Home > Treating Back Pain > Vitamin Supplements and Back Pain

Vitamin Supplements and Back Pain

By: Suzanne Elvidge BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 1 Feb 2011 |
 
Vitamin Supplements And Back Pain

Back pain affects a great many people in the population, and can lead to people having to take time off work, or miss out on sporting and family activities. In some cases, it may be possible to prevent or help the back pain by increasing levels of certain foods to improve vitamin levels naturally, or by taking vitamin supplements (but avoid taking megadoses – very high doses – as these can be harmful).

With any types of back pain, it is important to talk to a doctor if the symptoms do not go away after a few days. This is especially important if the symptoms include tingling, numbness or any problems with movement, or if the symptoms are in children. If you are taking prescription or over the counter drugs, ask a doctor or pharmacist before taking vitamin supplements, as these can increase side effects.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) has a role in the health of the brain and the nerves, including those in the back, as well as the blood. Vitamin B12 supports the protective sheaths around nerves, helps nerves grow, and helps nerves regenerate after damage.

A lack of vitamin B12 can cause peripheral neuropathy, which is damage to the nerves outside the ventral nervous system. Symptoms include tingling, pain and numbness. Peripheral neuropathy can cause back pain.

Most vitamin D in the diet comes from animal sources, including meat, fish, shellfish, dairy and eggs. Vegans can find it difficult to get enough vitamin B12, and so need to get this from supplements.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D, along with calcium, is vital for healthy bones. Vitamin helps the body balance its levels of calcium and therefore a lack of vitamin D can cause softening of the bones (known as osteomalacia in adults and rickets in children), leading to bone damage and deformity, which may then cause back pain.

In a study in Saudi Arabia, where vitamin D deficiency is common, researchers found that 83% of patients with low back pain with no obvious cause had very low levels of vitamin D in their blood. After the people with low levels of vitamin D were given supplements, 95% of them had improvements in pain.

Another study, in older women in Italy, showed that with low levels of vitamin D deficiency were almost twice as likely to suffer from back pain as women with normal levels of the vitamin. This did not seem to happen in men.

Vitamin D deficiency may also be linked with certain cancers and multiple sclerosis. The skin makes vitamin D when it is exposed to sunlight, and vitamin D is also in dairy foods, oily fish, meat and eggs, and in supplemented foods such as margarine. For free vitamin D, get daily or weekly (safe) exposure to the sun – and take a walk while you are out there, as weight-bearing exercise strengthens the bones, and keeping fit helps back pain.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is important for health nerves, and may have anti-inflammatory effects, which could help with back pain caused by osteoporosis, and by sprains and strains. Good sources of vitamin E include green, leafy vegetables, seeds and nuts.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • BackPainExpert
    Re: Back Pain and Hernia
    Janet - Your Question:I've had hernia surgery 4th of December 2017, they called it a Ventral hernia. Well I've been dealing wit horrible…
    11 December 2017
  • Janet
    Re: Back Pain and Hernia
    I've had hernia surgery 4th of December 2017, they called it a Ventral hernia. Well I've been dealing wit horrible lower back pain that has…
    10 December 2017
  • Harry
    Re: Dehydrated Discs
    Dear can anybody tell me what happens with me When i bend forward to push flush of washroom then i experience some force pull me forward and after…
    6 December 2017
  • motorman
    Re: Tilted Pelvis
    I have now been suffering realy bad diabolical pain in my right hip & down my leg & i have used just about all the gels that are available, plus lots…
    13 November 2017
  • Grumpygran
    Re: Cauda Equina Syndrome
    I have small herniatios of l4 l5 with probable compression of Cauda Equina . This was an unexpected finding as the MRI was done because of…
    29 September 2017
  • Jsisjd
    Re: A Spinal Tap Caused My Back Pain
    I had suicidal back pain and leg pain for 7-8 months after a spinal tap until the pain slowly subsided. Today 1 year later, i…
    1 September 2017
  • BLONDIE
    Re: Who is at Risk of Developmental Back Pain?
    Just want to let you all know that I find the medical info on ligaments and back problems to be very informative…
    12 August 2017
  • Kat
    Re: Dehydrated Discs
    My ll yr old girl has bulging disk tear always in pain took her a and e. She now seeing back surgeon in a week not half a year how can this pain…
    25 June 2017
  • eadndel drinkh20
    Re: Dehydrated Discs
    Arch your back by pushing off floor with arms straight with hips and legs flat on floor repeat 6 times 3 to 4 time a day. This arch will hurt but…
    8 June 2017
  • Ahmed
    Re: Dehydrated Discs
    I also have same problem plz suggest me to which doctor I should refer neurologist or orthopedic I m unable to stand plz suggest me
    6 June 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the BackPainExpert website. Please read our Disclaimer.