Natural painkillers: food to reduce pain

food to help with chronic painAround 10 million people in the UK suffer with chronic pain. Living with constant pain is debilitating and depressing. Not only does it effect the physical and psychological health of those suffering, it also puts extra strain on the economy through employee absence.

The NHS often neglects to provide sufficient care and support for people suffering from chronic pain, leaving it up to the sufferer to do what they can to manage and get on with life.

Research shows that some foods are more effective at offering pain relief than others. Some of the top pain-killing foods include:


According to research from the National Institutes of Health, a protein found in turmeric (known as NF-kB) can reduce inflammation and help reduce the destruction of joints associated with arthritis. 

Oily fish

A study by the University of Pittsburgh found that 60% of participants experienced a reduction in pain levels after taking fish oil supplements for three months. Almost all of these people decided to stop taking their painkilling tablets as a result.

Grapes and berries

Resveratrol, an antioxidant compound found in grapes and berries, is thought to block enzymes that cause tissue damage. It is this damage that leads to joint and muscle pain. One study by Rush University Medical Centre found that resveratrol can help protect against the damage that causes back pain in particular.

Pain-management is an important part of living with chronic pain and managing your diet is crucial. You should try to eat a varied, balanced diet as well as exercising regularly. Of course, exercise can be incredibly difficult when you’re in pain but it is important to do what you can. Swimming and cycling are excellent options as both activities put minimum strain on bones and joints. Physical exercise keeps the heart healthy as well as stimulating the mind and boosting ‘feel-good hormones’ like serotonin and endorphins.

To find out more about alternative and complimentary therapies for pain management, please visit our Therapy Topics pages. 

View and comment on the orignal Huffington Post article. 

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Written by Zoe Thomas

Written by Zoe Thomas

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