Vitamin D for musculoskeletal pain
Two articles on PainSci cite Schreuder 2012: 1. The Complete Guide to Trigger Points & Myofascial Pain 2. Vitamin D for Pain
PainSci commentary on Schreuder 2012: ?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided wherever possible.
This test of the effect of Vitamin D supplementation on nonspecific chronic musculoskeletal pain showed that pain modestly improved within 6 weeks. Musculoskeletal strength (stair climbing ability) also improved somewhat. See a thorough analysis of this study by Dr. Steven Leavitt for Pain-Topics.org [now defunct]: “a most remarkable aspect of this study is that, even though patients probably received fundamentally inadequate vitamin D supplementation and for a relatively brief period of time, there were still strongly beneficial outcomes … significant enough to realize meaningful differences in everyday clinical practice.”
~ Paul Ingraham
original abstract †Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
PURPOSE: Many non-Western immigrants report musculoskeletal pains that are hard to treat. We studied the effect of high-dose vitamin D(3) on nonspecific persistent musculoskeletal complaints in vitamin D-deficient non-Western immigrants and assessed correlation of pain patterns with benefit.
METHODS: We conducted a semi-crossover randomized controlled trial between February 2008 and February 2010 in primary care in 84 non-Western immigrants visiting their general practitioner for nonspecific musculoskeletal pain. At baseline, patients were randomized to placebo or vitamin D (150,000 IU vitamin D(3) orally); at week 6, patients in the original vitamin D group were randomized a second time to receive vitamin D (again) or to switch to placebo, whereas patients in the original placebo group were all switched to vitamin D. The main outcome was self-assessed change in pain after the first 6 weeks.
RESULTS: Patients in the vitamin D group were significantly more likely than their counterparts in the placebo group to report pain relief 6 weeks after treatment (34.9% vs 19.5%, P = .04). The former were also more likely to report an improved ability to walk stairs (21.0% vs 8.4%, P = .008). Pain pattern was not correlated with the success of treatment. In a nonsignificant trend, patients receiving vitamin D over 12 weeks were more likely to have an improvement than patients receiving it over 6 weeks.
CONCLUSIONS: There is a small positive effect 6 weeks after high-dose vitamin D(3) on persistent nonspecific musculoskeletal pain. Future research should focus on longer follow-up, higher supplementation doses, and mental health.
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- Inciting events associated with lumbar disc herniation. Suri 2010 Spine J.
- Prediction of an extruded fragment in lumbar disc patients from clinical presentations. Pople 1994 Spine (Phila Pa 1976).
- Characteristics of patients with low back and leg pain seeking treatment in primary care: baseline results from the ATLAS cohort study. Konstantinou 2015 BMC Musculoskelet Disord.
- Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of universal school-based mindfulness training compared with normal school provision in reducing risk of mental health problems and promoting well-being in adolescence: the MYRIAD cluster randomised controlled trial. Kuyken 2022 Evid Based Ment Health.
- Is there a relationship between throbbing pain and arterial pulsations? Mirza 2012 J Neurosci.