So-called, “everyday” pain killers can lead to death, if not a shorter walk in the realm of degenerative disease. Untold millions take common, non steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as if they were taking a vitamin pill. The risks of these are far greater than most suspect. For starters, taking extra doses of NSAIDs such as coxibs, diclofenac, ibuprofen, and naproxen can raise the risk of severe heart failure, along with other deadly forms of cardiovascular disease. Heart failure is not the only possibility, it might be your kidneys or liver that take the hit. These NSAIDS also raise your risk of of serious gastrointestinal problems.
When taken long enough, these drugs lose their effectiveness, sometimes even causing pain. Why take the risk when there are better options available? Are you suffering from painful arthritis or perhaps rheumatoid and osteoarthritis? There are natural ways to help with these too.
Natural Treatments for Arthritis
Knee and joint pain, also known as osteoarthritis, are assumed to be a side effect of aging–this is not entirely true however. This gradual process affecting the knees, hips, and finger joints will continue to worsen if left untreated.
The “official” cause of osteoarthritis is unknown, yet emerging evidence already exists that it results from a metabolic disorder.  This may surprise those who assume it is due to injuries or joints simply “wearing out.” As we age, our chances of impaired energy conversion, regeneration and repair certainly increase. Fortunately, there is something that can be done to improve this process.
If you’ve been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, there’s a good chance that you’re also insulin resistant, especially if the arthritis develops at an early age. 3 out of 4 people with osteoarthritis are found to have insulin resistance, which means if you’re not currently diabetic, then now is a good time to check your status so that it can be prevented. , , , 
Treating Osteoarthritis Naturally
Bovine colostrum is good first choice that many physicians have observed to show strong results in joint repair. Bovine colostrum, also known as “first milk,” is produced by pregnant cows to help fortify their newborn calves. It is rich in growth factors, including the entire insulin growth factor-1 super family, transforming growth factor beta, platelet derived growth factor, and various peptides, amino acids, glycoproteins, and other substances that support the growth of tissue.
In one study, it was reported that 9 out of 10 osteoarthritis sufferers showed clinical improvement within 2 to 6 weeks of starting colostrum. Volunteers experienced a significant reduction in pain and inflammation between 15 and 21 days after starting the treatment, with an average response time of 16 days. All study volunteers were taking pain medication at the beginning of the evaluation, but after three months 5 of the 10 participants had dropped medication in exchange for bovine colostrum only. 
The lone patient who did not experience reduced pain did, however, show improvement in swelling (edema) but the colostrum was not enough for her “severe, deforming knee damage, where surgery was advised.” Those interested should begin with a loading dose of 10 g per day and then reduce to 5 g per day after two weeks. Bovine colostrum is available in capsule and powder form.
How Vitamin D Relates to Osteoarthritis Severity
Low levels of vitamin D influence knee joint cartilage and lead to the development and progression of knee osteoarthritis. In a recent study, 148 patients with osteoarthritis of the knees and 150 controls were evaluated. In the analysis the average blood levels of vitamin D in those with osteoarthritis were significantly lower than the control group. It is important to note that while this association was observed in patients younger than 55-years-old, it was not significant in those above the age of 60, where other factors may come into play.  Another important point is that even the group without osteoarthritis had sub-optimal vitamin D levels.
What Other Natural Options Exist?
Though most people can regenerate damaged cartilage and bone with bovine colostrum and optimized vitamin D levels alone, the following items can help mitigate pain while you wait for the colostrum and vitamin D3 to do their work, or provide supplemental relief if colostrum and vitamin D3 do not fully resolve the problem.
Esterified Fatty Acids
Topical esterified fatty acids can provide quick relief from joint pain. These fatty acids share the same characteristics as essential fatty acids, such as those found in fish oil, and are essential to normal cell structure, nerve cells, cell membranes, and hormone-like substances known as prostaglandins. Ultimately, they decrease inflammation and lubricate cell membranes throughout the body, improving flexibility.
In a study using topical esterified fatty acid cream, 42 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee were evaluated before application of the cream and 30 minutes after. Compared to placebo, those receiving esterified fatty acids showed significantly reduced pain within 30 minutes of applying the cream. All patients applied the cream twice per day for 30-days. 
Oral esterified fatty acids are similarly effective for osteoarthritis, though relief may take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks (or months).
In a double-blind, multi-center, placebo-controlled trial, 64 volunteers were given esterified fatty acids in oral form for 68 days. Compared to placebo, the group given esterified fatty acids experienced less pain and improved flexibility.  Esterified fatty acids, such as Cetyl Myristate, Cetyl Myristoleate, Cetyl Oleate, Cetyl Palmitoleate and Cetyl Laurate are available in pill form or as a cream. The proper dosage is either one capsule three times daily or applying cream as needed for pain. Do not use both oral and topical products simultaneously.
Krill Oil (better than) Fish Oil
If you’re taking fish oil, consider switching to krill oil as it has been shown to reduce pain and stiffness in osteoarthritis sufferers. In a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study, patients with a confirmed diagnosis of osteoarthritis and increased levels of inflammation marker C-reactive protein (CRP) were evaluated for 30 days.
After the initial 7 days of treatment, krill oil reduced CRP by 19.3% compared to an increase by 15.7% observed in the placebo group. After 14 and 30 days of treatment, krill oil further decreased CRP by 29.7% and 30.9% respectively. As for pain, the initial 7 days of treatment using krill oil reduced pain scores by 28.9%, stiffness by 20.3%, and functional impairment by 22.8%.  While the study used a relatively small dosage, just 300 milligrams, it’s likely that 1,000 mg of krill oil daily may prove even more effective.
A natural pain reliever known as DL-Phenylalanine (DLPA) is a combination of the D and L form of the amino acid phenylalanine. DLPA works by inhibiting the enzymes responsible for the breakdown of endorphins and enkephlins, which act as natural pain killers.
Recent research shows that DLPA can delay the progression of osteoarthritis.  Take 750 mg of DL-Phenylalanine as needed 1 to 3 times daily
Celery Seed Extract
In a 12-week pilot study, the effects of 37.5 mg of celery seed extract (standardized at 85% 3-n-butylphthalides) taken twice daily was evaluated on volunteers with a history of suffering from chronic pain for 10 years.
Within 3 weeks, participants experienced a 68% reduction in pain scores and greater relief was reached at 6 weeks with some finding complete relief.  Following that study, a subsequent evaluation was performed, this time using 75 mg of the extract twice per day. The response rate at this higher dosage was superior. 
Curcumin and Trans-Resveratrol
For those currently using a COX-2 inhibitor, such as Celebrex, consider switching to something natural, effective, and free of side-effects. Antioxidant Boost, a primary blend of curcumin and trans-resveratrol has been shown to reduce cartilage degradation and apoptosis in chondrocytes in degenerative joint diseases such as RA and OA in humans as well as in animals. , 
Arthritis & Sensitivity to Nightshade Plants?
Arthritis can emerge from sensitivity to plants in the Nightshade family, which includes potatoes, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, tamarios, pepinos, pimentos, paprika, cayenne, and Tabasco sauce. Tobacco must also be eliminated as it is a member of the nightshade family. Eliminate all nightshade plants for 2 weeks in order to rule out a possible sensitivity.
The Problem with Conventional Osteoarthritis Treatments
As is so often the case, conventional drug treatments come with a number of dangerous side effects. Frequently-prescribed Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), such as Celebrex, can potentially cause gastrointestinal hemorrhaging, kidney injury, cardiovascular disease, and death.
In addition, pain medications such as Ibuprofen affect the synthesis of collagen, and indomethacin appears to be harmful to collagen metabolism in the treatment of osteoarthritis. In addition to its function in skin, collagen is necessary to repair the cartilage in joints. 
. Laboratory Medicine 1975;6: 10-22.
. Klin Lab Diagn. 2008 Jul;(7):18-22.
. Postgrad Med. 2009 Nov;121(6):9-20.
. Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2010 Aug;8(4):295-305.
. Int Orthop. 2011 Nov;35(11):1627-31.
. J Rheumatol. 2004 Apr;31(4):767-74.
. J Rheumatol. 2002 Aug;29(8):1708-12.
. J Am Coll Nutr. 2007 Feb;26(1):39-48.
. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2011 Jul;50(7):1244-9.
. Soundararajan S and Daunter B: Ajvine: Pilot biomedical study for pain relief in rheumatic pain. School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 1991-92
. Venkat S, Soundararajan S, Daunter B and Madhusudhan S. Use of Ayurvedic medicine in the treatment of rheumatic illness. Department of Orthopaedics, Kovai Medical Center and Hospitals, Coimbatore, India, 1995.
. Panminerva Med. 2010 Jun;52(2 Suppl 1):55-62.
. Genes Nutr.2011 May;6(2)171-179.
. Rheumatol Int. 2011 Jun 17.