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Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain


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32 replies to this topic

#1 Justchill

  • Location:Belgium

Posted 11 July 2011 - 12:13 PM


Hi,

I'm suffering from upper back pain between the shoulders, especially after long periods of sitting. I want to doctors, chiropracters, everything... The last thing I got were steroid injections, that didn't help at all.

The doctors aren't sure what the cause is, could be a disc degeneration problem, or a scar tissue problem.

I was wondering if you know some supplements that could alleviate this?

Cheers
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#2 nameless Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

Posted 11 July 2011 - 11:47 PM

I suppose anti-inflammatory supplements may help... get serum vit D normalized, fish oil, maybe pycnogenol.

If bad enough, you could consider something like Zyflamend, tumeric, or prescription Limbrel.

I expect you've ruled out muscular issues as being the reason? If not, a prescription muscle relaxer could be worth a try. Or magnesium, if going the natural route.
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#3 niner Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 12 July 2011 - 12:32 AM

If you work out, you might need to modify your program. The pain you describe can be caused by some exercises. There's a machine lift that involves spreading your arms apart and bringing them together in front of you against resistance. Sorry, I don't remember what it's called... anyway, it's known to cause pain like that. If you have a disc degeneration problem, it seems like that would show up on an x-ray. If you have access to a physical therapist, that might be something to look into. Strengthening the musculature in the area around the pain is often all it takes to clear it up, or at least make it a whole lot better.
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#4 adamh Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

Posted 12 July 2011 - 12:43 AM

I have chronic upper back pain which seems to come from lying down. It makes it hard to sleep. I hope you find a cure and tell us about it.
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#5 Justchill Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

  • Location:Belgium

Posted 12 July 2011 - 06:55 AM

I suppose anti-inflammatory supplements may help... get serum vit D normalized, fish oil, maybe pycnogenol.

If bad enough, you could consider something like Zyflamend, tumeric, or prescription Limbrel.

I expect you've ruled out muscular issues as being the reason? If not, a prescription muscle relaxer could be worth a try. Or magnesium, if going the natural route.


Yeah, the vit d levels, fish oil and magnesium I take. But that doesn't help much. Maybe I should up the dosis..

Thanks for the other suggestions.

I got the injury 5 years ago when doing a heavy (dead)lift (that is a gym exercise)
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#6 ajnast4r Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

  • Location:Sacramento, California

Posted 15 July 2011 - 07:25 PM

you probably have your pelvis tucked instead of cocked forward and your shoulders too far forward... i had the same problem with pain in the upper back, between shoulders, rhomboid area and it turned out to be VERY easily correctable just by changing my posture. as of now i've eliminated the nearly constant pain ive had for YEARS by just tilting my pelvis differently... its hard to believe.

i learned proper posture from this book:
http://www.amazon.co...r/dp/0979303605
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#7 Justchill Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

  • Location:Belgium

Posted 27 July 2011 - 10:07 PM

you probably have your pelvis tucked instead of cocked forward and your shoulders too far forward... i had the same problem with pain in the upper back, between shoulders, rhomboid area and it turned out to be VERY easily correctable just by changing my posture. as of now i've eliminated the nearly constant pain ive had for YEARS by just tilting my pelvis differently... its hard to believe.

i learned proper posture from this book:
http://www.amazon.co...r/dp/0979303605


Hi, yes pelvis tilt, you bet I know that exercise. My doctor sent to me to back revalidation school and we had to do that exercise a lot. I have great control on it now, but it's hard to always have you butt tucked in and you pelvis lifted :) Anyway that exercise didn't help me but I will check out that link for sure!

cheers
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#8 Justchill Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

  • Location:Belgium

Posted 27 July 2011 - 10:14 PM

Did that book really help you?
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#9 Luminosity Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

  • Location:Gaia

Posted 28 July 2011 - 04:29 AM

What Niner said sounded right. Have you had physical therapy? Have you tried an Osteopath? A different doctor? Different kinds of support pillows for sitting and lying down? I expect things of this nature may be the ultimate answer. Chinese herbs and acupuncture may help. Yoga may help. Bikrams Yoga is possibly the most effective.

As far as supplements, MSM may help. It works better with vitamin C. I prefer to take the plain powder dissolved in water on an empty stomach. I take a teaspoon or more at a time, twice a day, not too late in the day. Wait about twenty minutes before eating. Jarrow, Ultrabotanicals and Source Naturals are good brands. Fresh aloe vera juice on an empty stomach may help. Take it on an empty stomach. Cut off the peels and the sap under them and discard. Mix the pulp in the blender with black cherry concentrate or grape juice concentrate and water to mask the taste. Take one to four ounces worth of aloe pulp per day. It will keep in the fridge for about three days. A good magnesium supplement may help. Bone Up by Jarrow is a good supplement of some bone related vitamins and minerals. It might help even though it isn't probably directly related to the problem. It might also be too much for you if you take all six capsules per day. Listen to your body. It could cause fibromyalgia to kick up, if you have that tendency.

There are many natural anti-inflamatories. Some are sarsaparilla, Boswellin or Boswellia, Bromelain ( would only take KAL caplets or tablets, on an empty stomach, wait twenty minutes to eat) Pancreatin (no gel caps) Nature's Plus is a good brand for this use, take on an empty stomach wait twenty minutes before eating.

Keeping to an alkaline diet may help. Taking Collagen may help. I think you want type two made from chicken cartilage?

I'm taking StimTein, from the infomercials. I think it helps. They have a sixty day money back guarantee. I believe that they mean that.

There are topical remedies. There are Chinese liniments which contain mostly menthol and stuff like that. York Zhu liniment is a good one but I haven't seen it around a lot. Capsasin ointments are another possibility. There are wood vinegar plasters or bamboo vinegar plasters which are expensive but can be very effective for some people for some things. These are Chinese medicine but they have them in the drug store where I live.

Good luck.
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#10 Justchill Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

  • Location:Belgium

Posted 29 July 2011 - 12:36 PM

Hi,

thanks for replying.

I tried all sorts of therapies, osteopats, doctors, even acupuncture... I'm a bit desperate.

those supps you mention, I didn't try them yet. Will do in the future and see what helps...

cheers
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#11 mastercowboy Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

  • Location:Pilland

Posted 31 July 2011 - 11:46 PM

Probably you suffer from disc herniation.You must do MRI to be sure.I have The same problem last couple of years and it doesn't go away.I have herniated discs in thoracic area.Is really bad.I have gone through acupuncture without results,just a much lighter wallet!

I think i must visit a chiropractor to give me some kind of relief.It is very hard even to sit for hours.

There must be a supplement out there that heals discs...
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#12 abelard lindsay Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

  • Location:Mare Serenitatis Circumlunar Corporate Republic

Posted 04 August 2011 - 02:23 AM

Cissus quadrangularis is what I take whenever I have joint or back pain. Works like a charm.
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#13 Luminosity Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

  • Location:Gaia

Posted 04 August 2011 - 04:52 AM

Cissus quadrangularis is what I take whenever I have joint or back pain. Works like a charm.


Thanks Abelard. Where could we buy that? Who makes it? What is the common name?

Forgot one thing, Chinese medicinal tonics are good too. Shou Wu Chi is one. HEI brand is good, in the yellow box. There is a company called East Earth Trade Winds which has one called Gentle Rejuvenator. Different ones agree with different people.

About half of acupuncturists have no talent. If you feel no different after three treatments, move on.
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#14 shp5 Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

  • Location:Austria

Posted 05 August 2011 - 09:51 AM

when you sit, make sure you got good lumbar support (little pillow, folded towel or similar on the back-support supporting pelvis and lumbar spine) and that you arrange your working space in a way that you can and will actually rest against the back-support.

if you have lots of stress, you can try adaptogens (rhodiola, st. johns wort with care etc.), pain and tightness in the thoracic spine area are often related to the sympathic nerve centres there.

also, if you have a flat thoracic spine, many posture tips are rubbish for you, they are made for the more prevalent type with overly round thoracic spine.

Edited by shp5, 05 August 2011 - 10:00 AM.

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#15 abelard lindsay Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

  • Location:Mare Serenitatis Circumlunar Corporate Republic

Posted 06 August 2011 - 06:05 AM

The Cissus quadrangularis brand I use is "Super Cissus RX". Someone is probably selling it on Amazon. I think they also carry it at Vitamin Shoppe. It's a pretty commonly available supplement.
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#16 AgeVivo Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

Posted 06 August 2011 - 08:05 PM

Personal experience that may or may not be useful to you: during a few months I've had back pain, it was quite handicaping and I really had the impression it would never go away. I had stopped doing sport for long. The only thing that would merly work was ibuprofen (respect dosage!!). Surprisingly my back pain almost went away when having to do an unpected difficult hike (I wasn't even expecting to be able to do such a hike) because we got a bit lost during vacations. A few weeks later i voluntarily did another big hike despite pain and since then (more than a year) I regularly do a little exercise and I haven't had any such problem any more.
Again, personal experience that may or may not apply to you
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#17 August59 Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

Posted 06 August 2011 - 11:00 PM

If it is the burning stabbing ice pick pain in the lower C-6 to T-1 area that is even sensitive to touch on one or both sides of the spine it is the facet joints is deterierating. Keepeing the mumuscle in shape, light traction, TENS unit helps as well.
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#18 Justchill Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

  • Location:Belgium

Posted 29 September 2011 - 10:18 PM

Hi, I'm trying the MSM + vitamin C now. What dosage should it be for pain relief? Now at 2 X 1.8 grams
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#19 nowayout Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

  • Location:Earth

Posted 30 September 2011 - 01:02 AM

You are wasting your time with supplements. There aren't even any actual pharmaceutical drugs that will do much (except opioid painkillers that mask the pain). The only thing for it is time. Sometimes lots of time.
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#20 MrHappy Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

  • Location:Australia

Posted 30 September 2011 - 09:11 PM

Benfotiamine can be good for this sort of thing. Takes a week or 2 to notice the effect.
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#21 MrHappy Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

  • Location:Australia

Posted 30 September 2011 - 09:12 PM

Buying (and using daily) an inversion table could also help a lot.
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#22 tepol Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

Posted 01 October 2011 - 06:20 AM

Hi,

thanks for replying.

I tried all sorts of therapies, osteopats, doctors, even acupuncture... I'm a bit desperate.

those supps you mention, I didn't try them yet. Will do in the future and see what helps...

cheers


Been there ... and if its what i think it could be , namely tedon or ligament issue, then mris , x-rays are pretty much useless unless they know what they're looking for.

1 MHZ Ultrasound is useful for me , as is DMSO ( athletes have been using it for years.)

If its available over in Belgium Id consider trying " Prolotherapy " too as option , as it works esp well for backs ( if it is the back)

Soft tissues injuries are notorious to spot or heal , if the pain does feel muscular it could be your muscles are overcompensating ( a common problem for soft tissue injuries ) as well and thus creating a secondary problem that is also masking the original problem ( wherever it is)

It could even be youve had the injury for longer than you think, in which
case , working proprioceptive exercises would also benefit i.e. so you can isolate / get feel of where the problem is / is not , yourself.

I would avoid steriod injections or anything else that reduces inflammation or weakens the tissue , at least until you tried a different approach to see if it helps- keep in mind too you need to be aware of the pain / discomfort in order to stop it , as that is going to be your barometer of which exercises, methods can help.

good luck

tepol

Edited by tepol, 01 October 2011 - 06:40 AM.

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#23 maxwatt Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

  • Location:New York

Posted 01 October 2011 - 01:45 PM

There is a joke; "Why does a doctor's office have two doors?" answer: one for the patient to come in, and the other for the doctor to leave hurriedly when the patient complains of low back pain. What you describe sounds like your spine slipped out of alignment between T1 and C7, but it's a guess. I think a decent physical therapist would have figured that out and been able to readjust it. This suggests some physical damage, or another reason your back does not stay aligned.

I had back pain so bad I collected on disability insurance. Granted, mine was low back, not like the OP's upper back pain. There were only two things that helped , Vicodin and Flexeril which gave me heart palpitations so I had to discontinue after three days. I learned to read MRIs and eventually determined an unusual surgical intervention would help and found an orthopedic surgeon willing to perform the operation. It worked in that it corrected the original pain generator. I had to educate myself in my problem, to the point I could find the cause and a solution. Good luck in your search. But it is a physical problem, and supplements and drugs will only be palliative, not curative.

Perhaps an osteopathic therapist, with the kind of training received in Canada and France, might be more helpful than the sort of treatment you have found with Chiropractors. They have some different techniques than you've so far experienced. American osteopaths no longer practice nor receive training in manipulation.

Have you tried the tennis-ball-under-your-back trick, at the T1 vertebra as you push yourself around so the ball applies pressure at different points on your spine? I'd be surprised if you haven't, but just thought to mention it. Yoga? depends on the teacher and the style, but it helps many.
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#24 pycnogenol Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

  • Location:In a van down by the river!

Posted 01 October 2011 - 02:00 PM

There were only two things that helped,
Vicodin and Flexeril which gave me heart palpitations so I had to discontinue after three days.


I was rear-ended by a drunk driver in the late 90s and at the hospital they gave me both those medications.
Vicodin gave my stomach issues and all that crappy Flexeril ever did was make me itch constantly.

Edited by pycnogenol, 01 October 2011 - 02:01 PM.

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#25 mastercowboy Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

  • Location:Pilland

Posted 02 October 2011 - 10:27 PM


Have you tried the tennis-ball-under-your-back trick, at the T1 vertebra as you push yourself around so the ball applies pressure at different points on your spine? I'd be surprised if you haven't, but just thought to mention it.


What is the purpose of this method?I have Thoracic Herniated discs too and L5 :(
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#26 maxwatt Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

  • Location:New York

Posted 03 October 2011 - 05:43 PM



Have you tried the tennis-ball-under-your-back trick, at the T1 vertebra as you push yourself around so the ball applies pressure at different points on your spine? I'd be surprised if you haven't, but just thought to mention it.


What is the purpose of this method?I have Thoracic Herniated discs too and L5 :(


It enables one to apply trigger points one cannt otherwise reach, and to realign vertebrae above and below T1.
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#27 health_nutty Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

  • Location:California

Posted 04 October 2011 - 04:28 PM

Even better is two firm rubber balls about the size of tennis balls in a sock. You tie the open end of the sock. You then put the sock on the floor and then lay on the sock so that the two balls are on either side of your spine. You then massage up and down your spine. You will get some popping and cracking as well.
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#28 Justchill Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

  • Location:Belgium

Posted 14 October 2011 - 10:04 AM

Yeah, I tried that; I even bought a foam roller. Those things will deep massage muscle tissue, but that gives me even more pain.

So, the MSM did not help for the back; will try cissus now. However I will keep using MSM, it did help for some other pains (hip) and gave me more energy + it's safer than water and it's cheap.

Some supplement did help me a bit: idebenone. I read there is a relation between serotonin and pain; maybe elevated serotonin levels mask the pain?

Also do you advise to drink milk as calcium can create muscle spasms?

Cheers

Edited by Justchill, 14 October 2011 - 10:05 AM.

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#29 nowayout Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

  • Location:Earth

Posted 14 October 2011 - 12:49 PM

Back pain tends to go away on its own eventually, so whatever the person was taking or doing at the time, they will think it went away because of that. That's why anecdotal recommendations are worse than useless, and a waste of time.

This is from someone who tried every anecdotal recommendation there is, and nothing helped. By the way, I found Cissus completely useless.
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#30 Justchill Re: Supplements for chronic (upper) back pain

  • Location:Belgium

Posted 17 November 2011 - 10:59 AM

So, I've been taking MSM (5g / day) and that doesn't help for back pain, however it helps me for other pains (groin).

The cissus, I take 2 X 1200mg per day and it seems to give me some relief. I'll be continueing that for sure!

Next to try is DLPA..

Anybody else taking cissus for a long time? Is that a safe supplement actually?
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