Chiropractors Recommend Omega-3 Fats for Pain Relief

More and more MN chiropractors are using omega-3 fats as part of their pain management strategy.

Of the approximately 2650 licensed chiropractors in MN, most graduate from Northwestern Health Sciences University (NWHSU) where they receive extensive training in clinical nutrition. NWHSU graduates have completed over 210 hours of course work in biochemistry and clinical nutrition, giving them a solid understanding of how to use nutritional supplementation to treat health problems including inflammation and pain.

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Many MN chiropractors also expand their knowledge of clinical nutrition in post graduate courses and receive a variety of post-graduate certifications that attest to their proficiency and knowledge.

Since acute and/or chronic pain is a major issue for which patients see chiropractors, MN chiropractors employ a variety of treatment strategies to help patients relieve pain. These strategies do not utilize pharmaceutical drugs since the prescription of drugs is not within the licensed MN chiropractor’s scope of practice.

Our Tacoma chiropractors provide chiropractic adjustments (also known as spinal manipulation), massage therapy, laser therapy and more. We are committed to providing effective Finlayson Family Chiropractic treatments that will help relieve your pain, improve your mobility and increase blood flow throughout the body.

One nutritional strategy employed by many MN chiropractors is prescription of pharmaceutical grade omega-3 containing fish oil.

Pharmaceutical grade omega-3 is available to doctors of chiropractic through a number of companies which sell exclusively to health practitioners and not to the public directly. One such company is Nutrition Dynamics located in Maple Plain, MN. Another is Orthomolecular Products out of Stevens Point, WI. Only health professionals (chiropractors, nurses, medical doctors, naturopathic doctors) can buy directly from these companies.

Using omega-3 fish oils for relief of inflammation is based on research that shows that the people of Minnesota are severely deficient in omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fats are “essential” to the body, meaning that our body is unable to manufacture them on its own. Replenishing them can be done by consuming fish, but when acute or chronic pain is an issue, this is done more effectively and quickly through nutritional supplementation. That omega-3 fats from fish oil could help relieve pain may seem to be an illogical claim unless you understand the relationship between certain fats, hormones and inflammation.

If you hated chemistry in school, bear with me for just a few small paragraphs.

There are two types of fat that we must have in our diet… that our body cannot produce on its own. These are the Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats. Our ancestors ate much, much more Omega 3 fat than we do today. We used to eat about equal amounts of the two types of fat. Americans now we eat ten to twenty times more Omega 6 fats than we do Omega 3 fats. The reason that this is important is that our body’s chemical balance shifts in a very critical way when we eat so much Omega-6 fat.

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One hormone you should know the name of — prostaglandin

One of the things that the body uses the Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats for is to make hormones. These hormones are called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are involved in many key chemical balances throughout the entire body. For many years it was not understood how aspirin worked. Then someone was given the Noble Prize for figuring out that aspirin inhibited the production of some of the prostaglandins.

Prostaglandins are important because they are strong chemical messengers in our bodies. The ones that come from the Omega 6 line start and maintain inflammation. They are like matches that set fires. Inflammation is the a fire. Prostaglandins produced from Omega 3 fats do roughly the opposite to what the Omega-6 fats do. They put out fires. They resolve inflammation.

Omega-3 fats help your body put out fires (inflammation)

When you eat more Omega 3 fats, your body will manufacture more of the prostaglandins that fight inflammation. This translates to pain relief. This is true for pain of all types whether from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. The Omega-3 fats impact all inflammatory processes in the body.

The other side of the coin is eating less Omega 6 fats which are found in most vegetable oils (not olive oil which I recommend highly). Meat and dairy products, contain an Omega-6 called arachidonic acid which fuels the production prostaglandins which promote inflammation in the body.

It is common for people on the Atkins diet (which promotes eating more meat and dairy products) to report more pain. On the other hand, a vegetarian diet has been shown to be helpful for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

Finlayson Family Chiropractic
6201 Pacific Ave ste a, Tacoma, WA 98408
(253) 302-3750

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