Women with fibromyalgia can worsen their muscle pain by doing even the simplest tasks like putting on socks or cooking a light meal. But these daily activities are unavoidable. So, we have gathered 14 gadgets that will help you ease your muscle pain throughout the day.
With the symptoms of fibromyalgia, like fatigue and constant pain in muscles, the simplest of tasks are painful and difficult. It’s a chronic disease that affects 2% of population especially women. At its worst, it can make your day or weeks really miserable and frightening.
Fortunately, we have found and gathered a set of tools to control pain and lessen the burden on sore muscles. They are specially designed to make ordinary tasks more untroublesome. These tools are recommendations from a physiotherapist Cathy Guenthner, clinical educator at the University of Cincinnati.
Here are 14 gadgets to relieve fibromyalgia pain:
Thera cane is a therapeutic self-massager that helps you put pressure on trigger points and knotted muscle fibers which increase chronic pain. It is a oddly shaped device which looks like a wide cane with short and ball-capped branches.
It allows you to reach the trigger points anywhere on your body. You just have to apply the pressure through the little balls on the trigger points and hold the pressure for 30-90 seconds. You will feel the tension releasing from the trigger points.
A regular handball, which you can buy in a sports shop, offers another easy way to apply pressure on to the painful muscles. It is portable and convenient. You just have to lie down and place the ball under the spot that is hurting. The body weight will itself be applying pressure on the trigger points. Apply pressure for 30-90 seconds and you will feel the tension releasing from trigger points.
It is a pad that is used to relax your muscles with soothing heat. It comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, including long rectangular shaped pads for your back. And wraps for necks and shoulders. Moist wraps for knees, ankles, and elbows, hands, and feet are also available. Electric versions can heat automatically, whereas, non-electric pads have sponge liners that you make wet and then heat in a microwave.
Heat is a good way to relax muscles and the moisture reduces the skin’s natural resistance to absorb heat. Confirmed by Scott Glaser, M.D (International pain physician in Chicago). But, be careful using the heat. He says, if you overuse the heat in a heating pad, you will have permanent staining from increased blood flow in the skin.
Apply pad to a painful spot on low heat for maximum 20 minutes at a time. Before stretching painful muscles, use the heating pad, it will help you relax your muscles. Moist heat can increase blood flow in the area, which helps prepare the tissue for stretching.
It is another form of temperature therapy just like the heating pad. Ice pads also comes in many shapes including rectangles, cervical collars, and shoulders, foot wraps, and leg wraps.
Dr. Glaser says that ice is a great aid in controlling pain in fibromyalgia in a localized area. The signals of cold from you temperature receptors crowds out the pain signals. You just have to apply ice for max 20-30 minutes, not more than that, several times a day.
TENS is Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. It is a device that sends inoffensive electrical current to muscle aches. A mild current that will not harm you. It helps fibromyalgia patients because of the sensations from the current crowd out input from the pain nerves. A physiotherapist will recommend you a home unit and probably teach you how to use it correctly or you can refer the user manual.
These pillows are specially designed for neck-support and in leg wedges. When you are lying on your side, place a pillow between your knees. It keeps the legs separated and allows the spine to be in a more neutral and comfortable position. And, when you are lying on your back, place the pillow under the knees.
Guenthner said that it allows the joints to bend a little. When the joint is fully extended, it applies more pressure on the joints and muscles, which increases pain. The pillows suggested for you are, Knee Lift Pillow, Better Neck Adjustable Memory Foam Cervical Pillow, and Leg Separator Pillow. These specially made pillows will be more comfortable, but, on the other hand, you can use any bed pillow.
The lumbar support pillow supports your lower back when you sit. It is used to keep you in a good spinal alignment when you are sitting. So that, your back isn’t too bent or arched, and your shoulders are over your hips. Because if you slump, you put more burden on your body and muscles. Which, adds to muscle irritation.
It is a gel keyboard pad that supports your wrists. When you have fibromyalgia, your whole body goes through a lot of pain, including your wrist and arms muscles. Moreover, people with fibromyalgia have a higher rate of carpal tunnel syndrome. It is a painful nerve condition that involves tingling and numbness in your hands and wrists. It usually happens because of repeated movements of your hands and wrists.
However, a tool like a gel keyboard pad keeps wrists in a neutral position. It gives rest to the muscles and tendons in the forearms, which extends to the hands.
Lumbar Support Belt is a wide belt that helps stabilizing your spine. It is used to control the pain by improving posture, and protecting your back. It allows knees and hips to do most of the work when lifting something. They are used to reduce back pain, and fatigue in people having fibromyalgia. Dr. Glaser advised that you should wear the belt not longer than half the time you are working. Because if you wear it all the time, you might get your spine muscles weak.
It is a plastic bench, more like a chair, with an arm rest and a back that allows you to sit while taking a shower. The longer you stand, the longer your legs muscles are in use, which increases pain in the legs of fibromyalgia sufferers.
It helps fibromyalgia patients conserve energy and prevent leg muscle aches. If you have back pain and leg pain, you should probably sit, rather than stand.
Toilet seats are usually low, where patients with fibromyalgia find difficulty and pain while sitting on it and getting off of it. It triggers pain in their back and legs. This seat is at least 6inch elevated, which clamps onto your toilet seat. Some models of the seat comes with armrests that you can hold on to. It saves your energy if you have pain in the legs.
Sock puller is a strange looking contraption, which makes it easy to put on socks without bending. You just have to slip a sock over the gadget, put your foot inside and pull on the long straps. It helps you prevent lumber or strain.
This can opener is in egg shape and it is fully automatic, you don’t even have to hold the can. Furthermore, you just have to place the gadget on a can and press the button, the can opens automatically. There’s a magnet on the bottom, which lifts up the can’s lid. Moreover, any electric device like food chopper, jar openers, knives etc. helps conserve your energy.
This oversized and lightweight dustpan and broom is a special gadget that all fibromyalgia sufferers should use. However, it is a long tool, which helps control the pain by allowing you to clean up a spill without bending over.