Why Your Diet Is the First Place to Look to Reduce Pain?

Dietary modifications for Pain Management

As experts in pain management, we focus on empowering our patients so that they can conquer this often debilitating health problem from all sides. One major way to target pain and reduce it is through diet. Often individuals look for specific nutrients and supplements to help certain health conditions – as with an osteoarthritis diet. Let’s look first at testing for allergies and how that can help, then at foods that generally help to contain swelling and  hence can help all pain situations. Finally, we can zero in on specific foods to help with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Common food allergies & pain

As Dr. Susanne Bennett emphasizes in a article published by the Huffingtonpost (1), we tend to think in terms of food allergies as anaphylactic shock or vomiting, but smaller allergies can express themselves as minor headaches or stomachaches. Specific allergy testing of common food allergies, sensitivities, and gluten intolerance provides a better framework to approach individual pain management through diet.

An anti-inflammatory fruit

One food noted generally for its anti-inflammatory properties is the cherry. Cherries contain anthocyanins – as do raspberries and strawberries to lesser degrees. The ideal dose is not yet known because tests have not been conducted on humans, but recent Michigan State University research (2) suggests that these flavonoids can reduce swelling similarly to aspirin.

Ginger and coffee for pain reduction

Ginger and coffee have also been found to possibly reduce pain. Each was given to subjects in studies prior to intense physical exercise, versus groups given a placebo. The effect of coffee in pain reduction was verified one hour later, during exercise. Amazingly, the effect of the ginger was measured 24 hours later – its impact was confirmed by testimonies of each group at that time.

Helpful for Rheumatoid Arthritis & Osteoarthritis

Vitamin D — high in salmon, sardines, mushrooms, and egg yolks – can help both to reduce arthritic symptoms and to prevent these disorders to develop in the first place.  Consider adding multivitamins and omega-3 fatty acids as supplements. Those with osteoarthritis specifically should also consider taking glucosamine with chondroitin (which is off-limits for those with shellfish allergies) and SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine). A supplement to target rheumatoid arthritis is GLA (gamma-linolenic acid).


If you are experiencing chronic pain, try cherry, ginger, coffee, and vitamin D. For those suffering from arthritis, the rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis diet and supplement tips will aid in relief. If you have not been able to determine the source of your pain, an individual allergy test could reveal food allergies as the culprit. Need further assistance with integrative pain alleviation? Contact us anytime for help.




1.) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-susanne-bennett/allergies_b_1363995.html

2.) http://www.rd.com/health/wellness/can-food-relieve-pain/

3.) http://www.livestrong.com/article/376668-foods-that-reduce-pain/

4.) http://www.today.com/id/18023958/ns/today-today_health/t/feeling-stiff-foods-can-ease-pain/#.UUY9BFctfN4





Five Things You Didn’t Know about Your Brain On Pain

We all experience pain, but how does it work? Why do we stub our toe or strain our back and feel it, almost immediately, in our mind? Of course we understand that the brain is the central processor of our nervous system, but the specifics of how pain is felt in the brain is more complex than you might imagine. Below are five aspects of the human pain system that you might not know, followed by an assessment of how pain management can provide pain relief.


1.  The brain does not provide the pain reflex.

Neural tissue within the spinal cord reacts to the pain and tells the involved part of the body to remove itself from the situation. It is an automatic reflex occurring without the brain’s involvement.


2.  Past pain matters.

Areas of the brain that previously experienced the pain are re-stimulated. This pain memory partially determines the body’s physical and emotional response. Additionally, pain is increased or decreased due to the memory information obtained. This applies both to chronic pain and re-injury. An example of pain that is often chronic is neuropathic pain.


3.  Two different pathways

There is not just one but two different ways in which pain reaches the brain:


a.  Fast pathway – sharp and immediate pain.

This route to the brain hooks into the thalamus. Then A-delta fibers transmit the signal to the cortex’s sensory and motor components. The fibers, which also send temperature information, are myelinated. The myelination speeds up the pain signal because its insulation focuses the transmission, because the action potential jumps from node to node along the fibers, and because depolarization allows the signal to travel with less energy.


b.  Slow pathway – dull and prolonged pain.

C-fibers, which are not myelinated, become activated when pH levels drop and certain chemicals are released. The C- fibers send an electrical impulse through the dorsal horn to the spinal cord. This pathway allows the brain awareness of an injury that has not healed, i.e. chronic pain. It keeps the body from conducting normal physical activity, reminding the brain of the damage.


4.  Emotional pain response

Emotional pain processes through the slower response system, the C-fibers. We tie certain emotions to the pain because it is such a continual aspect of our brain functioning. Emotions related to pain are mediated through the prefrontal cortex and limbic system.


5.  The involvement of nociceptors

Nociceptors, also called free nerve endings, are neural axon terminals that connect to the spinal nerve. The two types of nociceptors are the fibers discussed above in #1: A-delta fibers and C- fibers.


Pain Management – The Integrative Solution

Pain management seeks to provide alleviation for pain so that individuals can operate effectively and lead normal, active lives. Pain relief can help to treat any type of chronic pain, including neuropathic pain. Integrative pain management can involve the combination of injection based treatments and chiropractic manipulation. Atlanta Medical Clinic, through this integrative method, seeks to diagnose what is causing the pain (the part of the body affected and the central source of the problem) and then manage it via rehabilitation to stop the continuous or recurring pain cycle.


April 6, 2020