Adjusting your diet to reduce those foods that increase inflammation and increase those foods that have anti-inflammatory properties can significantly help you to reduce your pain symptoms.

As soon as many people hear the word “diet” they immediately think of limiting their eating for the purpose of losing weight. However, “diet” is simply the choice of food that you habitually eat. What some people do not realize, is that those choices can impact your pain levels. This is not just because of possible weight control; it is because the chemicals within the food you eat impact the chemicals within your body. Pain Stop Clinics, interventional pain management experts, are committed to helping their patients achieve pain relief without opioids, including helping them adjust their diet to manage their pain.

It may sound too good to be true, that adjusting your eating can relieve your back pain, or any pain. But if you stop and consider that many medicines are made of components derived from plants and animals or chemicals manufactured to imitate those plants and animals, then it makes sense that eating certain plants or animals can impact your health, and that includes pain management.

So, how exactly does food help relieve pain? Inflammation causes pain, and many foods have components that reduce inflammation such as antioxidants and other phytonutrients. Other foods increase inflammation, so for people with auto-immune diseases that means it triggers excessive inflammation causing chronic pain. Some foods that increase inflammation include refined sugars, fried foods, and ultra-processed foods. Now that you know what foods to avoid so that you do not make your inflammation worse, and therefore your pain worse, let us focus on foods that can decrease inflammation and help reduce pain.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Broccoli, kale, cabbage, and brussels sprouts are all considered cruciferous vegetables. They contain Vitamins A and C, which are antioxidants. They also contain a component called sulforaphane, an anti-inflammatory substance with anti-cancer properties.


A spice that has grown in popularity over the past several years due to the demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties is turmeric. Curry, heavy with turmeric, is named after curcumin, a component of turmeric. There are several research studies that show consuming turmeric in reasonable quantities is beneficial for pain relief management.

Garlic and Onions

Vegetables in the allium family, onions, garlic, leeks, etc., all contain diallyl disulfide. This is a component that reduces inflammation and prevents cartilage damage. Instead of using garlic salt, try fresh garlic to reap the benefits of inflammation reduction.

Fatty Fish

Salmon, tuna, trout, and mackerel are all fatty fish that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are well-known for promoting heart and brain health, but they also have anti-inflammatory properties. You can try Omega -3 supplements but will receive more benefits from fresh fish.


Anthocyanin is the pigment that gives red, purple, and blue plants their pigments, like cherries, strawberries, eggplant, mangos, blueberries, raspberries, asparagus, olives, red cabbage, black beans, kidney beans, beets, etc. A study found that anthocyanins in sweet and sour cherries inhibit COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes which are involved in the creation of pain sensations in the body. This pain-relieving property is only one benefit. Anthocyanin also has anti-inflammatory properties, which will also help to relieve pain due to decreased inflammation.


Adjusting your diet to reduce those foods that increase inflammation and increase those foods that have anti-inflammatory properties can significantly help you to reduce your pain symptoms. You will likely see an improvement in your weight if you are reducing sugars and fried foods and adding more vegetables and fruits, which will also benefit your body and help to reduce back pain. While you may still need to reach out to Pain Stop Clinics for other forms of interventional pain management, adjusting your diet can help provide you with the most benefits toward improving your quality of life.

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