Chronic Pain and Vitamin D

According to the Mayo Clinic Proceedings (December 9, 2003), vitamin D deficiency is one possible cause of persistent and vague musculoskeltal pain. A study of 150 children and adults suffering from vague musculoskeletal pain performed at the University of Minnesota found that 93% of the subjects were vitamin D deficient. Of the subjects involved with the study, all of the African, African-American, Hispanic and Native Americans were vitamin D deficient, as well as all of the subjects under the age of 30. The worst vitamin D deficiencies were found in women of child-bearing age.

A cross-sectional study was conducted on 150 patients with nonspecific musculoskeletal pain. Researchers measured the calcidoiol–an indicator of vitamin D ingestion–levels and found every patient to be vitamin D deficient. Out of the 150 patients, 28 percent had severely deficient vitamin D levels, 55 percent of who were younger than 30 years.

According to the Nov. 12, 2003 edition of the Pain Management issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the cost of treating painChronic pain may be due to low vitamin D unsuccessfully is $61.2 billion per year. This study shows that there may be, at least in some patients, a very simple answer for this common problem.

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a risk for osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and auto-immune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Inadequate vitamin D is also harmful for developing fetuses and is the cause rickets of in children.

In separate study, conducted in Saudi Arabia, a vitamin D deficiency was found in a group of chronic back patients. All the patients were given cholecalciferol for three months, which improved the chronic pain. The subjects were given doses that are considered toxic (5,000 to 10,000 IU, which is between two and three times the toxic dose).  After receiving the cholecalciferol , all the patients had normal levels.