Vitamin D deficiency is the source of multiple health issues. One such concern was explored in a study by Drs. S Prakash and N Shah, MD., which supports the association of Vitamin D deficiency and chronic tension-type headache. This study was reported in Headache and gives several case studies exhibiting the correlation. 8 patients were observed over the course of 1.5 years, with 3 patients discussed in detail. In all 3 cases, patients were experiencing tension-type headache (TTH), and had a vitamin D deficiency in addition to other muscle pain syndromes. These patients had tried prescription and over the counter medications to alleviate the pain with little to no relief, and in some cases the pain was only exacerbated. These patients were prescribed 1,500 units of Vitamin D daily with additional calcium supplementation to help with absorption. Within weeks, these patients experienced a noticeable difference in pain and tension headache.
Another recent study indicated 26% of patients with chronic pain had a vitamin D deficiency. Other research has suggested that the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency may be as high as 80-100% in some special groups of patients with chronic skeletal muscle pain. The article states that “the high prevalence of vitamin D inadequacy in patients with generalized muscle pain does not indicate its relation with headache. However, such high prevalence of vitamin D inadequacy in patients with chronic pain further strengthens the view that an inter-relation probably exists among tension-type headache, generalized muscle pain syndrome, and vitamin D deficiency.”
The fact that there was no (or minimal) response to previously used drugs and almost complete response to vitamin D supplementation suggest that vitamin D deficiency was pivotal in generating the headache. This valuable information should be taken into consideration during the treatment of headache.