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An insufficient level of vitamin D is associated with increased posture and balance problems in people with fibromyalgia, according to a study published in the journal Modern Rheumatology.
Balance and posture control issues are frequently reported by fibromyalgia patients, a complication that increases the risk for falls. It’s been theorized that these balance concerns are caused by muscle weakness, and poor bone mineralization owed to vitamin D deficiency. Yet, earlier research exploring vitamin D levels in fibromyalgia patients had conflicting outcomes.
The current study was structured to determine whether vitamin D levels would correlate to pain, balance problems, and daily activity issues in fibromyalgia patients. One hundred participants, aged 35 to 64, were enrolled in the study; 53 of them had fibromyalgia, and 47 did not.
The participants were assessed using a variety of measures, including the Fibromyalgia Impact Scale that measures functional status, a visual analog scale to gauge fatigue and pain intensity, the Nottingham Health Profile that indicates the physical, emotional, and social impact of disease, and a Berg Balance Scale to determine balance capability during specific activities.
Following these assessments, the study participants were put into one of two groups, depending on whether their vitamin D level was above 30 ng/mL (normal), or below. Thirty-three of those with fibromyalgia, and 27 of the non-fibromyalgia participants were in the low vitamin D group.
The researchers found a significant difference between the fibromyalgia participants with low and normal vitamin D levels in the areas of pain, and balance. A substantial positive association was demonstrated between balance and adequate vitamin D.
Although balance problems in fibromyalgia patients may be linked to a variety of causes, it “should be kept in mind that vitamin D level is likely to negatively affect balance and current pain intensity in fibromyalgia,” concluded the researchers.
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Fibromyalgia is a prevalent condition that affects many people in the United States. Approximately 3.7 million Americans have Fibromyalgia. That is 1 in every 73 people.
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