New research suggests there may be a link between the body’s vitamin D levels and spinal health. The majority of patients who were about the receive spinal-fusion surgery had alarmingly low levels of vitamin D in one study presented last week at the North American Spinal Society conference.
The study was conducted the Washington University of St. Louis. Researchers tested 313 patients scheduled to receive spinal-fusion surgery. 57% of patients had inadequate vitamin D levels, enough to be considered a deficiency. This was especially concerning given that spinal-fusion surgery requires the body to create new bone, something that requires high amounts of vitamin D.
Although the patients ready to receive the surgery may present a special case, researchers did recommend that any patient eligible for back surgery should be checked for low levels of vitamin D, especially if they’re over the age of 55 or have a history of smoking, obesity, and diabetes. The study also raised important questions about the role of vitamin D in potentially preventing spinal degeneration.
Before resorting to the risk of surgery, a doctor of chiropractic can provide effective, conservative care that has proven results for curing many back-pain patients. Many chiropractors have also received nutritional training and can assist you on making the right vitamin choices for your unique health needs.
Fauber, John. “Vitamin D Often Depleted in Spine Surgery Patients.” Medpage Today. November 4, 2011.