Coping with Knee Pain in Winter

I injured my knee in 2001, since then I've been plagued with flare ups since, I went for physiotherapy where they told .me it seemed like it was the symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis -
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. This means that your immune system – which usually fights infection – attacks the cells that line your joints by mistake, making them swollen, stiff and painful.
Over time, this can damage the joint itself, the cartilage and nearby bone.
- and that I should do stretching exercises such as yoga / pilates as physio to help strengthen my knee. Many years later and when it's cold I'm prone to flare ups. It got exceptionally cold at points this year and my knee started to suffer, leading me to have to find alternatives to help ease the pain, there's only so much sitting wit my leg up that I can do (I can't sit still for long!). I was sent two different types of healing products. I've used these both and here's my run-down.

Living Nature Vitality Body Oil 100ml 
The wonderful thing about oil is that it can be applied directly onto the skin or into a warm bath, giving me the benefits of both worlds. I love to put the recommended 15ml (1tbs) into my bath at night to give what I feel the maximum benefit. The added warmth and massaging into the knee helps to ease the pain. It's also relaxing scent wise, I find the peppermint seeps through quite a lot but also the clary has a slight breakthrough, it eases the knee as well as the mind. If I'm going to use this to massage my knee I will do it at night too but I don't wrap my knee at night I just make sure I'm wearing something warm enough to not reverse what I'm working to fix. This is exclusively available at Botanical Brands, they are the sole UK distributor for Living Nature.
Prunus amygdalus dulcis (almond) oil, Triticum vulgare (wheat) germ oil, Arnica montana extract, Citrus medica limonum (lemon) oil*, Kunzea ambigua oil*, Juniperus communis (juniper) oil*, Mentha piperita (peppermint) oil**, Salvia sclaria (clary sage) oil*, Tocopherol (vitamin E). *From natural essential oils: Citral, Citronellol, Limonene, Linalool.

**Certified organic

Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Muscle Gel 150ml
This is a gel, it gives a soothing and cooling effect on touch. Beginning to massage it into the skin very gently and it keeps this cooling sensation but it's not unbearable. I do apply it over moisturising cream as the gel I find isn't that hydrating but it doesn't dry out the skin it leaves a soft feel to the skin, the essential oils starts to feel warm. I prefer to use this one during the day at most as I will wrap my knee in the support and it begins to warm and aid my knee. The scent of the lavender and rosemary are soft but warming.
aqua (water), lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower distillate, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) distillate, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) oil, melaleuca cajuputi (cajuput) oil, parfum**, pogostemon cablin (patchouli) oil, juniperus communis (juniper) oil, zingiber officinale (ginger) root oil, pinus sylvestris (pine) oil, piper nigrum (black pepper) oil, sodium hydroxide, carbomer, dehydroacetic acid, benzyl alcohol, citral*, coumarin*, geraniol*, linalool*, limonene*.

*natural essential oil contents **natural plant extracts

Boots Pharmaceuticals Knee Support
I had no idea where I lost my last support so I picked this up after hobbling around the shopping centre. Picked up a large to make sure it fit over my swelling and onto my thighs so it's not tight but it gives good support. Of course I got mine in black! It slides on well and aids the support well. It can be noticeable over leggings but the more layers in this weather the better anyway to keep the joints warm. Putting this over the gel or oil keeps the heat in and it might not be the most sought over accessory but hey, gotta do what you gotta do!

Since using these on a regular basis I'm noticing that my swelling during the cold days aren't as painful. As the flare ups are unpredictable I just put a few drops of the oil into my bath to help as these nights are getting dangerously cold. I'd advise anyone with any joint pains to try these products or get essential oils that help joint flare ups and keep them wrapped and warm, it's important to keep your joints moving to relieve stiffness but it's also important to rest them. Spend at least up to 10 - 15 minutes just massaging the joints, it'll help the muscles around the knee to relieve pain.

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