Fish oil supplements containing omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) might help treat neck and back pain, a new study shows. Such supplements might be "a safer alternative" to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for some patients with spine-related pain, write Joseph Maroon, MD, and Jeffrey Bost, PAC. Maroon and Bost work in the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's neurological surgery department. Their study appears in Surgical Neurology. The study doesn't prove that fish oil pills work as well as NSAIDs for back pain, note Maroon and Bost. They call their study a "starting point" for research on omega-3 fatty acids and other nonpharmaceutical treatment alternatives for spine-related pain.