Sciatica is a condition that occurs when your sciatic nerve, a peripheral nerve that begins in your lower back and travels down to your buttocks and lower limbs, becomes compressed, inflamed or irritated. Symptoms may include lower back pain that radiates to your buttocks, hips, legs and feet, tingling and numbness in your lower limbs, impaired coordination, difficulty walking, involuntary muscle contractions and muscle weakness. Along with your prescribed treatment plan, certain vitamins may help relieve nerve pressure, reduce inflammation, alleviate sciatic nerve discomfort and repair injured or damaged nerves.
Vitamin B-6, also known as pyridoxine, reduces sciatic nerve pain, numbness and tingling, repairs sciatic nerve damage, aids in red blood cell production, synthesizes proteins and increases your body's production of dopamine and serotonin, neurotransmitters that support your central nervous system, according to Robert Anderson, M.D. and author of "Clinician's Guide to Holistic Medicine." Vitamin C lowers your risk of developing neuropathy, a condition that occurs when your peripheral nerves are damaged and can longer successfully relay sensory or motor information to the rest of your body. Foods rich in vitamin B-6 include bananas, garbanzo beans, peanut butter, tomato juice, spinach, soybeans, sunflower seeds, walnuts, poultry and wheat bran.
Vitamin B-9, also known as folic acid, increases red blood cell production, aids in cell reproduction, supports DNA synthesis, relieves sciatic nerve pain in your back and lower limbs, improves muscle coordination, protects your sciatic nerve from injury or damage, supports embryonic nerve development and aids in neural tube formation, which eventually evolves into the central nervous system in a developing fetus. Foods rich in vitamin B-9 include asparagus, beans, peas, lima bean, whole grains, mushrooms, liver, broccoli, orange juice, avocados and turnip greens.
Vitamin B-12, also known as cobalamin, improves nervous system function, repairs sciatic nerve damage, aids in cellular reproduction, strengthens weak muscles, prevents involuntary muscle contraction, improves muscle coordination, decreases nerve inflammation and irritation, lowers your risk of neuropathy and reduces sciatic nerve pain in your back and lower limbs. Foods rich in vitamin B-12 include oysters, crab, tuna, salmon, beef, lobster, lamb, liver, Swiss cheese, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs and liver.
Vitamin C strengthens your immune system and protects your sciatic nerve from permanent damage, according to Steve Blake, Sc.D and author of "Vitamins and Minerals Demystified." Vitamin C also hydrates your body, alleviates sciatic nerve pain, repairs nerve damage, accelerates the healing process, improves nervous system function and decreases nerve inflammation. Foods rich in vitamin C include oranges, grapefruits, pineapples, tomatoes, spinach, mustard greens, spinach, strawberries, cherries, cantaloupe and cabbage.
- “Low Back Pain FAQs”; David Gutknecht, M.D.; 2007
- “Neuromuscular and Peripheral Nerve Disorders”; Anthony Amato, M.D. and Richard Barohn, M.D.; 2008
- “Clinician's Guide to Holistic Medicine”; Robert A. Anderson, M.D., F.A.A.F.P., F.A.C.P.M.; 2001
- “Natural Pharmacy: Complete A-Z Reference to Alternative Treatments for Common Health Conditions”; Alan R. Gaby, M.D.; 2006
- “Vitamins and Minerals Demystified”; Steve Blake, Sc.D; 2007