Can a lack of vitamin D cause back pain?
It’s vital to get the right intake of vitamins and minerals to help our bodies stay healthy and fight off illness. One of the important vitamins is vitamin D, often called ‘the sunshine vitamin’.
One of the symptoms of low levels of vitamin D is back pain. Let’s look at the connection between vitamin D and back pain and how to make sure you get enough of this special vitamin.
How does vitamin D work?
Vitamin D helps make our bodies better at absorbing other nutrients. These key nutrients are calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for healthy, strong bones. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to low bone density, which in turn can lead to conditions like osteoporosis, osteomalacia, and rickets.
There are claims that vitamin D can offer protection against diseases like cancer, dementia, and cardiovascular disease, although no studies have yet proven this.
Some groups of people are at higher risk of vitamin D deficiency, including older people, people with darker skin, and pregnant or breastfeeding women.
How can a lack of vitamin D cause back pain?
As vitamin D helps maintain bones, low levels of the vitamin can lead to weak bones and pain. This can result in a weakening of the vertebrae that make up the spine, leading to long-term pain.
Vitamin D deficiency can also impair muscle function, which can lead to poor muscle performance, muscle fatigue, and an increased risk of back pain.
Vitamin D also has anti-inflammatory properties. If someone is deficient in vitamin D, they may be at risk of increased inflammation in the back, leading to pain.
Other symptoms of vitamin D deficiency also include tiredness, loss of appetite, hair loss, and depression. If you think you are deficient, your doctor can carry out a simple blood test to check.
How can I get enough vitamin D?
As its nickname suggests. one of the easiest ways to get vitamin D is by spending time in the sun!
Your body contains a natural compound that turns into vitamin D when exposed to UV-B radiation. The good news is that studies have shown you don’t need to stay out in the sun too long to get the benefits.
You can also increase your vitamin D intake through food and high-quality supplements. Fatty fish and seafood, mushrooms, and egg yolks are excellent sources of vitamin D, and some foods like cereals, yoghurt, and milk are fortified with the vitamin too.
Supplements can be a great way to up your intake, but they can cause adverse effects when combined with other medications, like steroids or anti-epileptic drugs. If in doubt, check with your doctor before taking any supplements.
A vitamin D deficiency may sound scary, but there are simple steps you can take to increase your intake and reduce the risk of back pain. Even if you don’t have back pain, boosting the amount of vitamin D you receive can work wonders for your health and well-being!