Vitamin D Deficiency and Foot Pain

Oysters on the half shell
Image Credit: Lisovskaya/iStock/Getty Images

While everyone experiences aching, painful feet from time to time, chronic pain in your feet may be a sign of an underlying medical condition or nutritional deficiency. There's not much evidence linking vitamin D deficiency specifically to foot pain. Some research, however, has shown that a lack of vitamin D can cause chronic pain and weakness. Vitamin D supplementation may help decrease your symptoms. Consult your doctor before using any dietary supplements.

About Vitamin D

Vitamin D is often referred to as the "sunshine" vitamin, because your body manufactures it in response to exposure to ultraviolet sun rays. It is also naturally present in a number of foods, including cod liver oil, cheese, fatty fish and oysters, as well as in fortified foods such as breakfast cereals and milk. Vitamin D plays a key role in calcium absorption and helps with bone formation.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Hypovitaminosis D is the clinical term used to describe a vitamin D deficiency. Inadequate dietary intake, a lack of sunlight exposure or disorders that affect your body's ability to absorb vitamin D can lead to deficiency. A vitamin D deficiency can lead to the development of rickets and osteomalacia, Rickets is a childhood condition that causes softening and weakening of the bones, leading to pain, skeletal abnormalities, muscle cramps and bone pain. Osteomalacia occurs in adults, resulting in muscle weakness and pain. The elderly and obese, as well as those who do not obtain adequate exposure to sunlight, are at an increased risk of developing a vitamin D deficiency.

Foot Pain and Vitamin D

Foot pain can be caused by a number of factors, although it's usually a matter of poorly fitting shoes or standing on your feet for long periods of time. Other common causes of foot pain include arthritis, injuries, tendinitis or an inflammatory condition known as plantar faciitis, according to Medline Plus. Vitamin D deficiency may also contribute to foot pain. In fact, a clinical review published in the January 16, 2010 issue of the "British Medical Journal," reports that foot pain is common in adults with a clinical vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D supplementation can be beneficial for reducing muscle, joint and bone pain, according to a 2008 brochure published by Pain Treatment Topics, an evidence-based, unbiased, non-commercial website dedicated to providing information about pain relief. Consult your doctor to discuss the appropriate dosage for your condition.


While it's possible that a vitamin D deficiency is contributing to your symptoms of foot pain, you should not attempt to self-diagnose nutritional deficiencies. If your pain persists despite self-help measures or you are unable to walk properly or put weight on your feet, seek immediate medical attention.