Search JIM Advanced Search

Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2015, Vol. 13 ›› Issue (5): 306-313.doi: 10.1016/S2095-4964(15)60195-9

• Research Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of transdermal magnesium chloride on quality of life for patients with fibromyalgia: A feasibility study

Deborah J. Engena, Samantha J. McAllisterb, Mary O. Whippleb, Stephen S. Chac, Liza J. Dionb, Ann Vincentb, Brent A. Bauerb, Dietlind L. Wahner-Roedlerb   

  1. a Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA
    b Division of General Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA
    c Division of Biomedical Statistics and Informatics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA
  • Received:2015-03-10 Accepted:2015-06-02 Online:2015-09-10 Published:2015-09-15

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome characterized by chronic pain, fatigue, depression, and sleep disturbances. Its primary cause is unclear. Several studies have reported decreased intracellular magnesium levels in patients with fibromyalgia and have found negative correlation between magnesium levels and fibromyalgia symptoms.
To gather preliminary data on whether transdermal magnesium can improve quality of life for women who have fibromyalgia.
Design, setting, participants and interventions
This is a patient questionnaires and survey in a fibromyalgia clinic at a tertiary medical center. Forty female patients with the diagnosis of fibromyalgia were enrolled. Each participant was provided a spray bottle containing a transdermal magnesium chloride solution and asked to apply 4 sprays per limb twice daily for 4 weeks. Participants were asked to complete the Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, SF-36v2 Health Survey, and a quality-of-life analog scale at baseline, week 2, and week 4.
Main outcome measure
Questionnaire and survey scores, evaluated through intent-to-treat and per-protocol analyses.
Twenty-four patients completed the study (mean [SD] age, 57.2 [7.6] years; white, 95%; mean body mass index, 31.3 kg/m2). With intention-to-treat analysis, Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire subscale and total scores were significantly improved at week 2 and week 4 (total score, P = 0.001). Per-protocol analysis results were similar: all subscales of the Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire were significantly improved at week 2 and week 4 (total score, P = 0.001).
This pilot study suggests that transdermal magnesium chloride applied on upper and lower limbs may be beneficial to patients with fibromyalgia.
Trial registration ldentifier NCT01968772.

[1] Goldenberg DL, Burckhardt C, Crofford L . Management of fibromyalgia syndrome. JAMA, 2004,292(19):2388-2395
doi: 10.1001/jama.292.19.2388
[2] Wolfe F, Smythe HA, Yunus MB, Bennett RM, Bombardier C, Goldenberg DL, Tugwell P, Campbell SM, Abeles M, Clark P, Fam AG, Farber SJ, Fiechtner JJ, Franklin CM, Gatter RA, Hamaty D, Lessard J, Lichtbroun AS, Masi AT, McCain GA, Reynolds WJ, Romano TJ, Russell IJ, Scheon RP . The American College of Rheumatology 1990 Criteria for the Classification of Fibromyalgia: report of the Multicenter Criteria Committee. Arthritis Rheum, 1990,33(2):160-172
doi: 10.1002/(ISSN)1529-0131
[3] Wolfe F, Cathey MA . Prevalence of primary and secondary fibrositis. J Rheumatol, 1983,10(6):965-968
doi: 10.1007/BF02041568 pmid: 6582268
[4] Wolfe F, Cathey MA . The epidemiology of tender points: a prospective study of 1520 patients. J Rheumatol, 1985,12(6):1164-1168
doi: 10.1007/BF02031909 pmid: 3879278
[5] Staud R, Vierck CJ, Cannon RL, Mauderli AP, Price DD . Abnormal sensitization and temporal summation of second pain(wind-up) in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome. Pain, 2001,91(1-2):165-175
doi: 10.1016/S0304-3959(00)00432-2
[6] Banic B, Petersen-Felix S, Andersen OK, Radanov BP, Villiger PM, Arendt-Nielsen L, Curatolo M . Evidence for spinal cord hypersensitivity in chronic pain after whiplash injury and in fibromyalgia. Pain, 2004,107(1-2):7-15
doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2003.05.001
[7] Russell IJ, Orr MD, Littman B, Vipraio GA, Alboukrek D, Michalek JE, Lopez Y, MacKillip F . Elevated cerebrospinal fluid levels of substance P in patients with the fibromyalgia syndrome. Arthritis Rheum, 1994,37(11):1593-1601
doi: 10.1002/art.1780371106 pmid: 7526868
[8] Mountz JM, Bradley LA, Modell JG, Alexander RW, Triana-Alexander M, Aaron LA, Stewart KE, Alarcón GS, Mountz JD . Fibromyalgia in women: abnormalities of regional cerebral blood flow in the thalamus and the caudate nucleus are associated with low pain threshold levels. Arthritis Rheum, 1995,38(7):926-938
doi: 10.1002/(ISSN)1529-0131
[9] Godfrey RG . A guide to the understanding and use of tricyclic antidepressants in the overall management of fibromyalgia and other chronic pain syndromes. Arch Intern Med, 1996,156(10):1047-1052
doi: 10.1001/archinte.1996.00040041047001
[10] Crofford LJ, Demitrack MA . Evidence that abnormalities of central neurohormonal systems are key to understanding fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Rheum Dis Clin North Am, 1996,22(2):267-284
doi: 10.1016/S0889-857X(05)70272-6
[11] Holdcraft LC, Assefi N, Buchwald D . Complementary and alternative medicine in fibromyalgia and related syndromes. Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol, 2003,17(4):667-683
doi: 10.1016/S1521-6942(03)00037-8 pmid: 12849718
[12] Rao JK, Mihaliak K, Kroenke K, Bradley J, Tierney WM, Weinberger M . Use of complementary therapies for arthritis among patients of rheumatologists. Ann Intern Med, 1999,131(6):409-416
doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-131-6-199909210-00003
[13] Herman CJ, Allen P, Hunt WC, Prasad A, Brady TJ . Use of complementary therapies among primary care clinic patients with arthritis. Prev Chronic Dis, 2004,1(4):A12
[14] Wahner-Roedler DL, Elkin PL, Vincent A, Thompson JM, Oh TH, Loehrer LL, Mandrekar JN, Bauer BA . Use of complementary and alternative medical therapies by patients referred to a fibromyalgia treatment program at a tertiary care center. Mayo Clin Proc, 2005,80(1):55-60
doi: 10.1016/S0025-6196(11)62958-3
[15] Ali M, Ali O .Fibromyalgia: An oxidative-dysoxygenative disorder(ODD) . J Integr Med, 1999, 3: 17-37
[16] Bagis S, Tamer L, Sahin G, Bilgin R, Guler H, Ercan B, Erdogan C . Free radicals and antioxidants in primary fibromyalgia: an oxidative stress disorder? Rheumatol Int. 2005; 25(3): 188-190.
doi: 10.1007/s00296-003-0427-8 pmid: 14689230
[17] Chung CP, Titova D, Oeser A, Randels M, Avalos I, Milne GL, Morrow JD, Stein CM . Oxidative stress in fibromyalgia and its relationship to symptoms. Clin Rheumatol, 2009,28(4):435-438
doi: 10.1007/s10067-008-1072-0 pmid: 2654204
[18] Iqbal R, Mughal MS, Arshad N, Arshad M . Pathophysiology and antioxidant status of patients with fibromyalgia. Rheumatol Int, 2011,31(2):149-152
doi: 10.1007/s00296-010-1470-x pmid: 20376669
[19] Cordero MD, Cotán D, del-Pozo-Martín Y, Carrión AM, de Miguel M, Bullón P, Sánchez-Alcazar JA . Oral coenzyme Q10 supplementation improves clinical symptoms and recovers pathologic alterations in blood mononuclear cells in a fibromyalgia patient. Nutrition, 2012,28(11-12):1200-1203
[20] Milne DB . Burtis CA, Ashwood ER. Trace elements: Tietz textbook of clinical chemistry.3rd ed[M]. Philadelphia: WB Saunders Company, 1999: 1280
[21] London M . The role of magnesium in fibromyalgia. (1994)[ 2015-01-02].
[22] Magaldi M, Moltoni L, Biasi G, Marcolongo R . Changes in intracellular calcium and magnesium ions in the physiopathology of the fibromyalgia syndrome. Minerva Med, 2000,91(7-8):137-140
[23] Eisinger J, Zakarian H, Pouly E, Plantamura A, Ayavou T . Protein peroxidation, magnesium deficiency and fibromyalgia. Magnes Res, 1996,9(4):313-316
doi: 10.1007/BF02587919 pmid: 9247880
[24] Clauw D, Katz KWP, Rajan S . Muscle intracellular magnesium levels correlate with pain tolerance in fibromyalgia. Arthritis Rheumat, 1994,37(9 Suppl):S213
[25] Eisinger J, Plantamura A, Marie PA, Ayavou T . Selenium and magnesium status in fibromyalgia. Magnes Res, 1994,7(3-4):285-288
pmid: 7786692
[26] Romano TJ, Stiller JW . Magnesium deficiency in fibromyalgia syndrome. J Nutr Med, 1994,4(2):165-167
doi: 10.3109/13590849409034552
[27] Abraham GE, Flechas JD . Management of fibromyalgia: rationale for the use of magnesium and malic acid. J Nutr Med, 1992,3(1):49-59
doi: 10.3109/13590849208997961
[28] Bagis S, Karabiber M, As I, Tamer L, Erdogan C, Atalay A . Is magnesium citrate treatment effective on pain, clinical parameters and functional status in patients with fibromyalgia? Rheumatol Int. 2013; 33(1): 167-172.
doi: 10.1007/s00296-011-2334-8
[29] Sendur OF, Tastaban E, Turan Y, Ulman C . The relationship between serum trace element levels and clinical parameters in patients with fibromyalgia. Rheumatol Int, 2008,28(11):1117-1121
doi: 10.1007/s00296-008-0593-9
[30] Russell IJ, Michalek JE, Flechas JD, Abraham GE . Treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome with Super Malic: a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, crossover pilot study. J Rheumatol, 1995,22(5):953-958
[31] Watkins K, Josling PD . A pilot study to determine the impact of transdermal magnesium treatment on serum levels and whole body CaMg ratios.[ 2015-05-22].
[32] Proksch E, Nissen HP, Bremgartner M, Urquhart C . Bathing in a magnesium-rich Dead Sea salt solution improves skin barrier function, enhances skin hydration, and reduces inflammation in atopic dry skin. Int J Dermatol, 2005,44(2):151-157
doi: 10.1111/ijd.2005.44.issue-2
No related articles found!
Full text



[1] Wei-xiong Liang. Problems-solving strategies in clinical treatment guideline for traditional Chinese medicine and integrative medicine. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 1-4
[2] Zhao-guo Li. Discussion on English translation of commonly used sentences in traditional Chinese medicine: part one. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 107-110
[3] Jun Hu, Jian-ping Liu. Non-invasive physical treatments for chronic/recurrent headache. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 31
[4] Jun Cai, Hua Wang, Sheng Zhou, Bin Wu, Hua-rong Song, Zheng-rong Xuan. Effect of Sijunzi Decoction and enteral nutrition on T-cell subsets and nutritional status in patients with gastric cancer after operation: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 37-40
[5] Dong Yang, Yong-ping Du, Qing Shen, Wei Chen, Yan Yu, Guang-lei Chen. Expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin in renal tubulointerstitium in patients with kidney collateral stasis. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 41-44
[6] Xue-mei Liu, Qi-fu Huang, Yun-ling Zhang, Jin-li Lou, Hong-sheng Liu, Hong Zheng. Effects of Tribulus terrestris L. saponion on apoptosis of cortical neurons induced by hypoxia-reoxygenation in rats. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 45-50
[7] Zhi-chun Jin. Problems in establishing clinical guideline for integrated traditional Chinese and Western medicine. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 5-8
[8] SUN Ming-yu, ZUO Jian, DUAN Ji-feng, HAN Jun, FAN Shi-ming, ZHANG Wei, ZHU Li-fang, YAO Ming-hui. Antitumor activities of kushen flavonoids in vivo and in vitro. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 51-59
[9] Wei Zhang, Xiang-feng Lu, Xiao-mei Zhang, Jian-jun Wu, Liang-duo Jiang. A rat model of pulmonary fibrosis induced by infusing bleomycin quickly through tracheal intubation. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 60-67
[10] Hai-feng Wei, Bai-liu Ya, Ling Zhao, Cui-fei Ye, Li Zhang, Lin Li. Evaluation of tongue manifestation of blood stasis syndrome and its relationship with blood rheological disorder in a rat model of transient brain ischemia. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 73-76