Pain, Inflammation, Food & Physio?s Role!

Although PTs are not ‘qualified’ to give detailed dietary advise, we are certainly able to give general advice and quote a few studies on the topic. There are many studies supporting dietary modifications and symptom relief in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis. (See references and quotes from below.)

There are however no RCT to support the influence of diet on inflammation related to osteo-arthritis or neural inflammation which are far more common conditions in an outpatient Physio setting.

I personally do give a simple hand out to some of my patients on the effects of diet and inflammation and I have had a number of anecdotal patient success stories!

It will likely be impossible to do an RCT on this topic as everyone is unique and a relatively small fraction of the population has specific food sensitivities?this results in a statistical washout effect if an RCT is ever attempted!

A free copy of the Food Handout is available to you on in the “clinical Library” Section.

“Dietary manipulation provides a means by which patients can regain a sense of control over their disease.” (Stamp 2005) For example, simply adding bottled fish oil to a diet is practical and can be easily achieved!

“A prospective study suggests that higher intakes of meat and total protein as well as lower intakes of fruit, vegetables, and vitamin C are associated with an increased risk of inflammatory polyarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.” (Choi 2005)

“There is evidence that rheumatoid arthritis is less severe in the southern Mediterranean countries, such as Italy and Greece, where oil-rich fish, fruit, vegetables and olive oil are consumed in greater amounts than in many other countries.” (Pattison 2004a)

“There was evidence of a protective effect of higher consumption of olive oil, oil-rich fish, fruit, vegetables and beta-cryptoxanthin.” (Pattison 2004b)


Stamp LK, James MJ, Cleland LG. Diet and rheumatoid arthritis: a review of the literature. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2005 Oct;35(2):77-94.

Choi HK. Dietary risk factors for rheumatic diseases Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2005 Mar;17(2):141-6.

Pattison DJ, Symmons DP, Young A. Does diet have a role in the aetiology of rheumatoid arthritis? Proc Nutr Soc. 2004a Feb;63(1):137-43.

Pattison DJ, Harrison RA, Symmons DP. The role of diet in susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic review. J Rheumatol. 2004b Jul;31(7):1310-9.

Posted on: June 03, 2008

Categories: Modalities / Meds / Supplements , Relevant Physical Therapy Articles

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.