My 7 Favorite Products for Managing Fibromyalgia Flare-Ups
There are a zillion fibromyalgia “cure” products out there ― with varying degrees of efficacy ― but the products I personally rely on to make life with fibromyalgia more manageable aren’t nec-essarily “fibromyalgia products” at all.
Here are seven products I use on a regular basis to either prevent or manage my flare-ups.
An awesome back massager to ease spasms: My husband got me one of these for Christmas, and it has been my hero on many occasions. When I’ve overdone it at the playground with my kids, and my back suddenly starts to spasm, 20 minutes with my back massager helps to relax those muscles so I’m good as new after a night’s rest.
Vibram shoes or something like them: If you have regular pain in the muscles and joints of your feet, and you’ve never tried walking in shoes that allow you to walk on your nat-ural arch, you should. I can walk for an hour every day without trouble thanks to the way these shoes let my muscles work in their natural form, rather than forced within the artificially shaped sole of a traditional sneaker.
Melatonin: In life with fibro, there’s mild insomnia and major insomnia. Having melato-nin on hand can be a crucial way to prevent mild from becoming major. Too many nights in a row of mild insomnia only makes major flare-ups more likely, so having melatonin (or other over-the-counter sleep-aids) is critical. And it’s not “habit-forming” like prescription-strength sleep medications, so it’s easy to use it only when you need to.
Ice-packs that wrap around wrists, elbows or ankles: When I’ve overdone it with my wrists because of too much cooking on Thanksgiving or too much horsing around with the kids, my wrists are on fire and one of the only things that eases that burning pain is an ice-pack. Having ice-packs that wrap comfortably around the joint you need it for is a great way to ease your pain and still be mobile!
Compression wraps for various joints: The second thing that actually helps when I’ve overdone it with my joints are compression wraps. The compression helps the muscles relax and provides support for the joints while also limiting their movement. I can still change diapers and type on the computer without making things worse thanks to the sup-port from the wraps.
All-Natural White Noise Sound Machine: So many variables affect how well we sleep as patients with fibro, but one simple thing you can do to increase the chances of a good night’s sleep is create a peaceful environment with a natural, fan-based noise machine. It’s a subtle cover-up for the sounds of traffic, snoring spouses, and giddy morning children.
- A way to do year-round cardio exercise: One of the first things my rheumatologist emphasized as a tremendously important part of managing fibromyalgia was cardio (aerobic) exercise. No one seems to understand why regular cardio helps fibro patients feel better, but I’ve found it’s very effective. The more regular I am about visiting my affordable and portable “walking treadmill,” the better my joints feel, the more energy I have, and the better I sleep.
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