Vitamin D and Bone Pain

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient, that can be considered a hormone. Vitamin D is required for a wide range of functions in the body, one of which is the maintenance of correct calcium homeostasis. Chronic low levels of vitamin D, either through inadequate exposure to sunlight or through poor diet, can lead to a break down in the correct regulation of calcium, and this can, over time, lead to bone pain. One type of bone pain associated with poor vitamin D status is plantar fasciitis commonly known as heel pain. Plantar fasciitis is characterised by extreme pain in the base of the heel which can feel tender to the touch at the point where the plantar fascia inserts into the calcaneal tuberosity. A number of case studies of plantar fasciitis that responded to vitamin D therapy have been presented in the medical literature. In most cases the response of the bone pain to vitamin D supplements was slow, but one vitamin D status improved, there was a gradual improvement in function, as well as reductions in the amount of pain experienced.

vitamin D bone

It is often assumed that it is the increase in temperature that causes arthritic aches and pains to disappear when an individual moves to a hotter climate. However, a hotter climate also provides more sun exposure, and this increases vitamin D levels of the blood. As low vitamin D blood levels are associated with bone and muscle pain, it could be the exposure to sunlight, rather than the temperature that is the causative factor.

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Paice, E. W. and Hoffbrand, B. I. 1987. Nutritional osteomalacia presenting with plantar fasciitis. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. British Volume. 69(1): 38-40

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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