The Anti-inflammatory Diet: A empirical study to how to Manage Chronic Pain
Background The number of people suffering from chronic diseases, like chronic pain, has increased dramatically over the last three decades (1). Chronic pain is recurring pain that can last for months or years and can drastically reduce the quality of a person’s life
(2). because chronic pain can be resistant to conventional medical treatments, the search for alternatives to alleviate pain has led to diet (1). Evidence suggests that some types of dietary interventions such as consumption of an anti-inflammatory diet may have significant effects on chronic pain. Research findings have shown that an anti-inflammatory diet has demonstrated a reduction in pain and an improvement in physical function and vitality (3).
Objective This quasi-experimental study compared consumption of a typical Western diet (diet WD) to a Pain Free/anti-inflammatory diet (diet PF) and evaluated the impact of the anti-inflammatory diet on specific daily activities like walking, climbing stairs, carrying or handling objects, dressing, personal grooming, and sleeping.
Design Participants consumed a typical Western diet (diet WD) for one week followed by consuming a 28-day Pain Free/anti-inflammatory diet (diet PF). Chronic pain was self-reported using a standard 0-10 Numeric Pain Scale. Daily food records to assess compliance and five electronic questionnaires were used to collect data. Subjects/Setting Potential subjects responded to a social media posting. Reported inclusion criteria: (a) having chronic pain; (b) consuming a typical Western diet, also known as the standard American diet, with meat or fish or eggs or dairy; (c) having access to a computer with the internet; and (d) being 21 years or over. This study consisted of 18 individuals who met the inclusion criteria with 12 participants completing the five week study.
Statistical analysis SPSS was used to analyse data. A paired t-test compared pain level post diet WD to post diet PF to answer the first research question. A non-parametric Friedman’s test compared participant’s pain level per activity post diet WD to post diet PF to answer the second research question. A statistical significance level of (p<0.05) was used. Descriptive statistics were used to examine participant demographic characteristics and self-reported data.
Results A sample of 12 participants completed the five week study. The self-reported daily food records were assessed and compliance to the diet of 75% or greater was achieved by 100% (n=12). Participants self-reported weight and 1-11 pounds was lost by the conclusion of the study. Pain was significantly reduced (p<0.001) when following diet PF compared to diet WD. Pain level reduction was consistent for each of the specific daily activities measured (p<.03).
Conclusions This study found that 100% of participants who followed a specific 28-day pain-free diet plan were able to successfully use this diet intervention to alleviate their chronic pain in specific daily activities. Further research with larger samples is needed to determine whether following an anti-inflammatory diet may be a viable choice to alleviate chronic pain.
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