Is Vitamin D Arthritis Pain Relief for Real? Maybe…

By Chris Centeno, MD /

Receive a Regenexx® Patient Info Packet by email and learn why it's a superior regenerative solution.

vitamin d arthritis pain relief

If you have arthritis, should you take or ditch Vitamin D? Is vitamin d arthritis pain relief for real, or are you wasting your money? Right now there are 241 scientific papers on the topic listed in the US National Library of Medicine. Regrettably, the research is all over the map on this one, so let’s look at two recent studies to see if they provide clarity or muddy the waters further.

Vitamin D is more a steroid hormone than a vitamin. The most important type for humans is D3 and this helps the gut absorb calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphate, and zinc. You also make vitamin D through sun exposure by converting cholesterol molecules. You can also get it from your diet through dairy products and certain vegetables like fish or cod liver oil, mushrooms, tofu, pork, and eggs.

The concept that Vitamin D could help arthritis relates to it’s important role in helping build strong and healthy bones. The theory goes like this, since one aspect of arthritis is it’s ability to deform bone, then taking more vitamin D may help arthritis. In my last review on this subject, I concluded that if you have moderate to severe arthritis already, popping vitamin D pills is unlikely to help, but if you’re trying to prevent arthritis Vitamin D may help. Now two new studies add new opinions to the cacophony of voices on the topic.

The first study looked at more than 3,500 published research articles on a few different strategies to protect cartilage. They concluded that while there was reasonable evidence that glucosamine and chondroitin reduced the progression of arthritis, there wasn’t clear data on the helpful effects of vitamin D in that disease. The second study looked at the issue from a different angle. The authors followed more than 400 patients who had at least one knee with arthritis for a few years, measuring vitamin D levels and taking knee x-rays. They found that low D levels were associated with a doubling of the risk of the arthritis worsening.

The upshot? What can you make of all of this scientific mumbo jumbo if you want to know if vitamin D will help your arthritis? Well, several studies do seem to show that low vitamin D levels can make your arthritis worse, but there isn’t a large study showing that taking vitamin D works well if you already have arthritis. My educated guess is that it all depends on where you catch patients. If you begin vitamin D early and before the arthritis is bad (before the bone changes set in), it’s more likely to help. If you wait until your arthritis is moderate to severe, the bone destruction ship has already sailed and it’s unlikely to help!

Chris Centeno, MD

Regenexx Founder

Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications.
View Profile

Get Blog Updates by Email

Get fresh updates and insights from Regenexx delivered straight to your inbox.

Regenerative procedures are commonly used to treat musculoskelatal trauma, overuse injuries, and degenerative issues, including failed surgeries.
Select Your Problem Area
Shoulder

Shoulder

Many Shoulder and Rotator Cuff injuries are good candidates for regenerative treatments. Before considering shoulder arthroscopy or shoulder replacement, consider an evaluation of your condition with a regenerative treatment specialist.

  • Rotator Cuff Tears and Tendinitis
  • Shoulder Instability
  • SLAP Tear / Labral Tears
  • Shoulder Arthritis
  • Other Degenerative Conditions & Overuse Injuries
Learn More
Cervical Spine

Spine

Many spine injuries and degenerative conditions are good candidates for regenerative treatments and there are a number of studies showing promising results in treating a wide range of spine problems. Spine surgery should be a last resort for anyone, due to the cascade of negative effects it can have on the areas surrounding the surgery. And epidural steroid injections are problematic due to their long-term negative impact on bone density.

  • Herniated, Bulging, Protruding Discs
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • SI Joint Syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Pinched Nerves and General Back Pain
  • And more
Learn More
Knee

Knees

Knees are the target of many common sports injuries. Sadly, they are also the target of a number of surgeries that research has frequently shown to be ineffective or minimally effective. Knee arthritis can also be a common cause for aging athletes to abandon the sports and activities they love. Regenerative procedures can be used to treat a wide range of knee injuries and conditions. They can even be used to reduce pain and delay knee replacement for more severe arthritis.

  • Knee Meniscus Tears
  • Knee ACL Tears
  • Knee Instability
  • Knee Osteoarthritis
  • Other Knee Ligaments / Tendons & Overuse Injuries
  • And more
Learn More
Lower Spine

Spine

Many spine injuries and degenerative conditions are good candidates for regenerative treatments and there are a number of studies showing promising results in treating a wide range of spine problems. Spine surgery should be a last resort for anyone, due to the cascade of negative effects it can have on the areas surrounding the surgery. And epidural steroid injections are problematic due to their long-term negative impact on bone density.

  • Herniated, Bulging, Protruding Discs
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • SI Joint Syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Pinched Nerves and General Back Pain
  • And more
Learn More
Hand & Wrist

Hand & Wrist

Hand and wrist injuries and arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and conditions relating to overuse of the thumb, are good candidates for regenerative treatments. Before considering surgery, consider an evaluation of your condition with a regenerative treatment specialist.
  • Hand and Wrist Arthritis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Trigger Finger
  • Thumb Arthritis (Basal Joint, CMC, Gamer’s Thumb, Texting Thumb)
  • Other conditions that cause pain
Learn More
Elbow

Elbow

Most injuries of the elbow’s tendons and ligaments, as well as arthritis, can be treated non-surgically with regenerative procedures.

  • Golfer’s elbow & Tennis elbow
  • Arthritis
  • Ulnar collateral ligament wear (common in baseball pitchers)
  • And more
Learn More
Hip

Hip

Hip injuries and degenerative conditions become more common with age. Do to the nature of the joint, it’s not quite as easy to injure as a knee, but it can take a beating and pain often develops over time. Whether a hip condition is acute or degenerative, regenerative procedures can help reduce pain and may help heal injured tissue, without the complications of invasive surgical hip procedures.

  • Labral Tear
  • Hip Arthritis
  • Hip Bursitis
  • Hip Sprain, Tendonitis or Inflammation
  • Hip Instability
Learn More
Foot & Ankle

Foot & Ankle

Foot and ankle injuries are common in athletes. These injuries can often benefit from non-surgical regenerative treatments. Before considering surgery, consider an evaluation of your condition with a regenerative treatment specialist.
  • Ankle Arthritis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Ligament sprains or tears
  • Other conditions that cause pain
Learn More

Is Regenexx Right For You?

Request a free Regenexx Info Packet

REGENEXX WEBINARS

Learn about the #1 Stem Cell & Platelet Procedures for treating arthritis, common joint injuries & spine pain.

Join a Webinar

RECEIVE BLOG ARTICLES BY EMAIL

Get fresh updates and insights from Regenexx delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to the Blog

FOLLOW US

Copyright © Regenexx 2019. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy

*DISCLAIMER: Like all medical procedures, Regenexx® Procedures have a success and failure rate. Patient reviews and testimonials on this site should not be interpreted as a statement on the effectiveness of our treatments for anyone else.

Providers listed on the Regenexx website are for informational purposes only and are not a recommendation from Regenexx for a specific provider or a guarantee of the outcome of any treatment you receive.