With approximately 30 million people experiencing lower back pain at any given time, just about anything that can provide relief is going to be welcomed. At The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration, we encourage patient to exhaust conservative methods first, including nutritional supplements. Vitamins found in many common foods may offer some of that much-appreciated relief by naturally reducing inflammation and maintaining a healthy nervous system.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Vitamin B3 may boost the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs often taken to relieve lover back pain. It’s also believed that elements within B3 help keep the central nervous system healthy, possibly countering some effects of back pain. Foods rich in vitamin B3 include:
- Oil roasted peanuts
- Tuna, swordfish, salmon, and halibut
- Chicken and turkey
- Liver and lean pork
Often associated with increased energy, B12 can also keep the body’s nerves and blood cells healthy. There’s research suggesting that a vitamin B12 deficiency may aggravate back, neck, and joint pain. Two studies involving 60 participants with chronic back pain found that many subjects found relief with intramuscular B12 injections. Natural sources of B12 include:
- Beef and liver
- Fortified breakfast cereals
- Trout and salmon
Properties in vitamin C repair tissues and help reduce the inflammation that sometimes puts added pressure on nerves and muscles in the lower back area. Vitamin C also helps with the natural internal healing process and protects cells from damage caused by irregular molecules called free radicals. Foods rich in vitamin C include:
- Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits
- Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries
- Cantaloupes and watermelons
- Red peppers
Vitamin D helps with calcium absorption, which increases bone strength and counters the impact of age-related bone loss that sometimes contributes to lower back pain. Vitamin D also helps maintain immune system health while naturally decreasing inflammation. Dietary sources of vitamin D include:
- Fatty fish like mackerel and salmon
- Cheese, milk and egg yolks
- Oatmeal and whole grain cereals
Maintaining a diet that includes a good mix of fruits and vegetables has numerous health benefits beyond possibly relieving lower back pain. However, daily supplements can also help ensure that you’re getting the right amount of the vitamins more likely to provide some relief. If you’re not sure where to start, seek some input from your doctor or pharmacist.
To learn more about non-invasive spine therapies, call The Spine Institute in Beverly Hills at (310) 828-7757. The center’s Medical Director, Dr. Hyun Bae, is a conservative spine surgeon who provides patients a wide range of non-surgical and surgical treatment options.