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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

Why Your Back Pain May be a Sign of Vitamin D Deficiency?

It is estimated that more than 1 billion people in the world suffer from Vitamin D deficiency and most of them are not aware of it. Vitamin D has many roles in the body which include roles in the nervous system, immune system, absorption and muscles. Its deficiency can cause serious harm. The most common cause is believed to be the lack of time spent in sunlight as it is the primary source of vitamin D.

A couple walking in the sun

Sunlight is the best source of vitamin D, Credits: Pixabay

How Does a Vitamin D Deficiency Lead to Back Pain?

A picture highlighting back pain

Back pain is the most common symptom of vitamin D deficiency, Credits: Pikist

Vitamin D has many functions related to muscles. It is also responsible for the proper absorption of calcium in the body. A vitamin D deficiency treatment affects the amount of calcium absorption which results in calcium deficiency and causes back pain. This is one theory. There are other experts who believe that there could be other reasons as well.

There are many studies which show that vitamin D deficiency treatment is common in individuals with back pain.

How Much Vitamin D is Needed by the Body?

The following table shows the amount of vitamin D needed by the body during specific age groups:Age Group in YearsDaily Vitamin D intake in IU0-14001-1260013-1860019-7060070+800Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women600

What are the Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency?

The following conditions are known to cause a vitamin D deficiency:

  1. Lack of exposure to sunlight.

  2. A malabsorption condition which hinders its absorption.

  3. A liver disorder which inhibits conversion into active form.

  4. Lack of vitamin D in the diet.

  5. Medications such as steroids and laxatives.

Who is at Risk for Being Vitamin D Deficient?

A house in a remote snowy location

Living in remote places with less sunlight increases the risk of vitamin D deficiency, Credits: pxhere

Various studies have shown that the following groups of people are more likely to be suffering from this condition: 

  1. Being over the age of 70.

  2. People with darker skin colour

  3. Living in remote areas far from the equator

  4. Overweight individuals

  5. People suffering from medical conditions such as hyperparathyroidism and liver disease

What are the Other Signs Besides Back Pain?

A tired person sleeping

Fatigue is also a symptom of vitamin D deficiency, Credits: Wikimedia commons

The other symptoms include:

  1. Constant Tiredness: Studies show that tiredness and fatigue can be linked to low. vitamin D levels. These results were further supplemented when an increase in vitamin D levels helped the patients overcome their fatigue.

  2. Falling Sick Often: Vitamin D has a major role to play in the working of the immune system. A lack of it makes the body more susceptible to diseases especially infections.

  3. Slow Wound Healing: It is also caused by the impairment of the immune system.

  4. Hair Loss: A vitamin D deficiency can cause severe hair loss in people.

  5. Muscle Pain: Muscle pain can be caused by a deficiency of vitamin D. According to the study, Vitamin D and Central Hypersensitivity in Patients With Chronic Pain 71% of people who were suffering from muscle pain were found to be vitamin D deficient. That number is very high.

What Can Be Done If You are Vitamin D Deficient?

If you are Vitamin D deficient then you need to increase your intake. The three ways with which you can take vitamin D are:

  1. Through the Skin: Sunlight is the major source of vitamin D for the body and skin absorbs it. You should spend some time under direct sunlight.

  2. Through Diet: Certain foods contain vitamin D which can be ingested. However, many experts believe that the quantity through diet alone will not be enough and needs supplementation from other sources.

  3. Supplements: There are many supplements available for vitamin D but only take them after a prescription from a doctor. Self-medication can have side effects.


Long term back pain is likely to be a symptom of an underlying condition. If you are suffering from chronic back pain seek medical help to get a confirmed diagnosis.

Vitamin D deficiency can be managed with small lifestyle changes and supplements. In case you observe any of the above-mentioned symptoms then you should get your vitamin D levels checked and act on the result.

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