According to new study Vitamin D deficiency might worsen the condition of people suffering from chronic pain.
The research from Mayo Clinic has found a link between inadequate vitamin D levels and the amount of narcotic medication taken by patients who have chronic pain.
The researchers found that patients who required narcotic pain medication, and who also had inadequate levels of vitamin D, were taking much higher doses of pain medication, nearly twice as much, as those who had adequate levels.
The patients also reported worse physical functioning and worse overall health perception.
"This is an important finding as we continue to investigate the causes of chronic pain," said Dr Michael Turner, a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician at Mayo Clinic and lead author of the study.
"Vitamin D is known to promote both bone and muscle strength. Conversely, deficiency is an under-recognized source of diffuse pain and impaired neuromuscular functioning. By recognizing it, physicians can significantly improve their patients' pain, function and quality of life," he added.
During the study, the researchers looked at 267 chronic pain patients
Vitamin D levels at the time of admission were compared to other parameters such as the amount and duration of narcotic pain medication usage; self-reported levels of pain, emotional distress, physical functioning and health perception.
"Though preliminary, these results suggest that patients who suffer from chronic, diffuse pain and are on narcotics should consider getting their vitamin D levels checked. Inadequate levels may play a role in creating or sustaining their pain," said. Dr. Turner.
The researchers suggest that those who have chronic pain may need to assess vitamin D status.
The study results were published in a recent edition of Pain Medicine.