Hypovitaminosis D-induced Pain

  • This review was prepared by Ranjan Mas-carenhas, C.V., M.D., and Sohrab Mobarhan, M.D. Dr. Mascarenhas is with the Department of Internal Medicine and Dr. Mobarhan is with the Department of Internal Medicine and the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL 60153.


Vitamin D deficiency is a problem of considerable magnitude that has reemerged as a major public health issue in the United States and several other developed countries. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in calcium homeostasis in the body. Hypovitaminosis D leads to osteomalacia and increased risk of fractures, especially in the elderly. Preliminary research suggests that vitamin D can prevent certain types of cancer and autoimmune diseases. A recent large study has shown the association between severe hypovitaminosis D and persistent, non-specific musculo-skeletal pain, further suggesting that patients with no apparent cause of pain should be assessed and possibly treated for vitamin D deficiency.