According to a new study in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases, both vitamin D3 and placebo treatments improve chronic low back pain.
Researchers led by Mahnaz Sandoughi of the Zahedan University of Medical Sciences conducted a double blind randomized clinical trial with 53 patients between the ages of 18 and 40 years of age who suffer from non-specific chronic low back pain – one of the most common form of chronic low back pain.
The patients were divided into two randomized groups based on sex and weight. One group (n=27) orally received a placebo while the other (n=26) received 50,000 IU of vitamin D3 for eight weeks. The vast majority of patients were female (75.47%) and there was no statistical difference between the groups based on sex, age or weight.
Pain was measured using the visual analogue scale (VAS).
The mean VAS score for those taking vitamin D3 decreased from 5.42 to 3.03 (P=0.001) and the mean VAS score for those taking placebo decreased from 6.42 to 3.11 (P=0.001).
“According to our results, both vitamin D3 and placebo treatments improved CLBP and there was no significant difference between vitamin D3 and placebo groups,” the authors wrote.
Low back pain is categorized diagnostically as radiculopathy, specific and non-specific. More than 90% of people with low back pain fall into the non-specific category.
According to the American Chiropractic Association,
- Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide
- One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year
- Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections
- Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer
- Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain—and that’s just for the more easily identified costs
- Experts estimate that as many as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in our lives
- 31 million Americans experience low back pain at any given time