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The Musculoskeletal Profile

MSK Logo Med BorderYour Muscle and Skeletal (Musculoskeletal) System is quite literally the chassis in which you live your life.

Proper functioning of the Musculoskeletal system is not only essential for good health, it controls the quality of your life.

Your Musculoskeletal system dictates how you can enjoy all the little things that are often taken for granted.

As we age, good muscle and skeletal function becomes paramount. Having the ability to pick up the grand kids, comfortably play golf, enjoy a hobby or move freely is dependent on good Musculoskeletal function.

Good Musculoskeletal function is based on many things and may indeed require some ‘hands on’ intervention and care.

However there are some key nutrients that need to be in an optimal range for you get anywhere with your care.

This becomes even more important if you are an athlete or trying to recover from an ongoing injury to your musculoskeletal system such as arthritis, a disc injury, chronic neck or back pain.

Without the key nutrients being an optimal range, aspects of muscle and skeletal function will become impaired.

If key nutrients are significantly out of balance it has the potential to cause serious disease and disability – indeed you may never fully recover despite how much care you receive.

 

Why Have the Test?

The musculoskeletal system allows for movement and stability of the body. It consists of bones, muscles, joints, tendons, cartilage, ligaments, and other connective tissue.

Unfortunately the demands of daily life in combination with certain genes and dietary factors, can lead to a variety of musculoskeletal disorders or injuries which can cause severe pain and disability.

This can affect anyone from the elite athlete, to the weekend warrior, to the office worker, chippy, brick layer or hair dresser.

The consequence is symptoms like back pain, neck pain, headaches, migraines, cramping and fatigue that do not go away => Despite pursuing ongoing hands on care.

So, if you are receiving care, assuming your practitioner is proficient, and you are struggling to get better – you really do need to consider The Musculoskeletal Profile for important nutrient deficiencies.

 

Without Key Nutrients, in the Right Amounts, it is almost Impossible to get a Full Recovery.

Many patients really struggle with neck pain, back pain, headaches, arthritis, stress and chronic pains.

And of those patients, it is bewildering that many have years of treatment with varying practitioners, spending thousands of dollars – and NEVER having these key nutrients tested.

It is highly unlikely you will ever achieve a great outcome in the care if these key values are not right.

Now optimal is the key here.

Near enough is not good enough.

If you are paying north of $60 a visit to a therapist or practitioner you need to have the key nutrients at the optimal level to get the best out of your care. You need to get this right.

If you are using natural medicines or health supplements you need to know if they are working and you are taking the correct amount.

Further more being in a ‘normal’ range is quite different than being in an optimal range to encourage the body to heal.

Take Vitamin D, for example.

The “normal” range for Vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D) is 50. I say “normal” but what is the ‘recommended normal’ is still far too low for musculoskeletal patients.

Confounding this even further, I have many patients that have been told by well meaning practitioners that  levels of 15 to 25 are OK. Which of course, they are not.

Worse still, many patients have the wrong form of Vitamin D tested, are supplementing on inappropriate levels of Vitamin D without appropriate feedback, or a simply using the incorrect type of Vitamin D, which is Vitamin D2.

If you are recovering from a back injury, disc injury, your are an athlete, over worked mum or menopausal female – then your Vitamin D levels need to be well north of 100.

This is the optimal level. If it is lower that this you will not heal. Or at least having difficulty doing so.

Indeed chronically low Vitamin D is now increasingly being linked with a host of serious health conditions.

However, before you rush off to the Chemist to get the cheapest brand of Vitamin D you can – you need to get one that is actually correctly absorbed within the body.

You will need a Vitamin D that does not interfere with the absorption of key nutrients like magnesium and calcium. And you need to get the dose right.

 

Magnesium <=> Calcium <=> Vitamin D

Another common mistake I see being made is the focus on either Calcium or Vitamin D, without considering Magnesium.

I still regard Magnesium as the unsung hero in the treatment of many conditions – particularly Neuro-Musculoskeletal conditions.

If a person is really concerned about conditions such as Osteoporosis or bone fractures they tend to want to take significant amounts of Calcium.

Ten years ago, if I requested a Vitamin D test for a patient we usually got laughed at by their GP – now it seems every second women is being prescribed Vitamin D, although their levels are usually wrong or they are using an inappropriate product.

Finally, the ‘sporty types’ often use Magnesium and it is generally used to help cramping – but once again dosage is an issue let alone the poorly absorbed products being used.

But it is important to realise the usage of these products are not mutually exclusive events.

They are co-dependent.

Altering the dose of one or more of these products will affect the levels of others within the body.

 

Magnesium Deficiency Causes Vitamin D Resistance

Ever wondered why so many people are Vitamin D deficient nowadays?

Is it possible that they are Magnesium deficient?

Magnesium is a very important mineral for most patients, and a key nutrient for muscle function.

However what is abundantly clear is that low levels of Magnesium drives Vitamin D resistance.

In easy terms, Magnesium helps muscles to coordinate the contraction and relax when the nerve stimulus is switched down or off.

Calcium and Vitamin D interplay in this relationship.

Calcium helps the muscle to coordinate the contraction, but importantly sustain a contraction with prolonged nerve stimulus.

The basic function of vitamin D is to regulate the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood, helping to build strong bones and healthy teeth.

But, Vitamin D is not a vitamin in the traditional sense of the word. It acts more as a steroid hormone in the body, interacting with cell receptors and endocrine organs and glands. Hence its wide reaching health effects.

Incredibly, research now shows that Vitamin D directly and indirectly regulates over 2000 genes in the body. Many of these genes are involved in the development of autoimmune disease via immune cell regulation processes.

 

If Elite Athletes Get is Wrong – What about You?

Ever watched the Australian Open and seen one of players start to cramp up, unable to complete the match?

Well this is usually hydration and electrolyte imbalance. And the most important electrolyte is Magnesium.

If this electrolyte is suboptimal you will not be able to adequately relax muscles in your back or legs. If magnesium is low then you will potentially cramp or muscles will go into spasm because they cannot regulate the ‘neuromuscular’ junction and therefore the muscle contraction.

Conversely, if calcium is low then it is difficult to sustain the muscle contraction.

So if elite athletes get it wrong, with all their biomedical support, how would you know what levels to take unless you had some type of testing?

If magnesium levels are significantly low, then altered muscle function will impact on your ability to walk, breath and even impact on your heart function. After all the heart is simply a large muscular organ.

If the cardiac (heart) muscle contraction becomes altered or irregular serious consequences can follow. The specific magnesium for cardiac function is imperative.

Magnesium for cardiovascular patients can be quite different than that required for mechanical back pain and needs to be specifically prescribed for your individual requirements.

 

What Exactly Is Tested?

The Blood Tests include:

  • Red Cell Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Zinc
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D
  • Co-Enzyme Q10
  • Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR)

 

Who Should Have the Test?

The Musculoskeletal Profile can benefit anyone, but is particularly recommended for individuals with the following symptoms or conditions:

  • Muscle stiffness, muscle aches and pains, cramping, spasms and twitching
  • Muscle weakness, lethargy and fatigue
  • Tremors and impaired muscle coordination
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Chronic pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Myopathy
  • Bone fractures or breakages
  • Long-term stress
  • Athletes and people with poor recovery after exercise
  • People with regular consumption of alcohol and/or caffeine
  • Those with lactose intolerance or coeliac disease

 

Finally 

The Musculoskeletal Profile is designed to uncover key micro-nutrient deficiencies that may be impacting on your ability to recover from back pain, neck pain, disc herniations or sporting injuries.

Without these key nutrients being at an OPTIMAL  level you will not get the best outcome from your care. You will not achieve the better health you deserve.

If you are receiving regular care from a Chiropractor, Physiotherapist, Osteopath, Myotherapist or Masseur we suggest you get this test done at least once every year or two.

 

Purchase the Musculoskeletal Profile Today

Follow this link to The Spinal Centre Shop to purchase The Musculoskeletal Profile.

 

If you like this article be sure to visit the Spinal Centre website at www.thespinalcentre.com.au and view more content by Dr. Hooper and the Spinal Rehabilitation Team.

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