Thanks to it’s high supply of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, fish oil is one of the best anti-inflammatory substances we have. Given that almost all chronic pain (and all chronic disease for that matter) has at its root some degree of inflammation, it’s no surprise that higher intake of Omega 3 fats may be helpful.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common chronic pain condition. Historically, it was considered to be a non-inflammatory breakdown of healthy bone. We now understand that this characterization is not accurate, and that reducing inflammation is an important component of comprehensive care. Many anti-inflammatory medications (like NSAIDs, Cox-3 inhibitors, and corticosteroids) come with unwanted side-effects. Omega 3s work by reducing inflammation at its source, helping the body make compounds that “put out the fire”.
Multiple studies show that people with OA who take Omega 3s from fish have reductions in long-term symptoms. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology (source below), Omega-3 Fatty acids seem to be an effective (and safe) strategy for those dealing with OA (as well as other rheumatic disease like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus).