The Southeastern Spine Institute

You’re probably familiar with dietary supplements. There are many types, including vitamins (like vitamin C), herbs (like ginseng) and minerals (like zinc). Each supports a particular part of your body, from the immune system to your brain functions.

There are even some dietary supplements that promote spine health. In fact, they’re sometimes recommended in conjunction with other types of back treatment. When pain relievers fail to control or reduce your pain, for example, spine health supplements offer additional help in the prevention and treatment of back pain, neck pain, and their causes.

Recommended Spine Health Supplements

In a market flooded with miracle cures, your efforts to discern what’s real from what’s hype can end sometimes in frustration. Since the Federal Food and Drug Administration doesn’t review or approve supplements, the quality varies greatly. As much as possible, focus on purely scientific research and stay away from advertisements and paid testimonies.

While that recommendation is easier spoken than followed, review this list of known spine health supplements and their potential benefits to you:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids. They can significantly reduce your dependency on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) by reducing your inflammation and relieving your pain. These spine health supplements primarily are made from fish oils and flaxseed. The potential risks from these supplements include bleeding and adverse reactions to blood-thinning medications like Warfarin, Coumadin and aspirin.
  • Glucosamine/chondroitin. These supplements promote joint lubrication. And some studies have shown that these supplements can address arthritis pain specifically. But as with the Omega-3 supplements, there is a risk of adverse reactions with blood-thinning medications.
  • Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). This supplement has also shown benefits if you suffer from arthritis pain. It’s believed to be effective for a wide range of back and neck pain. Some people report side effects such as diarrhea, skin problems and nausea.
  • Bromelain. This is an enzyme that has taken the world by storm. It’s being used for everything from pain relief to skin care. Its intense anti-inflammatory properties make it well-suited for both. Potential risks include an:
    • Increase in bleeding
    • Adverse reaction to blood-thinning medications
    • Adverse reaction to certain antibiotic medications
    • Alert to not take it if you have peptic ulcers
  • Turmeric. This is another supplement gaining popularity. Ancient cultures used turmeric for thousands of years to treat a wide variety of ailments and conditions. Studies are showing that it has profound capabilities to address pain and inflammation. Like Omega-3 fatty acids, it can introduce potential risks such as more bleeding and adverse reactions to blood-thinning medications.

Make Healthier Choices for Your Back

Spine health supplements come in a variety of brands and styles. Consult your medical care professionals at the Southeastern Spine Institute about which supplements are safe for you to take, given your history and health.

Remember that supplements alone aren’t enough, no matter how miraculous they may seem. Stay current with your medical treatments and check-ups. Never underestimate the power of a balanced diet and regular exercise. When you make healthy choices that include dietary supplements in conjunction with diet, exercise and regular medical evaluations, you can stay healthy now and well into your retirement years.