Orthopaedics 4 Fish Oil Facts to Help Ease Joint Pain By UPMC Orthopaedic Care, November 2, 2014 For those with joint trouble, everyday activities such as working, walking, and exercising can cause debilitating pain. Although over-the-counter pain medications can help ease some of the discomfort caused by joint conditions such as arthritis and bursitis, there are some effective natural alternatives. Fish oil is a popular alternative for joint pain relief. Rich in omega 3s, fish oil has health benefits for a variety of conditions ranging from cholesterol problems to diabetes. One of its many benefits is its anti-inflammatory properties, which play a role in its effectiveness as an aid for joint pain. Check out these 4 facts to learn more about the link between this supplement and joint relief. Be sure to consult your physician before beginning any supplement regimen. Fact 1: Consuming one to three grams of fish oil per day can decrease joint pain. One-to-three grams of fish oil each day can help reduce the intensity of joint symptoms like morning stiffness, tenderness, swelling, and discomfort. The omega-3 fatty acids present in this amount can also increase blood flow throughout the body during exercise, which can help reduce joint pain and swelling. Fact 2: The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil can help decrease inflammation. Fish oil contains the omega-3 fatty acids Eicosapentatonic acid (EPA) and decoxahexaeonic acid (DHA). These particular acids benefit the body by promoting the reduction of inflammation in joints. EPA and DHA also limit the production of certain negative proteins that inhibit certain types of arthritis. Fact 3: The fats found in fish oil are important in maintaining healthy cells. The fats present in fish oil are healthy fats including natural chemicals. These fats play a role in keeping your joints healthy by restoring and supplementing joint tissues. Natural chemicals provide the joints with proper lubrication. This reduces the rubbing together of joints and helps minimizes pain and strains. Fact 4: Fish oil can be consumed in pill form or through cold water fish. Feeling ready to add fish to your diet? Consider adding it to your diet in pill form, or even prepare some fish dishes. Head to your local grocery or drug store and pick up fish oil supplements derived from real fish. Supplements should contain both DHA and EPA as opposed to pesticides, PCBs, or traces of mercury. Be sure the amount of fish oil per capsule is less than three grams. To get your fill by adding more fish to your diet, choose cold water fish dishes. Explore salt-water fish and wild-caught fish. Some popular and tasty types of cold-water fish include: Salmon Sardines Anchovies Smelt Shad Be sure to talk to your medical care providers to learn about safe additions to your diet. Certain groups of people, such as pregnant women, should limit their consumption of certain types of fish. Specifically, pregnant women should avoid consuming swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish, while limiting their consumption of albacore tuna to no more than eight ounces per month. If you have joint pain that will not subside with natural remedies or over-the-counter medications, it may be a sign of a more serious condition. Visit the orthopaedic specialists at UPMC online or call 1-877-471-0935 to schedule an appointment.