Vitamin B12 and Nerve Pain

How many of you out there have tingling, pins and needles over your arms and legs or joint pain? Which does not seem to go away with treatment? So what could the reason be?

One of the reasons can be Vitamin B12 deficiency. The human body needs Vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, nerve cells, DNA and carry out other important functions. It is a water soluble vitamin that is not produced by the body but instead needs to be taken by our food intake. This is where the issue starts if we do not get enough in our food or by supplements we will have problems later.

Two major culprits of this deficiency is a strict vegan diet and a gastric bypass surgery.

The sources of Vitamin B12 are meat, eggs, poultry, dairy products and grains which are fortified with B12. Strict vegans will not eat any animal products including dairy products. This in turn leads to a deficiency.

In someone who has had a Gastric bypass surgery, the stomach can’t absorb the vitamin leading to deficiency.

It occurs more in older people as well, hence they need to consume more than the normal requirement.

Issues with Deficiency

  • Strange sensations, numbness or tingling in hands, legs or feet
  • Difficulty in walking, balance issues
  • Anemia
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty in reasoning and thinking
  • Hallucinations

If left untreated then it can lead to severe neurological problems and blood disorders.

It is a good idea to get your vitamin levels checked every year after the age of 30. A simple blood test will be able to tell you if you have deficiency or not.


Vitamin B12 injections or pills can be taken. Also it is very important to eat food which provide sufficient B12, food like meat, eggs, bread cereal and other grains fotified with B12.

The average human body requires 2.4 micrograms a day.

If you are currently having physiotherapy treatment for conditions of pain or tingling in the arms or leg, your physio will often ask about your diet to get an idea if B12 deficiency may be contributing to you problem. Often if you do no respond to physiotherapy, checking with your doctor if you need supplements of Vitamin B12 will be suggested.

Stay fit and stay healthy!


The following two tabs change content below.
Karishma Jhaveri

Karishma Jhaveri

Physiotherapist at Physio Savvy
Karishma completed her Bachelors in Physiotherapy from Manipal, India and has also completed Mulligan therapy certificaion. In Manipal Hospital, she worked for 3 years in clinical placement under several areas including diabetic clinic, pediatric wards, burns ICU and cardiac ICU. She then continued working in Mumbai under the President of Indian Association of physiotherapy Dr Ali Irani. Her work also includes health surveys in India for WHO in rural parts near Manipal, and she has taken a special interest in working with children.
Karishma Jhaveri

Latest posts by Karishma Jhaveri (see all)

Posted in Musculoskeletal Disorders.