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  • Dr. Mark Freund

Vitamins and Supplements That Help with Back Pain

natural vitamins and supplements for back pain

Back pain can be unbearable, especially since it impacts all of your daily activities. Many people search “what helps with back pain?” Fortunately, there are many natural remedies to help alleviate the pain.

For some people whose chronic back pain is not adequately controlled with pain relievers, dietary supplements may seem like an attractive option. Many vitamins and supplements are advertised as treatments for pain and inflammation. While some people may find herbs and supplements helpful in relieving or reducing their pain, it is important to know these are not magic pills that can cure pain or the depression that can accompany chronic or painful spine-related conditions.

Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains helps keep your body in good shape. Foods high in antioxidants, such as green, leafy vegetables and berries, may be helpful in fighting inflammation.

Vitamins and supplements that some people have found helpful in reducing inflammation and pain include those listed below. However, it’s prudent to point out that several of these supplements can increase the risk of bleeding. Therefore, it bears repeating that having a discussion with your health care provider is vital before you consume any type of vitamin or supplement. If you’re wondering “what can help with back pain,” we’re here to give you the specific vitamins and supplements that can be beneficial to improve the condition.

Best Vitamins for Back Pain

It's possible to take a natural approach to back pain by using supplements that can reduce inflammation and provide some pain relief. Vitamins work best when used in combination with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and stress management.

But the word "natural" on a back pain supplement doesn't automatically mean safe, so it's important to talk with your health care provider before you begin a new regimen. Some supplements can interact with other medications and cause complications, and some just plain don't work. So what helps with lower back pain? Here we’ll cover the best vitamins for back pain:

Vitamin C

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:

vitamins c supplements and natural sources

  • Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits

  • Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries

  • Cantaloupes and watermelons

  • Red peppers

Vitamin D

When it comes to bone strength, the vitamin that comes to mind is Vitamin D. The deficiency of vitamin D is the primary cause of back pain and may worsen the condition if you already have pain in your back. Vitamin D supplements help maintain bone health in several ways. Vitamin D improves the body’s absorption of calcium. Both back pain and bone pain are the sign of low levels of vitamin D in the blood.

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 back pain vitamins that are more likely to provide some relief. If you’re not sure where to start, seek some input from your doctor or pharmacist.

Calcium & Magnesium

These two minerals are crucial for the prevention of calcium deficiency, which can lead to osteoporosis. Calcium is a building block for strong bones and is crucial for their health. Aside from strengthening your bones, magnesium maintains your muscles and nerve functions. Sufficient intake of magnesium may help muscle spasms and significantly reduce back pain.

Taking vitamins and minerals can help with your lower back pain, but they also provide many benefits for your overall health. With proper diet and regular exercise, you may be able to prevent the recurrence of lower back pain.

Vitamin E

When your lower back is inflamed, free radicals are released. These free radicals are toxic and may cause more damage because they can increase the inflammation of your back. Vitamin E can help lower back pain as it is a powerful antioxidant that fights off free radicals. By taking vitamin E regularly, you increase the antioxidant reaction in your body, which may help relieve lower back pain.

Vitamin B1, B6, & B12

These two minerals are crucial for the prevention of calcium deficiency, which can lead to osteoporosis. Calcium is a building block for strong bones and is crucial for their health. Aside from strengthening your bones, magnesium maintains your muscles and nerve functions. Sufficient intake of magnesium may help muscle spasms and significantly reduce back pain.

Taking vitamins and minerals can help with your lower back pain, but they also provide many benefits for your overall health. With proper diet and regular exercise, you may be able to prevent the recurrence of lower back pain.

Supplements for Lower Back Pain

While there’s no magic treatment to instantly eliminate back pain, certain medicinal herbs, dietary supplements, and nutrients can ease the pain, reduce inflammation, and relax your back muscles. Here is a list of the best supplements for lower back pain.

Devil’s Claw

Devil’s claw extract supplements are derived from the devil’s claw herb. These extracts are possibly useful for back pain. Taking herbal supplements by mouth seems to reduce the lower back pain in many people. Devil’s claw contains iridoid glycosides, a class of compounds that as effective anti-inflammatory properties.

Taking a daily dose of devil's claw extract can have a similar effect to NSAIDs. This makes it a popular solution for pain for those who prefer complementary medicine. You can take the devil's claw alone. It may also be an ingredient in other products, such as herbal teas. However, be aware that if you have heart or blood pressure problems, use devil's claw with caution as it may affect your heart rate or blood pressure.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids can help with inflammation and fight back pain. The two types of omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) reduce swelling and inflammation. Omega-d fatty acids especially improve bone health by increasing calcium levels in the body and thereby help to treat back pain and various types of arthritis.

Both acids can be effective in enhancing the immune system, especially DHA. Omega-3 fatty acids also help in the reduction of morning stiffness and pain in your back. Fish oil, nuts, and seeds are primary sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. The U.S. study states that supplements of omega-3 fatty acids could reduce the incidence of back pain and eliminate the need for medications.

vitamin E and herbal supplements

By using omega-3 fatty acids, the body generates certain chemicals that help control inflammation and help in regulating the response of the immune system. Omega-3 fatty acids also influence the immune system and help in the treatment of arthritis. Fish oil is the primary source of fatty acids. Fish oil is extracted from oily fishes like sardines and salmon. It is rich in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).


Derived from the root of the turmeric plant, this spice has healing effects that may help with back pain. Turmeric contains curcumin and other chemicals that lessen swelling or inflammation. As a nutritional supplement, it may be available in soft gels or capsules. A recent review and analysis of dietary supplements found curcumin to significantly reduce short-term pain in people with osteoarthritis of the hands, hips, or knees. Turmeric is most effective when taken with fat-containing food or oil. To be effective as either a supplement or food – and not simply metabolized and excreted – turmeric should be absorbed with fatty oils, such as avocado or olive oil, and black pepper, which most supplements contain.


Capsaicin is a primary ingredient found in chilies and cayenne peppers and is available in ointments and topical creams. The ingredient present in the creams and ointments warms the skin when directly applied to your lower back. Also, capsaicin blocks the chemical substance P, which is responsible for delivering pain messages to the brain. Capsaicin reduces lower back pain and a wide range of conditions, including sciatica nerve pain, gout, joint pain, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)

MSM, or Methylsulfonylmethane, is a sulfur-based element found in animals, plants, and humans. This is a popular dietary supplement used to manage painful conditions such as back pain and headaches. It comes in capsule or tablet form. MSM has been found to lessen pain, swelling, and joint discomfort. People who took it also reported improved quality of life. Also, MSM can serve as a more natural option for those with arthritis. One study found that patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, after taking MSM for 12 weeks, showed an improvement in pain and physical function.

taking vitamins to help reduce back pain

Coenzyme Q10 (Co-Q10)

Co-Q10 is a naturally occurring substance in the body. The highest concentrations of CoQ10 are found in the kidney, heart, liver, and pancreas. You can also find Co-Q10 in dietary sources. These include certain meats and nuts, as well as some fruits and vegetables. Taking an additional dosage of CoQ10 can be useful in pain management. Studies have shown Co-Q10 to be helpful for patients with fibromyalgia. Taking Co-Q10 supplements helps with tiredness, pain, and sleep problems associated with fibromyalgia.

Willow bark

Willow bark has been used for centuries as a pain reliever. It originates from the willow tree of the Salix species. The active ingredient in willow bark is salicin, which is like aspirin. Like aspirin, willow bark may reduce fever, swelling, or inflammation. It can also be used for headaches, muscle pain, and menstrual cramps. Three separate trials found (though the studies were low quality) that daily doses of 120-240 mg of salicin improve short-term pain when compared to a placebo group.

Glucosamine & Chondroitin

Glucosamine and chondroitin are compounds that naturally occur in your body. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, glucosamine is in fluid form around your joints and chondroitin in the cartilage surrounding your joints. Many people use it for chronic pain conditions such as lower back pain and knee pains.

The most crucial aspect of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements is that they are thought to help prevent or slow the degeneration of cartilage and help alleviate existing joint and back pain. Also, people have used glucosamine and chondroitin to treat inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, sports injuries, and long-term back pain.

Are Vitamins and Supplements Effective for Back Pain Relief?

Pain in your back, joints, and muscles is caused by a range of lifestyle and genetic factors. Treatments for that pain must be personalized for every patient, based on your level of inflammation, how you experience pain, other health conditions, and current medications.

vitamins and supplements for back pain

Whether it's an ongoing issue or just something that pops up now and again, back pain can keep you from the activities you love. But employing these simple tips and asking your practitioner about using these supplements for lower back pain, you can help yourself stay on the move naturally and enjoy the many health benefits of having a strong body. If you're a patient, speak to your integrative health care provider and obtain professional medical advice for guidance and supplement recommendations.

Oftentimes, the most effective and least risky treatments for back pain are the most holistic and natural forms of solutions. If you're looking for personalized guidance in choosing the right vitamin and supplement stack, we recommend speaking to one of our nutritionists. We provide expert nutritional guidance to optimize your diet and supplementation to alleviate and improve your back pain. Schedule an appointment with us today, and let us help you get back on track to feeling better.

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