Higher vitamin D intake may fight off back aches in winter
Washington: Higher intake of vitamin D in winters can help people get rid of extra soreness and aches in their backs, say researchers.
The study showed that patients with chronic back pain usually had inadequate levels of vitamin D and when sufficient vitamin D supplementation was provided, the pain either vanished or was at least helped to a significant extent.
According to Dr Stewart B Leavitt, MA, Executive Director of Pain Treatment Topics and author of the report vitamin D or sunshine vitamin is essential for calcium absorption and bone health.
And inadequate intake can result in a softening of bone surfaces, called osteomalacia, which causes pain. The lower back seems to be particularly vulnerable.
A study involving 360 patients with chronic back pain, all of them were found to have inadequate levels of vitamin D and after taking vitamin D supplements for 3 months, symptoms were improved in 95 pct of the patients.
Vitamin D supplements interact with very few medicines or other agents, and are generally safe unless very high doses are taken daily for a long period of time.
However, it is always wise to check with a healthcare professional before starting a new dietary supplement.
In conclusion, Leavitt stresses that vitamin D should not be viewed as a cure for all back pain conditions, and it is not necessarily a replacement for other pain-relief treatments.
"While further research would be helpful," he said, "extra vitamin D should be considered for all persons during winter months, and especially for those who have back aches and pains."