I was going through some research papers looking at trapped nerve in neck treatment today and came across this interesting paper. The paper was on using the omega 3 fish oil as a natural pain relief supplement in people suffering a cervical radiculopathy.
The research paper is in the February 2010 edition of Clinical Journal of Pain & describes a series of case studies of people using high doses of omega 3 fish oil to help conditions ranging from a cervical radiculopathy, thoracic outlet syndrome, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome and a burn injury. So what did they find from their omega 3 fish oil observation?
Fish Oil Helps Pain Levels
I’m fan of supplementing your diet with omega 3 fish oils and did write a post on using krill as a source of omega 3 oils. So this latest research paper looking at using high doses of omega 3 fish oils was interesting as it is the first time I have seen it written about nerve pain or neuropathic pain treatment.
Nerve pain can be the worst pain you could ever experience.
Some people look for the best conventional pain relief medication whereas others want a more natural pain relief supplement.
I like to attend an annual pain symposium and listen to GP’s, professors of family medicine, & anaesthetists discuss what pain medication is best for what source of pain. There are different sources of pain, but today’s study was looking more at nerve pain or neuropathic pain source.
High Doses of Omega 3 Oils Needed
Omega 3 fish oils are considered to help provide a natural anti-inflammatory effect. Now it looks like they can do the same, but for nerve pain.
The people in the study with the had different conditions like:
- Cervical radiculopathy,
- Thoracic outlet syndrome,
- Carpal tunnel syndrome and,
- Burn injury
These people needed to take 2400-7200 mg/day of EPA-DHA doses.
These are very high amounts of omega 3 fish oils to take in a day compared to what is typically taken.
You can see this difference in dosage compared with the Durham Trial omega 3 fish oil, Eye Q. Eye Q only uses doses of 186mg EPA 58mg DHA. So you would need to take more than the 2 capsules/chews or 5ml liquid recommended to reach the doses used by the patients in the Clinical Journal of Pain paper.
The problem is that omega 3 fish oil supplements like Eye Q contain Vitamin E (tocopherol). High doses of Vitamin E can cause toxicity. The toxicity effect could be a problem for people on blood thinners (anticoagulants) which affects blood clotting.
So you don’t want to be in the situation where you increase your fish oil dosage, but cause another kind of problem. Speak to your GP first if you are on blood thinner medications.
Essential Fatty Acids in Nerve Pain Treatment
As the authors mention that this is just the beginning of looking to use omega 3 fish oils in nerve pain management.
However, it looks promising that another benefit of using omega 3 fish oils has been observed. So there is a possibility that you may one day be prescribed high doses of omega 3 fish oils in the future for natural pain relief.
- Ko, G.D.,Nowacki, N.B., Arseneau, L.N.D., Eitel, M., Hum, A. Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Neuropathic Pain: Case Series The Clinical Journal of Pain Feb 2010 Vol 26 Iss 2. pp 168-172