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Vitamin D deficiency: Could your back pain be due to a deficiency to the essential vitamin

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Vitamin D is very important to your overall health and wellbeing. One of the best ways to top-up on the so-called ‘sunshine vitamin’ is to take daily supplements. Lacking in the essential vitamin and not taking supplements could result in back pain.

Vitamin D helps maintain bone health in a number of ways as it helps the body to absorb calcium.

Experiencing lower back pain may be a sign of inadequate vitamin D levels in the blood.

Large observational studies have found a relationship between a deficiency and chronic lower back pain.

One study examined the association between vitamin D levels and back pain in more than 9,000 older women.

The researchers found that those with a deficiency were more likely to have back pain, including severe back pain that limited their daily activities.

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One study looked at vitamin D supplementation and how it could improve back pain. 

The study suggested vitamin D supplementation may improve back pain disability in vitamin D deficient and overweight or obese adults.

The study found a ‘significantly’ greater reduction in back pain disability scores in the vitamin D group compared with the placebo group.

Commenting on their findings, the study authors wrote: “Although treating severe vitamin D deficiency is recommended for optimising bone health, this study suggests it may also improve back pain.

“Hence, testing for vitamin D deficiency in those with back pain who are overweight or obese may be warranted.”

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Other large observational studies have linked a vitamin D deficiency to chronic lower back pain.

One study examined the association between vitamin D levels and back pain in more than 9,000 older women. 

The researchers found that those with a deficiency were more likely to have back pain, including severe back pain that limited their daily activities.

Interestingly, in another study linking back pain to a vitamin D deficiency, men were significantly more prone to have a deficiency compared to women. 

Those most at risk of a vitamin D deficiency are the elderly, people that are overweight, and those that rarely venture outside.

Everyone should aim for between 8.5 and 10mcg of vitamin D in a single day, said the NHS.

During the winter months, the sun isn’t strong enough for your body to make vitamin D.

It’s therefore usually recommended that everyone takes vitamin D supplements during these months to increase the amount in their diet.

What is the best type of vitamin D?

There are two types of vitamin D available: vitamin D2 and vitamin D3.

Both of these are crucial to your overall health, and they each have their own benefits.

But it’s largely accepted that vitamin D3 is the most important type of vitamin D.

While vitamin D2 is produced by plants, vitamin D3 is the type that’s made by your skin when you stand outside in direct sunlight.



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