Ari J. IsaacsonMD Director of Clinical Research Clinical Associate Professor, Vascular Interventional Radiology University of North Carolina
PainRelief.com: What is the
background for this study?
Response: The current treatments for pain due to osteoarthritis of the knee that does not respond to medication or physical therapy include knee injections and knee replacement. However, some people are too young or unable to undergo knee replacement. Knee injections are often ineffective and need to repeated every few months. There is a need for a treatment option that can reliably relieve knee pain for a year or longer in patients who are not ready or able to undergo knee replacement.
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.
PainRelief.com Interview with:
Adam Perlman, MD, MPH
Program Director, Leadership Program in Integrative Healthcare
Duke Integrative Medicine
PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Current treatment options for knee osteoarthritis have limited effectiveness and potentially adverse side effects. Massage may offer a safe and effective complement to the management of knee osteoarthritis.
We investigated the effect of whole-body massage on knee osteoarthritis, compared to active control (light-touch), and usual care. Participants received 8 weeks of massage, light-touch or usual care and then were randomly assigned to maintenance every other week massage, light-touch or continuation of their usual care. At the end of 8 weeks, massage significantly improved symptoms, including pain, stiffness and physical function, while the other groups did not. At 52 weeks, every other week massage maintained the improvements, however the other groups also improved. Continue reading →
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