It might not surprise you to hear that we see a lot of low back pain in our office, what might surprise you is that a vitamin deficiency might be contributing to the lower back pain that many people experience.  A recent study out of Canada looked at patients who had chronic back pain and found that there was a significant rate of vitamin D depletion in these patients.  When given Vitamin D supplementation patient showed improvement in reported pain levels.

Who is deficient is Vitamin D?

It is estimated that 60% of Americans are  deficient in vitamin D.  Why is this?  Vitamin D is obtained from two sources, the sun and food.  Because we are spending more and more time indoors, people are not getting exposed to the sun and therefore not getting vitamin D.   As far as food sources go, fish is one of the best sources of vitamin D and most Americans don’t consume fish on a regular basis.

Are you deficient?

Most people don’t know if they are vitamin D deficient.  You can obtain a blood test that will test your levels of vitamin D.  You can ask your doctor about this test next time you see them or your next physical.

What can you do?

If you suffer from chronic lower back pain you might considering increasing your vitamin D intake.  As we get closer to the winter it is going to be harder to get outside and more of our bodies will be covered preventing sun exposure.   Vitamin D can easily be obtain in food and supplement form.   For a list of foods with the highest levels of vitamin D click Vitamin D foods.  If you don’t find yourself eating many of the foods on the vitamin D list you can get vitamin D through supplementation.  Vitamin D3 has been found to be the most beneficial.  The Vitamin D3 that I recommend is from Metagenics and you can see it by clicking Metagenics vitamin D3.

Most of the studies done on vitamin and pain have looked at lower back pain, but it would stand to reason that if you have other pains such as neck, upper back and shoulder pain that vitamin D might also help.  There are numerous benefits from getting a healthy dose of vitamin D and very few risks if taken appropriately.

For more information of vitamin D you can view these other articles on our blog, You need more vitamin D and Vitamin D as an anti-inflammatory.