Treating inflammation through nutrition

Treating inflammation through nutrition

Patients come to seek advice and relief through treatment for tendonitis, bursitis, plantar faciitis, reheumatoid arthritis (RA), ankle sprains, tennis elbow and many more complaints. Most of the time osteopathy can, and will, help.

A good indication that there is more to it than a musculoskeletal structural dysfunction is if there are multiple joints involved which cause systemic inflammatory happening in the body.

Inflammation in the body due to various food intake makes sense, especially in today’s society where genetically modified, artificial and processed foods dominate the supermarket shelves and standard diets. Our bodies are not designed to cope with them. A good example is wheat. Bread was a core component of our forebears’ diets and, at that time, wheat intolerance was non-existent. However, due to genetic modification, cross breeding and hybridisation to increase yield, resist environmental conditions and fight off pathogens and pests, the wheat we eat today is a distant resemblance of the wheat our grandparents consumed.

When wheat was 1st grown thousands of years ago, it was made of 14 chromosomes. Today it has 42. no wonder bodies react with inflammation – it’s foreign food and we are not made to consume it.

Every individual is different, but the prevalence of food intolerance to ingredients like wheat is rapidly rising.

Other common inflammatory foods include:

  • Diary
  • Gluten
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Corn
  • Soy

An elimination diet is an effective method for determining if certain foods are causing inflammation in the body.

Completely eliminating a food for at least 7 days – 14 is better and seeing whether symptoms improve or worsen when the food is reintroduced will indicate that the person has intolerance to this food.

There are also research studies showing that symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis drastically reduce after eliminating gluten. [see footnotes for reference.]

So this literally is a case of …”Food for Thought!”. From an osteopaths viewpoint, if a patient presents with multiple joint involvement or a suspected underlying inflammatory condition in the body we will consider including dietary recommendations as part of your treatment and management plan.

This may involve completely eliminating a certain food type for up to 2 weeks.

After all, osteopaths are “holistic” primary healthcare practitioners and all facets of the patient’s life is addressed to maximise results.


Hafstrom I, Ringertz B, Spangberg A,von zweigbergk L et al. Rheumatology (oxford). 2001, Oct; 40(10):1175-9.

Darlington Lg & Ramsey NW. British journal of Rheumatology. 1993, Jun;32(6):507-14.