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Vitamins and Herbs for Back Pain

By Julia Michelle

Lumbar spondylosis is a form of osteoarthritis that affects the bones of the lower back, according to the website Spine Universe. This degenerative disease causes pain, and even paralysis, in the hands and feet, by placing pressure on the nerves that exit the spinal column. Doctors may recommend over-the-counter remedies, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, for the pain. In more severe cases, doctors may resort to prescription painkillers, steroids and possibly surgery. Certain vitamins and herbal remedies may also effectively treat many of the symptoms. Always consult a physician before starting any herbal or vitamin supplement program.

Vitamins C and E

Vitamin C contributes to collagen formation, and the body uses collagen to make cartilage, says Zoltan Rona, author of “The Osteoarthritis Natural Health Guide.” He also recommends vitamin E because it stimulates cartilage-building proteins and helps relieve some of the pain and inflammation associated with lumbar spondylosis. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, the recommended daily dosage for vitamin C is up to 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women. The recommended adult vitamin E dosage is 15 mg a day.

Vitamin B12 and Niacinamide

Peter Bales, author of “Osteoarthritis: Preventing and Healing Without Drugs,” recommends vitamin B12 because it contributes to bone health and may improve joint strength in patients with lumbar spondylosis. Bales also recommends niacinamide, or vitamin B3, which is available by prescription. Bales advises that niacinamide improves cartilage metabolism. Those with liver disease, however, should not use niacinamide. You should take niacinimide only as directed by a doctor. The recommended dosage for vitamin B12 is 2.4 mcg per day.

Herbal Remedies

Linda B. White, M.D., author of “The Herbal Drug Store,” recommends devil's claw for its anti-inflammatory properties. Devil’s claw is available in capsule form, and Dr. White recommends taking 1,000 mg twice a day. Pregnant and nursing women should avoid taking devil’s claw. Zoltan Rona recommends ginger, which also has anti-inflammatory properties, and is more widely available than devil’s claw. Ginger comes in several forms, including fresh and candied; any form is effective. Ginger also comes packaged in commercial teas, and Rona recommends several cups a day.

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