A pinched nerve may arise from muscular compression, decreased blood supply, encroachment from osteoarthritis or a variety of other causes. Decreased nerve function associated with a pinched nerve can cause pain, tingling and numbness and lead to further injury and loss of function. Some vitamins offer analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects that reduce nerve damage and help alleviate symptoms associated with a pinched nerve.
Supplements that increase alkalinity in your body may alleviate pain from a pinched nerve, according to a study published in the 2001 issue of the "Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology." Participants in the study took 30 grams per day of a multimineral supplement and experienced a 49 percent drop in low back pain caused by pinched nerves in the spine or low back area. The mineral supplement also increased blood alkalinity and tissue magnesium levels. Researchers concluded that an acid/alkaline imbalance may be responsible for some symptoms of low back pain and that mineral supplementation is a safe and effective method for alleviating low back pain in some people.
The antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid and the fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid, or GLA, improve nerve pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition associated with compression or pinching of one of the nerves in the wrist, according to a study published in the March 2009 issue of the "European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences." In the study, participants took 600 milligrams per day of alpha-lipoic acid together with 360 milligrams per day of GLA for 90 days. Results showed significant reduction in pain and significant improvement in function. By contrast, a group in the same study that took a supplement containing vitamins B-1, B-6 and B-12 showed slight symptom improvement but a decrease in function.
Omega-3 Fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids may speed healing of a pinched nerve, according to a study published in the August 2005 issue of the journal "Anesthesia and Analgesia." In the laboratory animal study, hemp seed oil diets, high in omega-3 fatty acids, decreased sciatic pain more effectively than corn oil-based diets, which contain much lower levels of omega-3 oils. Levels of omega-6 fatty acids did not significantly affect nerve pain, in the study. Results of this preliminary study indicate that the type of oil in your diet may help or hinder your recovery from a pinched nerve. Further research to confirm these effects in humans is needed.
Vitamin B-6, which has been used to treat carpal tunnel syndrome, offers significant anti-inflammatory benefits, according to Tufts University researchers. In a study published in the January 2010 issue of the "Journal of Nutrition." The study found that low levels of the vitamin are associated with increased likelihood of inflammation. Also, your body's requirement for vitamin B-6 increases in the presence of inflammation. Maintaining adequate B-6 levels may decrease nerve pain by inhibiting inflammation associated with a pinched nerve. Doses of 100 milligrams per day are typically used for carpal tunnel syndrome, according to Gary Null Ph.D., author of the book "For Women Only: Your Guide to Health Empowerment."
- "European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences"; Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with Alpha-lipoic Acid; G. Di Geronimo, et al.; March 2009
- "Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology"; Supplementation with Alkaline Minerals Reduces Symptoms in Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain; J.Vormann, et al.; 2001
- "Anesthesia and Analgesia"; Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Be Associated with Increased Neuropathic Pain in Nerve-Injured Rats; J. Pérez, et al.; August 2005
- "For Women Only: Your Guide to Health Empowerment"; Gary Null, Barbara Seaman; 2003