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Can Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Joint Pain and Swelling?

Do you know that one of the most vital nutrients that promote bone health is Vitamin D? Yes, multiple studies show that a deficiency of this vitamin can lead to joint pain and swelling. 

As Vitamin D is required for bone building and bone health, therefore a deficiency of it will negatively affect the bones. Since our school days, we have known how important Vitamin D is for bone health. 

So, today let’s know a little more about the importance of Vitamin D and how to manage its deficiency.


Importance of Vitamin D for our health

Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is an essential fat-soluble vitamin. The nickname “sunshine vitamin” is because of its ability to manufacture under exposure to sunlight. It also regulates the level of calcium and phosphorus in the human body. That is why it is so essential for teeth and bone health. 

It can also help maintain various autoimmune medical conditions like Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, etc. 

The deficiency of Vitamin D can lead to osteomalacia (softening of bones) in adults. In children, the deficiency is known to cause rickets. Osteoporosis is also another medical condition that occurs due to low levels of Vitamin D.

Research that links Vitamin D and Joint Pain

A study investigated the effect of vitamin D serum on hip and knee pain in elderly people. The result shows that a moderate level of vitamin D deficiency can predict the onset of hip pain in 2.4 years and knee pain in 5 years. The research also supported that the pain could worsen if the deficiency was not treated.

Another study suggests that patients with low Vitamin D levels suffering from chronic pain might get relief from taking Vitamin D supplements. However, more follow-up research is needed to know if the supplements would help all patients suffering from chronic pain.

A study was conducted to understand the correlation between Vitamin D and rheumatoid arthritis. Here, the results showed that patients having rheumatoid arthritis have low levels of Vitamin D.

In contrast, other research states that people with rheumatoid arthritis have Vitamin D deficiency due to corticosteroid medications.
However, a 2015 Cochrane study showed that the current evidence is not enough to link vitamin D deficiency and joint pain. More evidence and research need to be done in this arena to gain more concrete information.

Can other vitamins help in reducing joint pain?

One of the best ways to reduce joint pain is to focus on other vitamins that can help. For instance, calcium and vitamin K can help decrease joint pain. In addition, studies state that probiotics and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids can also help ease joint pain.

So if you have a deficiency of vitamin D, let’s know what you can eat to manage it.

Have queries or concern ?

    Food items that are rich in Vitamin D

    The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Vitamin D is 600 IU (International Units) daily for women and men above 19 years old.

    The food items listed below are an excellent source of Vitamin D. You can incorporate them into your daily diet to combat the deficiency. These are

    • Cod liver oil
    • Salmon
    • Mushrooms
    • Egg yolks
    • Orange Juice
    • Cereals

    Read More – Food Items and Join Paint: Is There a Secret Connection?

    How to prevent a deficiency of Vitamin D?

    It is possible to deal with Vitamin D deficiency in two distinct ways. You can either let your body create it via sunlight exposure or eat foods containing it to fill up the deficiency.

    • Exposure to sun

    When the human body is exposed to the sun, it can develop Vitamin D through the ultraviolet B light that touches the skin. However, there is a risk of overexposure. It not only causes skin damage but also increases skin cancer risk. 

    • Eat foods rich in Vitamin D

    Multiple foods can offer high levels of Vitamin D. For example–3 ounces of cooked salmon can provide 570 IU of Vitamin D per serving. One large egg can contribute 44 IU per serving. 

    Other ways to prevent joint pain

    You can employ different methods to reduce or stop joint pain. Check out some ways listed here.

    • Medications: Some medicines that can relieve joint pain and swelling are aspirin, Tylenol, ibuprofen, etc. These are over-the-counter pain medications, and you must excise caution to prevent painkiller addiction. 
    • Physical therapy: With the use of techniques such as electrical nerve stimulation, cold or heat therapy, etc., a physiotherapist can aid you in strengthening the joint muscles. 
    • Home remedies: Natural remedies can help you get rid of the pain for a short period. You can apply ice to reduce inflammation, use a brace around the joint, etc. 


    Various researches link the deficiency of vitamin D and rheumatoid arthritis. However, more scientific evidence and research need to form any solid conclusion. Unless concrete evidence appears, it is impossible to know if Vitamin D supplements can help relieve joint pain. 

    In the meantime, take care of yourself by getting a little sunbath regularly and eating nutrient-rich foods. To know more about join pain, Consult Rheumatologist or Orthopedist today!

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