Vitamin D deficiency linked to low back pain

Created date

April 28th, 2020
Vitamin D is a critical component to help maintain enough calcium and phosphorus in your body, especially in your bones and muscles. One way to get Vitamin D into your system is through supplements, like the gel caps seen here.

Vitamin D is a critical component to help maintain enough calcium and phosphorus in your body, especially in your bones and muscles.

Practically everyone experiences low back pain once in a while. With aging, it can become more frequent due to wear and tear on discs in the lower, or lumbar, region of the back. More women are affected by degeneration of lumbar discs than men, and a likely factor is decreased estrogen levels that occur with menopause.  

Now, a new study has found that there may be another significant factor associated with low back pain: low vitamin D.

Vitamin D’s role

Vitamin D is a critical component to help maintain enough calcium and phosphorus in your body, especially in your bones and muscles. Increasing vitamin D levels by using supplements has been shown in previous research to help improve bone and muscle strength everywhere in the body—including in the lower back.

In the current retrospective, single-center study, which was published in the journal Menopause, researchers analyzed data from a group of post-menopausal women. They found that vitamin D deficiency was prevalent among the subjects, and that severe deficiency was linked to an increased likelihood of moderate to severe low back pain and also an indicator of severe disc degeneration. Additional factors related to low back pain and disc degeneration were also identified, including smoking, osteoporosis, and a high body mass index.

These study results highlight the importance of having your vitamin D levels tested—especially if you are an older woman with low back pain. You and your health care provider should discuss whether supplements might help you. 

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