Neck pain is a common condition that can interfere with your mood and your ability to carry out everyday tasks. While a number of treatments can help, only around 40 percent of neck pain patients fully recover from their symptoms, according to chiropractor Graeme Teaguein. Although neck pain has many causes, some research has shown that a vitamin D deficiency plays a significant role in muscle, joint and bone pain. While vitamin D supplementation can be helpful, you should consult your doctor before using any dietary supplement.
About Vitamin D and Deficiency
Vitamin D is a crucial vitamin for maintaining bone health and preventing certain conditions such as osteoporosis and high blood pressure. Your body produces vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, in response to exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D is also naturally present in a number of foods, including fish, eggs and dairy products. A deficiency in vitamin D can lead to a condition known as osteomalacia, resulting in weak or brittle bones, muscle weakness and spine pain. An article published in the January 1995 issue of the "British Medical Journal" also indicates osteomalacia as a possible cause of neck pain.
Neck Pain and Vitamin D
Neck pain can be a debilitating condition, causing pain, stiffness and limitations in your range of motion. While neck pain is generally caused by simple muscle strains and poor posture, many patients with neck pain also suffer from low levels of vitamin D, according to Stewart B. Leavitt in a June 2008 article for "Pain Treatment Topics." Vitamin D supplementation may help alleviate neck pain caused by chronic conditions such as osteomalacia, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. In fact, in his book "The Vitamin D Revolution," Dr. Soram Khalsa reports using vitamin D supplementation to alleviate his own chronic neck pain due to osteomalacia.
While there's not much specific evidence regarding vitamin D deficiency on neck pain, some clinical research has shown that a lack of vitamin D can contribute to chronic pain conditions. An article in the July 2007 issue of the "New England Journal of Medicine" states that vitamin D deficiency is associated with throbbing, aching pain and chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and depression. A study published in the December 2003 issue of the "Mayo Clinic Proceedings" found that patients with persistent musculoskeletal pain were also severely deficient in vitamin D.
Although vitamin D deficiency can contribute to neck pain, you should not attempt to self-diagnose or self-treat your condition. Consult your doctor if you suffer from persistent neck pain. Neck pain can be a sign of a more serious, underlying condition. Additionally, you should inform your doctor if you plan to use vitamin D supplementation.
- The Back Pain Advisor: Neck Pain Causes
- "British Medical Journal"; ABC of Rheumatology: Pain in Neck, Shoulder and Arm; M. Barry and J. Jenner; January 1995
- "Pain Treatment Topics"; Vitamin D: A Champion of Pain Relief; Stewart B. Leavitt, MA, PhD; June 2008
- "The Vitamin D Revolution"; Soram Khalsa, MD; 2010
- "New England Journal of Medicine"; Vitamin D Deficiency; M. Holick, MD; July 2007
- "Mayo Clinic Proceedings"; Prevalence of Severe Hypovitaminosis D in Patients With Persistent, Nonspecific Musculoskeletal Pain; G. Plotnikoff and J. Quigley; December 2003