Background: Low back pain is a common problem worldwide, but especially in westernized countries. It can often create a great financial burden to society due to people missing workdays or having work limitations. Back pain is also one of the most common symptoms people are seen for by their primary care provider and one of the top 5 causes of surgery. Recent studies have shown a correlation between vitamin B12 injection and a decrease in low back pain. This systematic review takes a look at the efficacy of intramuscular vitamin B12 injection in the treatment of chronic low back pain.
Method: An exhaustive literature search was conducted using OVID (medline), CINAHL, PubMed, and Google Scholar with the search terms “low back pain,” “methylcobalamin,” and “vitamin B12.” Articles that met the inclusion and exclusion criteria were further evaluated with the GRADE method.
Results: Two studies met inclusion and exclusion criteria and were included in this systematic review. Both studies were double-blinded, randomized, placebo controlled trials. They each included 60 participants and showed significant improvement in low back pain and function with the intramuscular vitamin B12 injections as compared to the placebo groups.
Conclusion: Intramuscular vitamin B12 injections appear to be of benefit in the reduction of chronic low back pain and also improve associated disability. However, further research is necessary to study the possible long term adverse reactions of these intramuscular injections.
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