Monday 19 October 2015

Link between vitamin D deficiency and lower back pain

It is natural to think of stress and our sedentary existence as the main causes of chronic lower back pain. Yet it may be that in 80 percent of all cases vitamin D is involved.


Chronic lower back pain has a negative impact on quality of life. Daily activities, such as walking, bending and sitting are painful and are sometimes al but impossible. In 20 percent of all cases stress and other causes are involved; in 80 percent of all cases the cause remains unknown.


Research published in the Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry shows that low vitamin D levels are strongly related to chronic lower back pain of unknown origin. Since vitamin D is essential for healthy bones, researchers examined to what extent vitamin D could play a role in the prevention of chronic lower back pain. 


400 people were examined, of which 200 patients and 200 healthy adults. In all participants vitamin D levels, C-reactive protein (CRP) and rheumatoid factors (RF) were measured. CRP is a protein that provides an indication of inflammation in the body. Rheumatoid factors are antibodies in the body that increase in immune-related arthritis (inflammation of the joints).  


The study showed that patients with chronic lower back pain have vitamin D levels that are significantly lower than those in healthy controls. Half of the patients even turned out to be deficient. In this group, also the CRP and RF levels were higher than usual.


“It is therefore justified to prescribe nutritional supplements, but also to use them therapeutically to achieve desireable vitamin D levels in patients with bone and muscle complaints”, the researchers say. 


In this respect, we advise to work towards vitamin D levels of at least 80 nmol/L.  


Lodh M, Goswami B, Mahajan RD, Sen D, Jajodia N, Roy A., Assessment of Vitamin D status In Patients of Chronic Low Back Pain of Unknown Etiology, Indian J Clin Biochem. 2015 Apr;30(2):174-9.