Winter Back Pain? Low Vitamin D May Be to Blame

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Is it possible that your chronic winter backache could be due to the lack of sun exposure during the fall and winter months?

Based on a review of research by Stewart Leavitt, PhD, Executive Director of Pain Treatment Topics, may be just the “pain pill” your body is looking for.

Leavitt found that patients with chronic usually had inadequate vitamin D levels. And when they were given adequate vitamin D supplementation, their pain either vanished or was significantly relieved.

This could be a simple solution to years of nagging pain. Get your D levels checked and if they’re low, start supplementing. Work with your doctor to see just how much vitamin D it takes to get your levels in the optimum range. Experts consider 30 to 60 ng/ml  of 25-hydroxyvitamin D as the preferred range.

Dr Leavitt’s report, “Vitamin D: A Neglected ‘Analgesic’ for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain,” which was peer-reviewed by a panel of experts, includes important points, for instance:

While many people suffer from chronic back aches and soreness during the winter, many times there doesn’t seem to be any injury, disease or bone problem to justify it.

In a study of 360 patients with chronic back pain, all of them were found to have inadequate levels of vitamin D. After taking vitamin D supplements for 3 months, symptoms were improved in 95% of the patients.

Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and bone health. Among other things, inadequate vitamin D intake can result in a softening of bone surfaces, called osteomalacia, which causes pain. The lower back seems to be particularly vulnerable.

You may know that current suggested intake of vitamin D (600 IU a day) is outdated. Many people need much more, especially during late fall and winter in the northern regions of the world. Vitamin D is safe in doses up to 10,000 IU a day (and some experts say much more) and has few interactions with medicines. It’s very inexpensive and certainly worth a try.

Of course that doesn’t mean you should take vitamin D and forget about exercise, , good posture, or that you won’t need some additional analgesic for your particular pain problem. But it’s certainly a healthy road to travel. It won’t irritate your stomach or damage your liver, like some pain medications. And there are so many other benefits associated with maintaining optimal levels!

The Anti-Aging Bottom Line: We’re seeing more and more benefits of maintaining optimal vitamin D levels, particularly during the fall and winter when many people don’t get enough sun exposure to make their own vitamin D. A nagging backache may be your body’s warning that your levels are low. Commonly recommended dosages range from 1,000 to 5,000 IU a day. A specific blood test for the major circulating form of vitamin D, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, can show how well your dosage is working.

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8 responses to “Winter Back Pain? Low Vitamin D May Be to Blame”

  1. simrita says:

    Is it also useful for pain in the sides of the trunk? My father is having such kind of pain. He is 76.

    • Recent studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency is often a cause of unexplained muscle and bone pain. A study from the University of Minnesota found that 93% of people with chronic musculoskeletal pain were vitamin D deficient.

      It would be a good idea for your father to be screened for vitamin D deficiency. I encourage you to visit the Vitamin D Council’s website at http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/ for more information. The general recommendation for older people is for 1,000-2,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily, or more with medical supervision. High quality vitamin D3 supplements are available from Stop Aging Now: http://www.stopagingnow.com/search?frm_search=vitamin+d&Submit.x=0&Submit.y=0&Submit=Submit

  2. kiki ! says:

    You are so correct !! I used to take 1000,- a day, I started to have my vision diminishing , and terrible back pain . test showed 18-24 ,even after I received for 10 weeks once a week a pill of 5000,a friend of mine that is very knowledgeble in vitamins [she was a farmacist , now retired ]
    advise me to take 5000 ,units a day ,. The last blood test a week ago was 35 ,for the first time !
    Fortunatly the back pain is gone ,& I feel much more energised , you are correct , and thank you for the WONDERFULL ,INFORMATION !

  3. […] for your back pain.  Stewart Leavitt, PhD, Executive Director of Pain Treatment Topics, found that patients with chronic back pain usually had insufficient levels of vitamin D. Funny enough, when they were given adequate vitamin D supplementation, their pain either vanished […]

  4. […] Executive Director of Pain Treatment Topics, found that patients with chronic back pain usually had insufficient levels of vitamin D. Funny enough, when they were given adequate vitamin D supplementation, their pain either vanished […]

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  6. […] for your back pain.  Stewart Leavitt, PhD, Executive Director of Pain Treatment Topics, found that patients with chronic back pain usually had insufficient levels of vitamin D. Funny enough, when they were given adequate vitamin D supplementation, their pain either vanished […]