Q. About five years ago, I began to suffer severe pain in my left hip and leg. It was agonizing when I lay in bed. I had to crawl on my hands and knees to climb stairs. Physical therapy did not work.
Oddly, CT scans showed no arthritis. Cortisone shots helped a little.
After two years of this disability I discovered that I was deficient in vitamin D. Like many people, I don’t get much sunlight. I began to take enough supplemental vitamin D3 to raise my blood level.
I am now free of that terrible pain and can walk and climb stairs freely! I no longer need painkillers. Vitamin D3 has done wonders for my mood and well-being. I wonder if learning how to combat vitamin D deficiency would help many of your readers as it did for me.
A. Vitamin D deficiency may contribute to muscle and bone pain as well as arthritis (Arthritis and Rheumatism, Feb. 2010). While there are some data to suggest that low levels of vitamin D might play a role in depression, this remains controversial (Nutrition Reviews, Aug. 2009).
Experts continue to argue about the optimal blood levels of vitamin D. We explain how to test your own blood, interpret lab results and choose an appropriate supplement in our Guide to Vitamin D Deficiency. It does make sense to learn your vitamin D level before self-treating with vitamin D, so you will have some idea of how much you need and how long it might take to bring blood levels to adequacy.
Vitamin D may not be the correct solution for some people, but there are a number of other possible remedies for joint pain. We discuss such simple approaches as tart cherry juice, ginger, fish oil or gin-soaked raisins in our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis.

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  1. RLozano
    Reply

    At least with this body a lack of vitamin D causes me to
    sleep very long hours (10+), also difficult to get up. With supplement D, back to my normal 7-8 hours minus depression.

  2. H.E.
    Reply

    I use D3 too but not for pain. For my bones. Do not see it helping me for pain. I have Arthritis real bad. Seem nothing I use helps me. Have changed Doctors but that has not seemed to help either.
    Thanks for the info.

  3. P. Searby
    Reply

    How much vitamin D did this individual take to relieve pain. Would like to know so I can up my levels. My reading for Vit D level is 41 a little on the low normal side. How much should I be taking to relieve pain?
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Between 2,000 and 4,000 IU vitamin D3 should be helpful in most cases.

  4. Karen
    Reply

    commenting to follow the discussion.

  5. O.G.
    Reply

    I’ve been taking Vitamin D-3 since March, when my labs showed a deficiency, but haven’t noticed any lessening of the pain level in my painful left hip. Oh, well: I suppose there’s always hope for the future! :-)

  6. AA
    Reply

    I too used to have horrible pain deep in my hip, especially when I laid down. OTC pain medicines did nothing and it was impossible to find a good position. The pain would wake me at night and I can sleep through almost anything. A pedorthist thought the problem could be an IT (Iliotibial) Band issue. I gave up speed walking and focused on bike riding (my hip didn’t hurt after riding the bike like it did after walking) but it still gave me some trouble at night. Unrelated to the hip pain, I started taking D3 supplements and just realized while reading this article that my hip doesn’t hurt anymore. I’ve been taking the D3 for more than a year now (maybe 2 years) and can’t pin point exactly when my hip stopped bothering me so I can’t say for sure that the D3 helped but I will continue to take the D3 for a multitude of reasons.

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