Most fibromyalgia patients don’t find themselves cash-rich and time-poor. Instead, we spend a lot of time resting (and by ‘resting’ I mean sitting and being frustrated) and we don’t have a lot of money to throw around on one health gimmick or another.
Today I thought we could help each other by recommending some of the products that have a really positive impact on our pain levels. I’ll get you started with my favorites, but if I’m missing any good ones then please do share your recommendations in the comment section.
1. A Hot Water Bottle
Heat is one thing the entire fibro community agree soothes pain, so I have two hot water bottles at home and one in my desk drawer.
Cold weather makes us tense, which often means our pain worsens, so it’s worth keeping hot water bottles close by if only to keep your body temperature warm when the temperature starts to drop. Heat packs can be used as well or instead of hot water bottles. Hot water bottles last for longer but heat packs are more flexible so if I were you, I’d stock up both.
2. A Pill Pot
Okay, so this doesn’t directly help your pain, but it helps you remain organized and therefore decreases your stress levels, which in turn can reduce pain.
Before I bought a little tin for my medication, I would regularly chuck packets of painkillers into my bag. Over time the plastic would break, pills would end up in the bottom of my bag covered in dust and marked with pens, and they would eventually get thrown away. What a waste of perfectly good medication. A pill pot keeps you on top of your medication; you know how much you’ve got left and exactly where to look for it.
3. Heated Throws and Blankets
I’m going to limit myself to three heat-related products, but this is an important one. I always used to sit with throws or blankets over my legs when I was watching TV, and one day I discovered you could buy blankets that heat up. These blankets are amazing and totally worth the slightly expensive price.
4. Arthritis Gloves
There aren’t many products aimed at fibromyalgia sufferers, so it’s worth looking at products provided for similar conditions, such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
I came across gloves for people with arthritis a couple of years ago and I haven’t looked back. The gloves are thin and unobtrusive, but are tight enough to stimulate circulation. I love them.
5. A Backpack
If you’re someone who sufferers from fibromyalgia, you’re probably in frequent back pain. And if you’re a woman with fibromyalgia, you’re probably in frequent back pain and still using the handbag you love.
It took me five years of having fibromyalgia to eventually give in and stop using my beloved shoulder bag. I now own (and use) a backpack, which I don’t use nearly as regularly, but it spreads the weight and makes things that little bit easier on my back. I begrudge saying it, but I recommend it.
6. Thermal Underwear
This is my final heat-related example, but I gave in and bought thermal underwear this year. That’s right, a woman of 30 is raving about thermals!
A couple of my friends suffer from the cold weather and were surprised to hear I didn’t have thermal underwear to ease my pain in the colder months. It took me ages to buy them, but I now don’t want to buy anything else.
7. Calming Products
By ‘calming products’, I basically mean anything that encourages you to slow down, rest and stay calm. For some it might be a good book, others it might be a relaxation CD, for others it’s bubble baths and scented candles.
Whatever it is, I recommend splurging on your calming products every now and again and making sure you take a day to relax at least once each week.
8. Gels, Balms and Oils
Everyone has a different response to using gels, balms and oils to help their pain, so I suggest trying a few to see what works for you. My friend suffers from migraine and swears by tiger balm, my dad suffers from back pain and swears by camphorated oil (not sold in the U.K.), and I suffer from fibromyalgia and swear by Pernaton gel.
Pernaton is another product recommend for arthritis sufferers; it doesn’t remove my pain and it isn’t long-lasting relief, but for those moments when I am in agony and need instant pain relief, Pernaton does the job for me.
9. Good Shoes
I feel I should apologize for recommending bags and shoes in this list. In fact, I almost removed them — until I realized one of the most important things for fibromyalgia patients is to remain active and not lie in bed all day. Therefore, as trivial as it may initially seem, good shoes and good bags are an important part of your equipment.
It might be different for you, but my feet are one of the sorest parts of my body. I spent many years with fibromyalgia thinking I had to go out less because my feet couldn’t take the pain. Then I got rid of all my cheap shoes and invested in good, strong, comfortable footwear. It makes a world of difference.
10. A Great Mattress
I’ve tried not to list too many expensive things on this list, but a great mattress is essential for any fibromyalgia patient. The average person spends one-third of their life in bed and we fibromyalgia sufferers are not the average person, so it’s even more important that your bed is a place of comfort where you can truly relax.
We often wake stiff and in pain, but a bad mattress will do that to a healthy person so make things easier for yourself where you can.
Good bedding is also worth the spend. A comfy fibromyalgia mattress and beautiful bedding are two of my favorite fibromyalgia fixes! What are yours?