Treatment for back pain: NSAIDS, Exercise, Injections, and Vitamin D?

Treatment for back pain: NSAIDS, Exercise, Injections, and Vitamin D?

Treatment for back pain: NSAIDS, Exercise, Injections, and Vitamin D?

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How many times have you seen a physician for low back pain and it was recommended that you take Vitamin D to treat it? The answer for most will be never.  Depending on the nature of your back pain, a combination of physical therapy exercises, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and perhaps a corticosteroid injection is more likely to be offered.

The relationship between Vitamin D and different aspects of health continues to grow. Vitamin D has always been touted for its effect on building bones. Now, several studies have appeared in the medical literature showing a possible relationship between low levels of Vitamin D and back pain.  One notable study published within the last year in Spine concluded that in a group vitamin D deficient patients who were enrolled in the study and were treated with adequate levels of Vitamin D, saw significant improvements in overall pain level. Several other studies have had similar findings. Population estimates for vitamin D deficiency are as high as 80%.

So how is Vitamin D linked to back pain?  There is no clear cut answer to this yet, but there is a suggestion that Vitamin D acts as a hormone and has neuroprotective and immunomodulatory effects. In other words, Vitamin D is vital to normal nerve functioning.  One of the main functions is to regulate calcium and phosphorus. Furthermore, those with low levels of Vitamin D have also have more inflammation.  We know that inflammation makes pain worse, retards healing, and promotes chronic diseases.

While I am not suggesting that low levels of Vitamin D are the sole cause of back pain, it may be one key component that has been overlooked for decades.   The only way to know your Vitamin D level is to have it checked with a simple blood test. This can often be done as a part of your annual physical.

Obtaining enough Vitamin D can be challenging. The best source is natural sunlight. For those who live in the north, some still cannot get enough sunlight exposure even in the summer months. While some foods also supply Vitamin D, getting enough may be difficult.  Additional supplementation (Vitamin D3) is recommended to ensure adequate daily intake of Vitamin D.  As aforementioned, Vitamin D testing is recommended to not only establish your current Vitamin D status, but also to monitor levels with supplementation.

 

 

Citations

  • Sedighi M, Haghnegahdar A. Role of vitamin D3 in treatment of lumbar disc herniation--pain and sensory aspects: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2014 Sep 25;15:373. PubMed PMID: 25257359

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  1. In 2011, I had gastric bypass surgery. I was instructed that I would have to take Vitamin B-12 and D, Calcium and probiotic for the rest of my life. In 1991 broke my neck and develop degenerative spine and disc. My lower back has equipment two pins, four screws and a grafted bone implant in lower back. I also have two brackets eight screws and two grafted bones in my neck. I just found out last month from my primary care provider that I had a severely low Vitamin D, which I believe is part of my low back pain.

    Thanks for looking out

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Chief of Surgery, Mease Countryside and Mease Dunedin Hospitals, Safety Harbor and Dunedin, Florida. 2014-2016.

Orthopaedic Section Chief Mease Countryside Hospital; Safety Harbor, Florida Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.2008-2013

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The information provided on this website does not provide or should be considered medical advice. It is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment of any condition. The information provided is for informational purposes only. You should not rely solely on the information provided on this website in making a decision to pursue a specific treatment or advice. You should consult directly with a professional healthcare provider.

As a condition of using the information on this website, ShimSpine and its physicians are not responsible for any advice, diagnosis, treatment or outcome you may obtain.

ShimSpine.com is completely self-funded. No outside funds are accepted or used. This website does not utilize paid advertising as a source of revenue.
Outpatient Spine Surgery Considerations. www.Spine-Health.com. January 2016.

What is Spinal Stenosis? www.Spine-Health.com. October 2015.

Surgeon insights on the Changing Landscape of Orthopedic Care. OrthopedicToday. June 2014

Chapter 33: Interspinous Spacers. Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

Chapter 35: Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Lumbar Fusion Technique.Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

March 2010 Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting New Orleans, Louisiana February 2010

February 2010 A Review of Dynamic Stabilization in the Lumbar Spine Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

November 2009 Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Community Based Lecture; Tampa, Florida

September 2009 Instructor/Proctor Minimally Invasive Lumbar Cadaver Lab; Tampa, Florida

February 2009 New Spinal Technology: Cervical Disc Replacement and Interspinous Spacers. Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

February 2008 The Degenerative Spine: The Role of Dynamic Lumbar Stablization and Interspinous Spacers Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

October 2008 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

September 2007 Emerging Technology in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

October 2006 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

May 2005 The Role of Kyphoplasty in the Treatment of Vertebral Compression Fractures Mease Neurosciences Symposium; Clearwater, Florida
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