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Vitamin D Deficiency and Pain: Clinical Evidence of Low Levels of Vitamin D and Supplementation in Chronic Pain States
A number of studies suggest a link between low levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D and incidence of acute and chronic pain. Clinical studies of vitamin D supplementation in patients with known vitamin D deficiency have shown mixed results in improving pain scores. In this article, vitamin D deficiency risk factors are observed and adequate levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D defined. Clinical supplementation with vitamin D is explored, including the schedules used in published clinical trials. Evidence of the effectiveness of vitamin D supplementation for the treatment of chronic pain conditions from double-blind randomized controlled trials (RCTs) is examined. The scientific evidence for vitamin D as a treatment option for chronic pain is limited due to lack of RCTs. It cannot be stated conclusively that vitamin D deficiency is directly linked to the etiology or maintenance of chronic pain states. There remains a growing body of both clinical and laboratory evidence pointing to a potential relationship between low levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D and a variety of chronic pain states. More focused research involving large RCTs is necessary.