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Pain Management

Vitamin C Can Stop Sciatica Pain in Its Tracks

One woman's story provides promising results for sciatica sufferers.

Jolting awake, Barbara Farfan felt a stabbing pain shoot from her hip down her left leg. What is happening to me? she worried and quickly tried a series of stretches, hoping for relief. But to her dismay, the agony got worse.

An international pet-sitter, the Seattle native was staying in a small city in Mexico. It wasn’t the easiest place to find resources. As the shooting pain progressed, Barbara found it increasingly difficult to get out of bed. She’d crawl to the bathroom and the kitchen for water. But preparing meals required standing — which was excruciating.

After a week of searching for solutions, she identified a local chiropractor, and set an appointment. The chiropractor promptly diagnosed her with sciatica, a radiating pain along the path of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back through the hips and buttocks and down each leg.

The chiropractor massaged along the nerve, which enabled Barbara to stand long enough to cook, but do little of anything else. She also tried acupuncture, with minimal relief.

Realizing she needed access to better resources, Barbara took a flight to Mexico City. She was in so much pain by the time she landed, an airline employee had to escort her in a wheelchair. I can’t live like this, she thought.

How does vitamin C help sciatica?

After settling in, Barbara began researching natural sciatica treatments, and discovered that the powerful anti-inflammatory properties in vitamin C could be the key to relieving her pain. Even more, Barbara learned that liposomal vitamin C, where the vitamin is wrapped in little fat bubbles to improve absorption and allow for higher doses without causing digestive upset, was especially effective.

Hopeful, Barbara found premade liquid liposomal vitamin C supplements online, though not enough to take consistently. However, she also found a simple recipe for a potent vitamin C emulsion that combines sunflower lecithin (fat) with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) using an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner.

After gathering the ingredients and making the drink, Barbara began with a “superdose” by drinking one cup of the liquid, sipped over an hour, every morning. To her amazement, the pain and swelling in her leg dissipated immediately.

Over the next few weeks, as her symptoms improved, Barbara began tapering her dosage until, after two months, with her pain gone, she went down to two tablespoons every morning, which she continues to take today. “I’d read that sciatica never goes away, and here I am absolutely free of pain!” says the 61-year-old, who started to share natural treatments. “I feel so amazing!”

Why does it work?

Every cell in the body uses vitamin C to defend against disease-causing inflammation, says vitamin C researcher Thomas Levy, MD. And since the primary cause of pain is inflammation, vitamin C supplements can work wonders. The caveat? Standard C is poorly absorbed by the body, he says. But liposomal C, a form where the vitamin is encased in fat, is absorbed nearly 100 percent (Buy on Amazon, $18.98). “The outer coating of a liposome is virtually identical to the cell wall, so it can literally merge into that cell membrane and become part of it.” Plus, it doesn’t bring the side effects (like diarrhea) of regular vitamin C.

Read on for more natural ways to beat sciatica pain:

Heat or Ice for Sciatica? Physical Therapy Pros Say Both in *This* Order + The ‘Flossing’ That Dials Down Pain by 61%

Pain In The Lower Back, Butt and Legs Isn’t Always Sciatica — Sometimes It’s A Muscle Spasm That Needs Very Different Treatment

The Best Foods to Ease Sciatica Pain — And Which Ones Can Make It Worse

This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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