This project was intended to provide a possible dietary intervention to help decrease pain levels in patients with documented osteoarthritis (OA) at a chiropractic clinic. Ten subjects agreed to participate and were given verbal and written instructions to take home (Appendix C), including a Pain Rating Table (Appendix D). Questions on the Pain Rating Table included a visual analog scale of pain rating from 1-10, body area, type of pain, and compliance with gluten free diet (GFD). Comparisons were made pre- and post-intervention. Lack of compliance with the diet change for fourteen days was significant in that 80% reported they could not complete the fourteen days. The most common theme from those who did not finish the fourteen days was lack of time, or belief they were just not ready to implement this change. Of the two that did finish, both noticed improved pain scales and decreased digestive complaints.

The findings of this change project reveal what the literature has suggested – that change in the Standard American Diet (SAD) is hard to effectuate without significant motivating factors (such as immediate pain or weight loss) and cultural support. In addition, the subject in question needs to be in the preparation phase of change, versus the contemplative stage. Further study needs be done regarding effective ways to encourage compliance, particularly in the educational area. Because motivation for both diet and exercise change are imperative for health, further investigation on what motivates patients for diet change also warrants further study.

Date of publication

Fall 12-1-2021

Document Type

MSN Capstone Project (Local Access)



Persistent identifier