Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and aspirin are used to relieve pain for a plethora of conditions. In fact, around 70 million prescriptions for NSAIDs are written yearly. However, these drugs may cause some serious side-effects including gastric hemorrhage, increase risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack), and stroke.
Therefore, we should always be on the lookout for a more natural, less harmful solutions to pain relief. Enter the omega-3 essential fats.
An increasing amount of research suggests the omega-3s are highly effective anti-inflammatory agents.
A recent study evaluated 250 patients with nonsurgical spine pain, all of which were taking NSAIDs. Each subject was placed on a 2.4 g per day of a high-quality omega-3 supplement for two weeks followed by 1.2 g per week for a further 8 weeks. Follow-up assessments were conducted via the use of a questionnaire.
Some very interesting results were documented. Assessments revealed that 69% of the subjects reported a decrease in joint pain. Importantly, 59% were able to stop taking NSAIDS for their joint pain altogether.
Almost two-thirds of the study participants experienced such effective pain relief they could stop using NSAIDs.
Best of all, no significant side effects were reported in response to the supplementation.
As I said, the science-based evidence on the effectiveness of the omega-3s to elevate joint pain and decrease inflammation is growing almost on a weekly basis.
However, research shows that one omega-3 in particular, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is responsible for these potent anti-inflammatory benefits.
Ideally, you want an Omega-3 supplement with a 5:1 EPA to DHA ratio.
Source: Surgical Neurology 2009