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Relationship Between Your Diet and Chronic Pain

Dr. Shahzad Anwar

2 min read

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Chronic pain is a pain that results from issues in brain chemistry. It generally lasts for longer periods of time. Chronic pain can seriously affect the life quality of the patient.

A combination of medication and physical therapy is usually required to treat chronic pain. You could also consult a pain management specialist for an effective treatment.

Along with typical treatment, patient’s diet can also have a big impact on the healing process. A study by Harvard University, has shown that a specific diet can help manage chronic pain. Dietary precautions do not bring instant relief but can reduce inflammation gradually. As inflammation goes down, the sensation of chronic pain also reduces.

Immune system and Inflammation:

To understand the relationship between pain and diet, it is important to know how the immune system functions. Immune system can be thought of as the defense mechanism of the body. Whenever the body encounters a foreign agent or physical trauma, the immune system gets activated. White blood cells are released to the affected area. White blood cells then fight off the foreign agents and the infection goes away.

Inflammation can be thought of as an alarm that is used to activate the immune system. In case of physical trauma, inflammation presents itself in the form of swelling and pain of the affected area. Sometimes the immune system stays activated even after the problem goes away. This leads to damage to the healthy organs and tissues which causes severe pain.

A healthy immune system thus plays a key role in pain management. If the immune system can activate or deactivate at the right time then chronic pain can be avoided.

The Diet:

A healthy immune system can reduce chronic pain but what is the role of diet in all this? Research has shown that the foods that can reduce inflammation and pain also increase immunity. So, if a diet that is aimed at improving the immune system is consumed then there are less chances of developing chronic pain and  it can also be managed in a better way.

Following are some foods that can help with chronic pain and inflammation


Perfect for cold nights, salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids. These are healthy fats which are good for your heart and they help cushion the gaps in the joints. They can also reduce inflammation in the joints. Salmon and many other cold water fish can substantially decrease joint pain. Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis can benefit a lot by incorporating this fish in their diet.


Turmeric has been known for its medicinal properties. A compound known as curcumin is present in turmeric. This compound has excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Using small amounts of turmeric in daily routine can help manage chronic pain.


Blueberries and tart berries are excellent for pain induced by over-exercising. Phytonutrients and other anti-oxidants found in blueberries reduce inflammation and produce a soothing effect.

4-Olive oil:

Like salmon olive oil is also filled with healthy fats. It is advisable that people with chronic pain use olive oil instead of vegetable oil for cooking. Olive oil has omega-3 fats while vegetable oil is filled with omega-6 fats. Omega-3 fats have been known to reduce inflammation while omega-6 fats promote it so they should be avoided.


Oranges are known as a good source of vitamins and minerals but they also contain an antioxidant known as kryptoxanthin. This antioxidant has anti-inflammatory properties and thus can help with chronic pain.

If you are experiencing chronic pain then you should consult a pain management specialist at your earliest. You can also visit our website at oladoc.com and look for top pain management specialists in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. You can also call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 to get directed to the specialists that are suitable for your specific concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Shahzad Anwar - Author Dr. Shahzad Anwar is an orthopedic surgeon and pain management specialist in Lahore. He has deep expertise and interest in Pain Management, Cancer Pain Management, Stem Cell Treatment, PRP Treatment, and Acupuncture.
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