Back pain is a common medical condition that affects approximately 75 percent of Americans at some point in their lives, according to David Gutknecht, author of the book “Low Back Pain FAQs.” Symptoms might include muscle aches, stabbing pain that radiates down your legs, limited flexibility in your back and the inability to stand for prolonged periods of time. The cause varies, but back pain might develop as a result of arthritis, bulging discs, skeletal abnormalities, premenstrual syndrome, strains, osteoporosis or spinal infections. A variety of vitamins can ease back pain and restore your back to optimal health.
Vitamin B-12 is a water-soluble vitamin that aids in red blood cell production, supports healthy nerve cells, reduces pressure in your back, eases chronic back pain and lowers your risk of pernicious anemia, a type of anemia that occurs when your body cannot properly absorb vitamin B-12 from your gastrointestinal tract. The recommended daily dosage for vitamin B-12 is 2,000 micrograms daily for adults. Foods rich in vitamin B-12 include milk, eggs, fish, cheese and liver.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant that strengthens your immune system and protects your back from damaging free radicals. Vitamin C also aids in collagen production, repairs damaged tissues, decreases inflammation, accelerates the healing process and reduces your risk of chronic back pain, according to the Center for Spinal Disorders, or CSD. The recommended daily dosage for vitamin C is 1,000 milligrams for adults. Foods rich in vitamin C include oranges, grapefruits, cranberries, strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach and kale.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that produces new bone cells, keeps your bones healthy and strong, aids in calcium absorption, lowers your risk of osteoporosis and rickets, decreases inflammation in your body and alleviates back pain, explains CSD. The recommended daily dosage of vitamin D is 600 international units for adults. Foods rich in vitamin D include salmon, mackerel, tuna, margarine, Swiss cheese, eggs, ready-to-eat cereals and milk.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that boosts immune system function, reduces muscle pain and soreness, helps produce red blood cells, improves circulation, aids in the healing process and prevents the breakdown of and repairs damaged tissues, according to a report from Ohio State University. The recommended daily dosage for vitamin E is 15 mg for adults. Foods rich in vitamin E include wheat germ, corn, nuts, seeds, olives, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, asparagus, corn oil and soybean oil.
- “Low Back Pain FAQs”; David Gutknecht
- Understanding Chronic Pain; Angela J. Koestler and Ann Myers
- Clinician's Guide to Holistic Medicine; Robert Anderson
- Vitamins and Minerals Demystified; Steve Blake
- Natural Pharmacy: Complete A-Z Reference to Alternative Treatments for Common Health Conditions; Alan Gaby, et al.
- Nutrition Almanac; Lavon Dunne
- Singapore Medicine: The Effcacy and Safety of Intramuscular Injections of Methylcobalamin in Patients With Chronic Nonspecifc Low Back Pain: Arandomised Controlled Trial
- Center for Spinal Disorders:
- Ohio State University Extension: Vitamin E