Vitamin D and Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain

Chronic muscle pain can be a symptom of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is
found in oily fish, eggs, fortified milk and cereal, cod liver oil and exposure to
sunlight.
Risk factors for vitamin D deficiency:
  • Darker pigmented skin (e.g. Hispanic, African American, Asian) does not
    convert ultraviolet rays efficiently to vitamin D
  • Digestive disorders, such as celiac disease (an allergy to gluten, which is
    found in wheat, barley, rye and possible oats)
  • Use of glucocorticoid (steroid) medications for conditions such as lung
    diseases and allergies
  • Minimal sun exposure (elderly, institutionalized, homebound, veiled or
    heavily-clothed individuals)
  • Latitude and season—in Oregon, people don’t produce vitamin D from sun
    exposure between November and February
In a study by the University of Minnesota, 150 people with chronic
musculoskeletal pain were screened for vitamin D. The researchers found that
93% of patients had vitamin D deficiency
. All people with darker pigmented skin
(African American, East African, Hispanic, and Native American origin) had
vitamin D deficiency.
Another interesting finding was that the majority of people with severe vitamin D
deficiency were under 30 years of age. Season was not a significant factor.
People who are suffering from chronic musculoskeletal pain should consider
being screened for vitamin D deficiency.
(Check with your doctor’s office or
insurance company about whether this is covered; some insurance plans will not
pay for it.)
Some Oily Fish
Salmon
Trout
Tuna
Herring
Mackerel
Sardines
Anchovies
Orange Roughy