Studies about vitamin D and chronic pain:

High Prevalence of Hypovitaminosis D in Patients with Low Back Pain: Evidence from Meta-Analysis (2018)

Conclusion: Meta-analysis of 14 studies measuring the rate of vitamin D deficiency in back pain patients (2,602 patients), 76% had inadequate vitamin D levels.


Vitamin D in Treatment-Resistant Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Patients with Hypovitaminosis D (2018)

Conclusion: 50 treatment-resistant carpal tunnel syndrome patients with vitamin D deficiency were given 50,000 IU of vitamin D3 for 12 weeks. A variety of tests showed that the vitamin D supplementation improved the average state of the group’s CTS. “It is concluded that treatment with vitamin D improves clinical and electrodiagnostic conditions of treatmentr-esistant CTS patients with hypovitaminosis D.”


Vitamin D Supplementation in Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain: An Open Label, Single Arm Clinical Trial (2017)

Conclusion: 68 chronic back pain patients were given a weekly dose of 60,000 IU vitamin D3 for 8 weeks. At the 2,3, and 6-month follow-ups, the patients reported a significant reduction in their pain and a significant increase in functional ability. “Vitamin-D supplementation in deficient CLBP [chronic low back pain] patients may lead to improvement in pain intensity and functional ability apart from normalization of the levels.” 82% were deficient at the beginning of the study.


The Effect of Vitamin D Levels on Pain in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (2017)

Conclusion: The vitamin D levels of 36 carpal tunnel syndrome patients were measured and compared to 40 normal controls. The carpal tunnel syndrome patients had significantly lower vitamin D levels. “Vitamin D deficiency increases the pain intensity in patients with CTS.”


Vitamin D Supplementation to Palliative Cancer Patients Shows Positive Effects on Pain and Infections—Results from a Matched Case-Control Study (2017)

Conclusion: 39 vitamin D-deficient palliative cancer patients were given 4,000 IU vitamin D daily. At 1 and 3 months later their pain levels, infection rates, and quality of life assessments were compared to “39 untreated, matched ‘control’-patients from a previous study at the same ward.” After one month the vitamin D group were using a significantly reduced pain killer dose (fentanyl) and reported higher quality of life scores compared to the previous untreated group. At 3 months the vitamin D group “had significantly lower consumption of antibiotics” compared to the control group. “Vitamin D supplementation to palliative cancer patients is safe and improvement in pain management is noted as early as 1 month after treatment. Decreased infections are noted 3 months after vitamin D treatment.”


Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis (2016)

Conclusion: Meta-analysis of 19 randomized control trials (3,436 participants) testing the effect of vitamin D supplementation on pain. In most of the studies, most of the participants with pre-existing pain in the vitamin D groups reported a reduction in their pain.


Low Vitamin D Levels Are Associated with Higher Opioid Dose in Palliative Cancer Patients – Results from an Observational Study in Sweden (2015)

Conclusion: The vitamin D levels of 100 cancer patients were measured, those with higher vitamin D levels had a significantly lower use of dangerous opioid painkillers. Those who survived the duration of the study also were found to have higher vitamin D levels compared to those who died during the study.


An Initial Loading-Dose Vitamin D Versus Placebo After Hip Fracture Surgery: Baseline Characteristics of a Randomized Controlled Trial (2014)

Conclusion: Study of 218 elderly hip fracture patients found that those with higher vitamin D levels reported less pain following surgery compared to those with lower vitamin D levels.


Vitamin D, Race, and Experimental Pain Sensitivity in Older Adults with Knee Osteoarthritis (2013)

Conclusion: The vitamin D levels of 94 knee osteoarthritis patients were measured. Those with lower vitamin D levels reported worse pain scores.


Improvement of Pain, Sleep, and Quality of Life in Chronic Pain Patients with Vitamin D Supplementation (2013)

Conclusion: In a study of 28 U.S. military veterans suffering from chronic pain, vitamin D supplementation was found to be effective for improving their pain levels, sleep quality, and overall quality of life.


Vitamin D Supplementation for Nonspecific Musculoskeletal Pain in Non-Western Immigrants: A Randomized Controlled Trial (2012)

Conclusion: 84 patients seeking treatment for non-specific musculoskeletal pain were enrolled into a randomized, placebo-controlled trial where patients received either a single bolus dose of 150,000IU vitamin D or a placebo. 6 weeks later the vitamin D group reported a significantly higher reduction in pain compared to the placebo group.


Chest Pain and Costochondritis Associated with Vitamin D Deficiency: A Report of Two Cases (2012)

Conclusion: Two different middle-aged women being treated for chronic chest pains were found to have vitamin D deficiency. Both were put on vitamin D supplementation regimens and their chest pains resolved within several months.


Serum 25-Hydroxy-Calciferol Level and Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (2012)

Conclusion: 9 patients suffering pain from failed back surgeries were all found to be vitamin D-deficient. After being placed on a vitamin D supplementation regimen, 7 of the 9 experienced significant improvement in their pain.


Inadequate Vitamin D Levels Linked To High Use Of Narcotic Medication By Patients In Chronic Pain (2009)

Conclusion: Study found that in a group of 267 chronic pain patients, those with low vitamin D levels were consuming nearly twice as much narcotic pain medication as patients with adequate vitamin D levels.


Seasonal Variation in the Presentation of Abdominal Pain (2008)

Conclusion: 73,591 abdominal pain doctor visits over a three-year period in 6 different cities in America were analyzed. The rate of abdominal pain consultations rose significantly during the winter periods at all of the sites, this is when population vitamin D levels are typically the lowest. Vitamin D has been found to be important for immunomodulation, which would be an important factor for stomach/abdominal-related autoimmune disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome.


Hypovitaminosis D in Female Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain (2007)

Conclusion: Study measured the vitamin D levels of 60 female patients suffering from chronic low back pain and compared them to 20 healthy, matched controls. The women with chronic back pain had significantly lower vitamin D levels than the controls. Sun exposure was found to be the biggest factor in vitamin D status.


An Excess of Widespread Pain Among South Asians: Are Low Levels of Vitamin D Implicated? (2005)

Conclusion: This study of over 3135 people in England found that those of South Asian origin suffer from and seek treatment for chronic musculoskeletal pain much more than white Europeans. The study also found that those suffering from musculoskeletal pain also had lower vitamin D levels, which strongly suggests that the pain is a symptom of vitamin D-deficiency-related osteomalacia. This is due to South Asians having darker skin, which is evolved to protect them from the intense sunlight found closer to the equator. Unfortunately, this darker skin is not well-suited for living in Northern Europe, where it prevents cutaneous vitamin D synthesis in England’s low-sun climate and contributes to chronic, pandemic vitamin D-deficiency among non-whites.


Musculoskeletal Pain in Female Asylum Seekers and Hypovitaminosis D3 (2004)

Conclusion: Middle-eastern immigrant asylum seekers to northern Europe and the northern U.S. have a high prevalence of severe vitamin D-deficiency and it’s worst symptoms. This is due primarily to their darker skin, evolved to handle intense sunlight, being ill-suited for living far away from the equator in regions with low sun intensity. Exacerbating the problem is the practice of Middle-eastern women wearing veils and hijabs, further blocking the UVB sunlight necessary for vitamin D production. Typical symptoms they seek treatment for are osteomalacia and unspecified musculoskeletal pain.


Vitamin D Deficiency and Chronic Low Back Pain in Saudi Arabia (2003)

Conclusion: In a study of 360 people in Saudi Arabia seeking treatment for lower back pain, it was found that 83% had “an abnormally low level of vitamin D.” For those with low vitamin D levels, 95% experiencing an improvement in their symptoms following vitamin D therapy.


Prevalence of Severe Hypovitaminosis D in Patients With Persistent, Nonspecific Musculoskeletal Pain (2003)

Conclusion: Of 150 patients seeking treatment for chronic musculoskeletal pain, 93% were found to be vitamin D-deficient.


Treatment of Vitamin D Deficiency Due to Crohn’s Disease with Tanning Bed Ultraviolet B Radiation (2001)

Case Study: This crohn’s disease patient suffering from chronic vitamin D deficiency was prescribed to use a UVB tanning bed for 10 minutes three times per week. After only one month her vitamin D levels “increased by 357% from 7 to 32 ng/mL” and after six months of this she was cured of the musculoskeletal pains she was suffering.


Low Back Pain in Elite Rhythmic Gymnasts (1999)

Conclusion: This study of elite gymnasts found that the overwhelming majority of them suffer from occasional lower-back pain. Although this could very well be the result of their physically demanding training, it’s also worth mentioning that they probably train INDOORS – which could potentially lead to a vitamin D deficiency if they’re not getting much sun exposure.


Alleviation of Migraines with Therapeutic Vitamin D and Calcium (1994)

Conclusion: “Two postmenopausal migraineurs who developed frequent and excruciating migraine headaches (one following estrogen replacement therapy and the other following a stroke) were treated with combination vitamin D and calcium. Therapeutic replacement with vitamin D and calcium resulted in a dramatic reduction in the frequency and duration of their migraine headaches.”


Can Vitamin D Deficiency Produce an Unusual Pain Syndrome? (1991)

Conclusion: 5 people sought medical treatment for unusual physical pain. Their vitamin D levels were tested and it was discovered that they all had inadequate levels. They were given supplementary D2 to take and their pain symptoms were cured in 5-7 days. In one case, months later, a patient stopped taking the vitamin D and the pain symptoms returned.


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