Medical Research: Literature Review Focused on Diet Composition and Chronic Muscoskeletal Pain

A hospital bed

Many patients in the orthopedic, physiatry, and pain management settings seek holistic routes to chronic musculoskeletal pain management. One such factor is diet. As the World Health Organization states, “A healthy diet is a foundation for health, well-being, optimal growth and development.”

Researching Diet Composition and Muscoskeletal Pain

Our team has previously described how caloric reduction can mediate weight loss and thus improve orthopedic success. However, it is poorly understood how diet composition impacts chronic musculoskeletal pain. As such, Mark Kurapatti and I reviewed the literature to provide an updated understanding on how diet composition impacts chronic musculoskeletal pain.

We found fair evidence that diverse, plant-based diet regimes (Mediterranean, vegetarian, and vegan diets) may reduce musculoskeletal pain. Furthermore, randomized controlled trials demonstrate the addition of marine oils, seafood, omega-3, antioxidant-rich fruits, and turmeric may be of benefit to the patient with chronic musculoskeletal pain. There is poor or insufficient evidence to support the addition of olive oil, ginger, or herbal teas to reduce pain. Finally, while elimination of aspartame and monosodium glutamate may reduce inflammation, there is poor-quality evidence that it reduces musculoskeletal pain.

Publishing Our Research

Our diet composition review was recently accepted to the premier pain medicine journal, Pain Physician, and can serve as an updated tool for clinicians and patients on safe and holistic measures for chronic musculoskeletal pain management.

In conjunction with his research, Dr. Carreira produced a position statement on The Impact of Obesity on Bone and Joint Health.

Download the Impact of Obesity on Bone and Joint Health (PDF)

Dr. Dominic Carreira’s Medical Research

As an arthroscopic surgeon specializing in preservation of the hip, foot, and ankle, Dr. Dominic S. Carreira maintains an active research regimen in addition to his clinical practice. He routinely coordinates research with other leading orthopedic surgeons and doctors. Read more about Dr. Carreira’s research.

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