Wayne B Jonas MD
Samueli Integrative Health Programs
MedicalResearch.com: What is the
background for this study?
Response: The findings of this study are based on a systematic review of 25 randomized clinical trials evaluating surgical type interventions (open surgeries, arthroscopic, endoscopic, laparoscopic, heart catheterization, radiofrequency, laser, and other interventions) for chronic back and knee pain. In each study, researchers had also performed sham procedures on a control group where they replicated the invasive procedure by omitting the step believed to be therapeutically necessary. The purpose of this it to determine how much of the effects are due to the placebo response.
PainRelief.com Interview with:
Robert E. Sorge, PhD | Associate Professor
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Psychology
Director | PAIN Collective
UAB | The University of Alabama at Birmingham
PainRelief.com: What is the
background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Our work
in animals has shown that a poor-quality diet (high in refined carbohydrates)
leads to widespread inflammation, activated immune cells and prolongs recovery
from an injury. We have also shown that diet can reverse these effects.
Therefore, we wanted to see whether we could reduce pain in people with knee osteroarthritis
just by changing their diet.
that carbohydrates can lead to inflammation and oxidative stress, so we wanted
to know whether reducing them would reduce pain or whether pain could be
reduced by just losing weight – the knee is a weight-bearing joint, after all.
We found that weight loss did not predict pain relief, but that the
participants following a low-carb diet showed reduced daily pain, reported less
pain interference in daily activities and had less pain when we evoked pain in
their knees. The reduction in evoked pain was related to changes in oxidative
Ours is a small study, but we believe that it is important to let people know that a change of diet can have a significant impact on their daily pain. Diets are modifiable and have no negative side effects – something not true of most pain-relieving medications.