Daily Living

Living Aids

Living Aids

Making even small changes in your day-to-day living, working, and functioning can make positive improvements. Fibromyalgia Network discusses self-help aids in ongoing articles recommended to us by fibromyalgia patients. Look for aids that take the strain off your body and put you more at ease. Adapt slowly and keep your mind open to new possibilities. You can be surprised at what can work for you. A sampling of suggestions are listed below.

Relax and Sleep

Do you wake up feeling like you got run over by that Mack truck? Good sleep is a key to feeling more refreshed tomorrow. Fibromyalgia patients tell us that you don’t have to spend a fortune on a new mattress to get snuggled and comfortable. A thick foam or feather topper or eggcrate mattress overlay can make a world of difference without costing you an arm or a leg. Just think warm and soft for sleep, or relaxing. Other suggestions include:

  • heated mattress pad
  • body pillow
  • contour memory foam head & neck pillow
  • soft pillows for sleeping or other support
  • fluffy socks for cold feet
  • electric blankets

Hot and Cold Therapy

While most fibromyalgia patients prefer warm therapies, some choose the comfort they receive from cold treatments. Either way, various products can target warmth or coolness to virtually any body part. If you don’t have access to a hot tub, then a warm bath, or hot shower with a sitting stool can be very accommodating. If you don’t have a fancy cold pack, a bag of frozen peas can contour and cool.

  • hot patches
  • heating cream, odor free
  • Epsom salt for bath or feet
  • gel freezer packs
  • Bed Buddy reusable, microwavable wraps, pictured ($20 at Walmart, Target, Amazon.com)
  • hot water inflatable spa ($600-$2,000: Comfort Line, Sun Pleasure, DreamMaker, SportStuff, InstaSPA and Softub)

Soothing Rubs

Sometimes a little gel or soothing cream can target that irritating burn, itch, or pain of sensitive skin. Look around your favorite drug store for scentless topicals. Ask your pharmacist about over-the-counter products that can provide you some relief. Or talk with your doctor about prescription medications that are applied topically.

  • Thera-gesic or Sombra heating cream, gel, or roll on
  • Salonpas over-the-counter pain relief patches
  • analgesic patches or or creams (may contains lidocaine or anti-inflammatory medicines)
  • various cooling gels or creams
  • Preparation H Ointment or Lanacaine anti-itch products
  • generic benzocaine skin products for a numbing effect
  • over the counter hydrocortisone cream can also soothe the itch and other skin irritations
  • Smooth on your skin some corn starch on hot nights

Comforts of Home

Look around your house and see what’s causing you anguish, then think about making your life easier, safer, and more supportive. These comforts don’t have to be expensive, just accommodating to your needs. Examples include:

  • a comfortable stool in the kitchen for sitting
  • massage or heated seat cushions for home or car
  • a recliner for whole body support
  • sole inserts for shoes and slippers
  • lumbar support pillows for driving and sitting
  • toilet seat riser
  • shower seat and extension hose/spray
  • back or neck brace
  • overstuffed furniture (you can never have too much cushiony support)
  • loose snugly clothing

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