On Saturday, you saw how potassium and sodium can work miracles on sciatica pain. While most people will find relief from one or both of these minerals, some people won't find relief from either one. When that happens, I turn to a vitamin.
When Lucy explained how much pain she was in, I was sure the sodium and potassium would help. Her back hurt so bad she could hardly stand. But when she tried it, she didn't find any relief. I was a bit surprised, but not entirely. Some cases just don't respond to the minerals. So I had her go to the health food store and buy some sublingual vitamin B12.
Within a couple of days I heard back from Lucy. The vitamin B12 did the job. She was pain free. Fortunately, Lucy isn't the only one who has found relief from B12. A recent study found that this nutrient can work well for a lot of people with lower back pain.
This study was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study – one of the best types of studies. They looked at a particular brand name of vitamin B12 injection (Tricortin 1000) to see how effective it was in relieving back pain.
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To conduct the study, they found 60 patients between the ages of 18 and 65 years. All of them had “lumbago or sciatic neuritis of mechanical origin without need for surgical procedures.” This was a requirement to be in the study. The researchers had to see a proven medical history for back pain that had been present for at least six months. They also wanted patients with significant pain. Using the Visual Analogic Scale (a common pain test), they wanted pain levels at or above 60 mm.
During the study, the researchers allowed the participants to use Tylenol as needed, but they had to record their use. Then they divided the group into two, giving one group a placebo and the other the B12. Here's what the researchers found.
Surprisingly, “both treatment groups experienced a sharp decrease in pain and disability. However, comparison between groups at the end of the treatment period showed a statistically significant difference in favor of the active treatment group.” While both groups experienced significant decreases in their pain, only the group taking B12 had any reduction in their use of Tylenol. That means the Tylenol was helping relieve the pain of the placebo group, but the B12 group didn't need it. The B12 was actually more effective at reducing the pain.
But that's not all the researchers discovered. They found that the B12 worked regardless of whether the person had a B12 deficiency or not. So B12 supplements/injections can work even when your body doesn't need it. The vitamin works directly on the pain.
So if you have back pain that doesn't respond to potassium or sodium, give B12 a try. You can find sublingual B12 online and at many health food stores. If you can't find it or it doesn't work well enough for you, find a doctor who will give you a B12 injection. You can find a doctor at www.acam.org.
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