We see in practice every day that lifestyle is related to pain – and fortunately this means that there is much that can be done to reduce pain without drugs or surgery. The latest findings on the role of nutrition and nutraceuticals, microbiome, obesity, soy, omega-3 fatty acids, and curcumin supplementation as key elements in modulating the efficacy of analgesic treatments, including opioids were discussed at a Multidisciplinary Pain Research workshop. The bottom line was the recognition that patients with chronic pain should undergo nutritional assessment and counseling, which should be initiated at the beginning of treatment. Some foods and supplements used in personalized treatment will likely improve clinical outcomes of pain therapy and result in considerable improvement of patient compliance and quality of life. This is exactly our experience also. From the researchers point of view, the potential benefit of including nutrition in personalizing pain medicine is formidable and highly promising.
As an example of a painful condition, that may respond to nutritional therapy – tendon injures cause a great deal of disability and increase medical costs. “However, relatively little is known about tendon biology and healing. Many tendon-related surgical procedures are not very successful and leave the patient with essentially a chronic injury. New therapeutic approaches for tendon injury are needed. Preliminary evidence suggests that various nutrients such as proteins, amino acids (leucine, arginine, glutamine), vitamins C and D, manganese, copper, zinc, and phytochemicals may be useful in improving tendon growth and healing. More research on nutrition and tendon health is needed. Because many nutrients are required for tendon health, nutritional interventions involving multiple nutrients may be more effective than single-nutrient strategies.”