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Chronic Pain? Check Your Vitamin D Levels

Being in constant and chronic pain may send you in search of “traditional” treatment methods like heat, ice, rest, and sometimes even pain medication. However, research recently published in the Journal of Parental and Enteral Nutrition reveals that the answer to relief may actually rest in your diet—specifically your vitamin D intake.

Vitamin D and Pain: The Connection

A group of five medical experts (comprised of doctors, registered nurses, and dieticians) conducted a cross-sectional study on just over 400 patients at an inpatient acute rehabilitation unit in Mission Viejo, California. Each person in the study was assessed in regard to their levels of pain, as well as the level of vitamin D in his or her body.

What they discovered is that the lower the individual’s levels of vitamin D, the greater the amount of pain they felt. Conversely, people with higher amount of vitamin D in their system tended to experience less nonspecific musculoskeletal pain.

The Pain-Free Solution

Therefore, the solution to becoming pain-free may involve getting an adequate amount of this key nutrient in your diet. This can be achieved by taking supplements that contain the recommended amount of vitamin D which, according to the US Department of Health, is 600 IU (international units) for people 70 years and under.

If you’re 71 or older, then your suggested dose is slightly higher at 800 IU. Additionally, people with certain autoimmune diseases and other conditions, like osteomalacia, cystic fibrosis, and atopic eczema, may need a higher dose yet.

You can also increase your levels of vitamin D by choosing foods like fortified cereals and orange juice, milk, cheese, lean meats, fish, beans, and eggs. All of these contain higher levels of vitamin D, making them essential to your pain relief. You can also get more vitamin D in your body by spending 15 minutes daily in the direct sun.

Adding vitamin D to your diet, in addition to receiving regular chiropractic care, may mean the difference between living in pain and living pain-free. And that is a big difference.

Matossian-Motley DL, Drake DA, Samimi JS, et al. Association between serum 25(OH)D level and nonspecific musculoskeletal pain in acute rehabilitation unit patients. Journal of Parental and Enteral Nutrition 2014;Oct:doi: 10.1177/0148607114555909.