Are growing pains related to vitamin D deficiency? Efficacy of vitamin D therapy for resolution of symptoms.
Reviewer: Alan Gaby, MD
Author: Vehapoglu A, et al
Reference: Are growing pains related to vitamin D deficiency? Efficacy of vitamin D therapy for resolution of symptoms. Med Princ Pract 2015;24:332-338.
Design: Uncontrolled trial.
Participants: One hundred twenty Turkish children (mean age, 7.8 years) with “growing pains.” The mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) level in these children was 13.5 ng/ml, and 30 children had a 25(OH)D level of 10 ng/ml or lower.
Study Medication and Dosage: The 30 children with a 25(OH)D level of 10 ng/ml or lower were given a single dose of vitamin D (type not specified: 150,000 IU for children aged 6 years or younger, 300,000 IU for those older than 6 years). All children given vitamin D also received 1,000 mg per day of calcium for 1 month.
Primary Outcome Measure: Pain severity.
Key Findings: Three months after vitamin D treatment, mean pain severity had decreased by 57% (p < 0.001).
Practice Implications: “Growing pains” is a term used to describe general muscle aches and pains that occur in children, most often in the legs. The term is probably a misnomer, since there is no firm evidence that the growth of bones causes pain. The pains are believed to be caused by excessive running, jumping, and other activity. Conventional treatments include massage, local heat, and analgesics. The results of the present study indicate that vitamin D deficiency may be a contributing factor in some children experiencing “growing pains.” A number of practitioners have observed that hidden food allergy is also a contributing factor in some cases.