Evidence-Based Role of Nutrients and Antioxidants for Chronic Pain Management in Musculoskeletal Frailty and Sarcopenia in Aging
Musculoskeletal disorders in aging and pain are closely connected because of multiple mechanisms leading to loss of mobility and autonomy. Pain is predictive of disability and worsening frailty and the strength of this relationship increases with the severity of pain. This study presents a systematic review of randomized controlled trials, cross sectional studies, and observational studies based on treatment of pain in adults with musculoskeletal disorders using nutritional non-pharmacological (nutrients and antioxidants) interventions. The review found the efficiency of the following topics: (a) accession of the patient to a dietary counselling (e.g., daily recommended amount of protein—equivalent to at least of 1 g of protein per kilogram of body weight); (b) intake of glutamic acid-rich such as soy, egg, and cod and tryptophan-rich foods such as milk and peanuts—or taking quick-acting, free-form supplements; (c) supplementation of vitamin D and magnesium, if lacking; (d) weekly consumption of fish or supplements of omega-3 fatty acids; and (e)availability of botanicals, in particular curcumin and gingerol. These non-pharmacological interventions can help the pain therapist to create a personalized medicine (precision medicine), acting with the maximum efficacy and safety, and also reducing the dosage of analgesic drugs needed.