And if the lower back pain you felt could easily be corrected by increasing the consumption of a vitamin? You may not realize it, but it is easy to confuse low back pain with the sign of injury. Joint pain can also mimic the symptoms of this vitamin deficiency.
In winter, much of the northern hemisphere gets less sun than in spring, summer and fall. Temperatures are also colder, so we cover and stay as much as possible in heated areas.
As a result, we leave our home bundled up, enter our transportation, our workplace, and we return home after rarely having the skin exposed to the sun. We lose the benefit of direct sunlight on exposed skin that produces our vitamin D quota for the day.
So much so that the sun is causing skin cancer, that we are wearing sunscreen to protect ourselves from it. But is it really necessary? The risk of sunscreen versus the benefit of naturally absorbed vitamin D in a health decision where we tend to err on the side of caution.
As we prefer to avoid skin cancer from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, we lose the benefit of vitamin D that natural light provides.
When we lack vitamin D, we reduce our body’s ability to absorb calcium that strengthens our bones. Vitamin D deficiency can cause such back and joint pain that we can seek the help of a health professional.
THIS DEFICIENCY IN VITAMIN CAUSES LUMBAR AND JOINT PAIN
BACK-UP, PAIN AND VITAMIN DEFICIENCY
In a study of 360 patients (90% women and 10% men) who reported low back pain and who visited a clinic of internal medicine and spine over a 6-year period, 83% of patients with the study had an abnormally low level of vitamin D.
Patients aged 15 to 52 had low back pain with no obvious cause for more than 6 months. After treatment with vitamin D supplements, a noticeable improvement in symptoms was observed in all groups that had low vitamin D levels, and in 95% of all patients.
BONE AND JOINT PAIN FOLLOWING VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY
Vitamin D is important for the absorption of dietary calcium. When someone has vitamin D deficiency, the amount of calcium absorbed is less than what is needed to meet the body’s calcium requirements. This results in an increase in the production of parathyroid hormone (PTH). Parathyroid hormone retains calcium by increasing calcium reabsorption by the kidneys. The kidneys then produce an active hormonal form of vitamin D.
When we have vitamin D deficiency, the active hormonal form of vitamin D is produced to maintain the absorption of calcium. When this happens, the skeleton becomes the source of calcium for the body. This leads to osteopenia and osteoporosis.
When we lack vitamin C to properly mineralize our bones and help them be strong, there is an outward pressure on the membrane that covers our bones causing sensory pain. This explains why patients with vitamin D deficiency often have pain in their bones.
Many doctors misdiagnose patients with this general bone pain by detecting fibromyalgia. The symptom of whole body joint pain due to vitamin deficiency can easily be corrected.
In a study of women who were undergoing treatment for breast cancer, one of the typical treatments (with aromatase inhibitors) resulted in severe joint pain to the point that women felt disabled. Supplementation of 50,000 units of vitamin D per week reduced the frequency of acute joint pain in these women.
PREVENTING DORSAL AND JOINT PAIN FROM VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY
The sun exposure time needed to correct this vitamin D deficiency is minimal. It is estimated that 10 minutes in the sun is enough for a fair-skinned person during the summer to produce 10,000 units of vitamin D.
However, in winter, you do not get enough sun. People with darker skin absorb less UVB rays needed to produce Vitamin D. Elderly people are also more likely to have vitamin D deficiency.
TREATMENT OF VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY
Vitamin D deficiency can be easily treated by giving the patient a dose of 50,000 units of vitamin D once a week for 8 weeks. Long-term treatment of vitamin D deficiency can be done by giving 50,000 units of vitamin D once or twice a month.
A lot of our food has a vitamin D supplement. An addition of 2000 units a day during the winter may be necessary to keep bones and joints healthy.