:

    Thank you for this very helpful article. I am a 50 year old male. Two years ago I started having urinary issues always feeling like I needed to pee and sometimes having pain. After going through all the various tests and imagings with my urologist, I was finally routed off to physical therapy for my tense pelvic floor. Fortunately around the same time I saw a user comment in an online article that suggested taking Magnesium supplements. I tried it and within two days all of my symptoms went away. It was amazing. I was peeing 70-80 times a day and just felt miserable all day and night. But the magnesium supplements ended all that and got me right back to normal. Over the two years since then I have tried to go off the magnesium a couple of times. Within days all of the urinary issues come right back. I don’t know why the magnesium supplements are so effective for me and I worry that perhaps someday they will stop being so effective. But for now it really works. Every doctor should be aware of this very simple remedy. I take 400mg per day. Some supplements are more effective for me than others. The best one for me is the soft gels.

  4. Oneisha says:

    Hi I never leave reviews on articles but, I had to just this one time. I have ulcerative cystic also know to many as the bad form of intestinal cyst is. I initially bought the magnesium because I went to see my primary care. She said I was low on magnesium and vitamin d and k. I developed chronic pancreatitis and it’s not sinful. I was having a hard time with bloating. It was so bad I needed two sizes up in pants just to get them around my stomach. I take the 500mg once a day and by accident it has helped my painful bladder. I’ve had bladder problems since I was 13 and I’m 35 now. I was having to have surgery every 3month. I know can have surgery every 6 months now. Plus it helps out my bloated stomach from pancreatic issues.

  5. Thank you for your very informative article. I had not had very much cramping or constant urgency. My GP recommended taking magnesium citrate to help with hard stool and rectocele. Is there a form of magnesium that is more gentle on your stomach I guess?

  6. Carey Biggs says:

    Which type of mag? Not which brand which type?

    • Patricia says:

      This us what I want to know also. Not the brand name but the type if magnesium since there are many types.

  7. Jackie Dunster says:

    My Daughter has suffered terrible pain for 3 years from Pudendal Neuralgia, Should she have her magnesium levels checked as nerve blocks etc have not worked. She is desperate for help, she is only 29,

  8. Laura says:

    Dear Jackie,
    Has your daughter tried topical magnesium? Many people with nerve pain find relief by soaking in magnesium rich waters. Magnesium Chloride is readily absorbed and can increase the body’s magnesium levels quite quickly. Oral magnesium often causes digestive upset and takes much longer to bring cellular magnesium levels up. Magnesium is very effective at relaxing muscles and relieving nerve pain.

  9. Lucia says:


    Thank you for the very informative article.
    Since there are many magnesium types, e.g. magnesium citrate, magnesium oxide, magnesium aspartate, magnesium chloride, magnesium lactate, magnesium malate, magnesium taurate, magnesium glycinate, magnesium orotate, magnesium sulphate, and magnesium L-Threonate – which one of these is the best muscle relaxant and effective pelvic pain reliever?

    Thank you,


  10. Madonna Morley says:

    What type of magnesium do you recommend and how many mg?

  11. Dee says:

    What role does magnesium play in relaxing the pelvic floor muscles to cause a prolapse uterus?

  12. Ever Changing Nikki says:

    Magnesium lotion, or epsom salt bath soaks, help relieve tight muscles. Stretching the muscle after using topical Magnesium is the best way to release the contracted muscles. Orally take 250-400 mg daily unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Its also important to ensure you have enough potassium when taking magnesium as potassium is needed for magnesium to get into the cells. My entire body was locked up from tight muscles and its been 18 months of releasing and we still arent done yet. The pelvic floor, hips, and abdomen are what are last to work themselves out… wishing everyone luck.

  13. Brittany says:

    What kind of magnesium is the best one to take for pelvic floor dysfunction? Ty!

  14. Lin Stevs says:

    For me ….Source Naturals Magnesium Malate and Life-Flo Mag Oil has been a real healer.

  15. Dani says:

    Hi, I was wondering what kind of magnesium would work for urinary retention? Or neurogenic bladder? Tight pelvic floor for muscles,
    And also what kind of magnesium for constipation? Thank u.

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