October 16, 2007
Low Vitamin D Ups Chronic Back Pain?

If you have chronic back pain ask yourself whether you have enough vitamin D in your blood.

Approximately one in four patients who suffer from chronic pain also have inadequate blood levels of vitamin D, possibly contributing to their ongoing pain, according to a new study. Patients lacking sufficient vitamin D also required higher doses of morphine for a longer period of time.

Researchers recorded the serum vitamin D levels of 267 adults undergoing outpatient treatment for chronic pain, as well as their pain medication (morphine) dose and duration of use, and physical and general health functioning.

Of the patients tested, 26 percent had vitamin D inadequacy. Among these patients, the morphine dose was nearly twice that of the group with adequate vitamin D levels. In addition, the vitamin D inadequacy group used morphine for an average of 71.1 months versus 43.8 months. The vitamin D deficient group also reported lower levels of physical functioning and had a poorer view of their overall health.

It has long been known that inadequate levels of vitamin D can cause pain and muscle weakness, according to the study author, W. Michael Hooten, M.D., medical director, and anesthesiologist at Mayo Comprehensive Pain Rehabilitation Center, Rochester, Minnesota. Previous studies also have suggested that pain-related symptoms of vitamin D inadequacy respond poorly to pain medications.

I think its been a few weeks since I last gave you all a reason to get more vitamin D in your body. Is this nagging doing any good?

Share |      Randall Parker, 2007 October 16 05:54 PM  Aging Diet Studies

Engineer-Poet said at October 16, 2007 10:34 PM:

Been there, done that.  1000 IU a day fixed my problem in a week.

Rob said at October 17, 2007 7:16 PM:

Thanks Randall, this post might get me to Ye Olde Vitamine Shoppe. I have chronic pain in my hip that sometimes refers to my lower back. Running and weight lifting help tremendously, and I think creatine does too. I'll start taking vitamin D now. Any recommended brands?

Edward Hutchinson said at October 18, 2007 9:23 AM:

Prevalence and Clinical Correlates of Vitamin D Inadequancy among Patients with Chronic Pain

This research looked at the Vitamin d status and compared that with the amount and duration of pain killer use.
Those with the lowest Vitamin d status used about twice as much pain killer and for twice as long as the Vitamin D replete folk.

I use a source listed at www.vitamindcouncil.com/links.shtml The vitamin D council website. They supply 5000iu which is an effective amount to take in the Winter. If you only want to take 4000iu daily then just take a 5000iu capsule on 5 days one week and 6 capsules the next. If you only want 3000iu/d then 4x 5000iu caps a week will do. The difference between taking Vitamin D weekly or daily is so slight (expect for nursing mothers) it's not worth bothering about. You get maxium muscle strength around 125nmol/L and certainly in the UK the average adult drops to around 40nmol/L.

400iu raised your vitamin d status by around 7-12nmol/L so to get from 40 up to 120nmol/l requires another 80nmol/l and that means around 9 x 400iu capsules or 3600iu/daily. So 5 x 5000iu each week would see you maintain peak muscle strength through the Winter and cut you pain levels. It also reduces the number of upper respiratory tract infections you get in the winter. See www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/86/3/714 An association of serum vitamin D concentrations

Michael G.R. said at October 22, 2007 8:29 PM:

I take about 1200-1400 UI / day.

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