I honestly know very few people today who are not taking a Vitamin D supplement and I began to wonder if it is really necessary when I came across this article published in the Integrative Practitioner.
The article discusses the prevalence of lower back pain in post-menopausal women (hmmm, we have a few of those living in our centers right?) and low Vitamin D levels. So yes, we need more sunshine but when we have frail elders suffering from chronic lower back pain, simply sitting on the patio might not be enough. The study discussed in this article found that very low Vitamin D levels were linked to a greater likelihood of moderate to severe lower back pain and more severe lumbar disc degeneration. It also stated that “although not all women need vitamin D supplementation, this speaks to the importance of avoiding severe vitamin D deficiency states”. So as we try to decrease the number of medications our residents are being given daily, maybe this is one we should continue to administer? Be sure the attending physicians are evaluating Vitamin D levels especially if the resident has chronic, lower back pain. It could be a game-changer down the road, less pain, and more sunshine!