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Do epsom salt baths do anything?
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So I started poking around the site that's been mentioned and I found this poke at adding epsom salt to baths:

It starts out with the theory to be tested:

"A cup or two of Epsom salt in a bath supposedly relieves pain — specifically, muscle pain from over-exertion (delayed-onset muscle soreness), conditions like myofascial pain syndrome (trigger points, or muscle knots) and fibromyalgia — and speeds healing from minor injuries such as sprains and tendonitis. Note that “relieves pain” and “speeds healing” are as different as a flying dream and actually flying."

And it concludes with:

"I can do no better in defense of Epsom salt bathing for aches and pains than “anything is possible.” There is no good or particular reason to believe that bathing in dissolved Epsom salts will have the slightest effect on muscle soreness or injury recovery time. Although this folk wisdom may someday prove to have a sound rationale, clearly there is none that its advocates have thought of — or even tried to think of, it seems.

"On the bright side, thanks to Dr. Waring, we now know that we are a living experiment in absorbing magnesium sulphate ions every time we bathe in dissolved Epsom salts! And maybe they do something. And it’s very cheap, and almost certainly safe — just as no one is obviously getting any miracle cures out of Epsom salt bathing, they aren’t suffering any obvious ill effects either."

He basically says that all we know, and it tenuously comes from 1 study, is that we "probably" absorb mag. sulfate through the skin into the blood. But what that actually does for muscles is unknown.

I have been using the stuff on the advice of my chiro but this article doesn't make this effort look all that useful (unless I actually have a mag deficiency which I haven't tested for... yet).
Posted on 11/05/11, 07:32 pm
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Reply #1 - 11/05/11  9:33pm
" I am very interested to read the responses..

Ironically, just this morning, my mom (who is always looking for things that could help me) mentioned that she saw on Dr. Oz (haha) that Epson Salt baths are very good at relieving muscle pain. To be honest, I kind of blew it off but it seems like it may be worth a shot.. "
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Reply #2 - 11/06/11  6:39am
" Yes, I was really interested to read how little is known about epsom salts. There's alot of good information on the 'saveyourself' site but some of it will be quite challenging as it contradicts some of the things we have believed and rely on.

Interestingly I used to soak for hours in a nice hot bath and found it helped sooth and relax me. Then I moved and started using this site and read about epsom salts so started soaking (for hours!) in a nice hot epsom salts bath. Did it feel any better? Well, the water was nice and silky but apart from that probably not. Interestingly now I've moved again and finally got off the merrygoround that was work I don't soak for hours at a time anymore. And I've realised why. The hot baths were soothing to my stress, which then helped the pain. And I was very very stressed, which is really bad news for mps.

For me, the thing I read into the information about epsom salts was to use it if it seemed to help but equally save your money for other things and just have a nice relaxing bath without it. The thing he keeps coming back to is that there's alot of money spent trying to manage this condition and if there's anything that will help prevent that then it's a good thing.

So it's a personal choice. Me? I liked the silky smooth water but will go back to my weleda bath milk! "
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Reply #3 - 11/07/11  2:02pm
" hmmm well on this subject I have to say some positive things that I know about epsom salts when I was young my brother was in to wrestling in high school at that time if they sprained an ankle, wrist etc. always they were told by the coach to go home and soak the ankle ,wrist etc in epsom salt water for a good two hours on and off till they went to bed. I can remember my brothers ankles being so swollen but by the end of the night the swelling was gone. For myself I have arthritis in my thumb joint where it connects to the hand when it acts up it throbs and swells part of the palm of my hand up, so i soak it in ep. salt water half hour in, half hour rest and on and on after about 4 times or 5 the throbbing pain is gone by the next day the swelling will be almost gone so I continue to soak a few times the next day but usualy it takes it away. Have not tried the whole bath thing yet but do know many people who do and swear by it,not sure but what the heck its worth a try. I have to say I have tried some ep. salt cream and it did nothing for me. "
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Reply #4 - 11/07/11  3:00pm
" And I use Magnesium oil in a spray bottle for pain of all sorts. Burns and stings, but works. Plus many of us are taking magnesium supplements in some form or another to help with this syndrome. "
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Reply #5 - 11/07/11  3:09pm
" asunda what type of mag do you take brand strength and which type of mag.? "
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Reply #6 - 11/07/11  5:44pm
" Right now I'm just taking CALM, mostly because it helps me get to sleep and keeps me regular. I took other supplements when I had a lot of trigger points, but don't remember what they were. "
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Reply #7 - 11/07/11  6:29pm
" thanks asunda I have not tried calm yet I use to take these chewable mags but something in them had gluten and so had to stop but I need to get back on mag as I really do think it helped. "
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Reply #8 - 11/10/11  7:29am
" I also read an article on it recently for insomnia and muscle pain and figured it was a cheap trial....I actually do sleep a tad better and longer, maybe because the pain/aches aren't waking me up?

Could be a coincidence, but even tho I hate taking a bath vs a shower, it does seem to be beneficial.

polly "

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