Have you ever been ready for bed but your legs just aren’t on the same page as the rest of your body? Restless leg syndrome is a condition where you can’t seem to find a comfortable position for your legs. Typically with RLS, at night the legs will start to feel jittery, tingly, or cramp up. It can feel like the only way to make these feelings go away is to keep moving your legs. This condition can be the result of neurological or musculoskeletal problems, but a common cause is a deficiency in magnesium. Why would magnesium affect your legs? Let’s talk about magnesium’s role in your nervous system and easy ways to increase your intake of this important mineral.
Restless leg syndrome is an overactivation of the nerves that control the muscles in the legs. In order to understand the cause of this, it is important to know the relationship between calcium and magnesium in your body. Calcium is responsible for firing the signal between nerves in your body. When your brain tells your leg to move, calcium channels in the nerve cell open which activates that nerve to release its neurotransmitters. Magnesium acts as a gate to block that channel. This prevents calcium from constantly entering the nerve and preventing nerves from firing on their own. When you are deficient in magnesium, there is nothing stopping calcium from activating that nerve constantly. The muscle those nerves control will be continuously activated, even without a signal from the brain.
Magnesium deficiency can have many other symptoms aside from restless leg syndrome. This is because magnesium is used by almost every organ system. Some common symptoms are anxiety, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis. If you are looking to increase magnesium in your diet, there are two foods that are rich in the mineral: spinach and almonds. Spinach is a super vegetable that contains many important vitamins and minerals. Almonds are a great snack that you can eat throughout the day. Aside from being high in magnesium, they contain omega-3 fatty acids that are good for fighting inflammation.
Restless leg syndrome can be caused by musculoskeletal issues as well. Here at Rush-Henrietta Family Chiropractic, your Rochester chiropractor, we can help you diagnose the cause of your condition and help get you on the right path to feeling better. Our nutritionist can also help you fill any other vitamin and mineral gaps in your diet. Give us a call or schedule an appointment online!