Sunshine Vitamin: Could Vitamin D Deficiency Be Causing Your Back Pain? Expert Shares All

Ever felt an ache in your back that just won't quit? Vitamin D might be the missing link! Expert shares how this sunshine vitamin affects your spine health and overall well-being. Read more.

Sunshine Vitamin: Could Vitamin D Deficiency Be Causing Your Back Pain? Expert Shares All Lifestyle changes are equally important to maintain vitamin D levels in the body (Pic credit: Freepik)

Vitamin D, also known as the "sunshine vitamin", is essential for maintaining bone health as it helps the body absorb calcium. A recent study in the journal Nutrients by researchers from Germany explored a significant group from the United Kingdom (U.K.) Biobank which aims to investigate the connections between vitamin D levels, the use of vitamin D supplements, and the occurrence of lower back pain, both in a single instance and over time.

Vitamin D deficiency is a major global health concern because it is crucial for the musculoskeletal system, muscle function, and bone strength. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps manage pain. Consequently, people with low levels of vitamin D often experience various health issues related to chronic pain.

Dr S Vidyadhara, Chairman & HOD – Spine Surgery and Consultant – Robotic Spine Surgery, Manipal Hospital Old Airport Road, Bengaluru shares all about the role vitamin D plays in keeping our bones and especially our spine free from pain and any other associated disorders. Here is all you need to know about why sunshine is necessary for the human body.

Link Between Vitamin D and Back Pain

"Insufficient vitamin D levels in the body may impact back pain. It makes the bones weaker and increases the risk of back issues like general aches, localized pain, or chronic pain (pain that lasts more than 3 months), particularly in the lower back. Moreover, it raises the risk of spine fractures, causing significant discomfort and limiting mobility. Some studies suggest a potential link between vitamin D deficiency and spinal disc problems, exacerbating back pain", says Dr Vidyadhara.

"Beyond bone health, vitamin D affects muscle function. Deficiency weakens core muscles which can lead to poor posture and back strain. Weak muscles are also more prone to strains and injuries, contributing to back pain. In addition, vitamin D may have anti-inflammatory properties which potentially reduces chronic inflammation that is associated with back pain", adds Dr Vidyadhara.

What Causes Severe Back Pain?

Dr Vidyadhar highlights, "Back pain can be a result of various causes, and vitamin D deficiency is one common possibility. Thus it is vital to address any persistent pain in the lower back and not dismiss it as a simple sprain. By consulting a doctor and addressing any potential vitamin D deficiency, patients with back pain can take proactive steps to maintain spinal health and potentially alleviate back pain and associated mobility issues."

When To Consult A Doctor For Back Pain?

Dr Vidyadhara recommends, "If you experience persistent pain in the lower back, consulting a doctor becomes crucial to diagnose the cause of the back pain. They will conduct various tests to determine the underlying condition that needs attention, including checking vitamin D levels, and prescribing supplements if required." 

Lifestyle Changes to Elevate Back Pain

Lifestyle changes are equally important to maintain vitamin D levels in the body – including brief sun exposure (20-30 min per day) without applying sunscreen. Dietary adjustments can also boost vitamin D levels naturally.