When you live with a chronic illness like Fibromyalgia it doesn’t take much to realize that you need to find ways to deal with your symptoms, and fast! Of course, there are treatments available to help ease the symptoms of a Fibromyalgia flare. Many times though, despite those treatments many of us find ourselves less than comfortable when our chronic illness decides to rear its ugly head.
Over the years I’ve put together a basket of items I always have on hand to help me when I feel a Fibromyalgia flare coming on. Some are more helpful than others but I like to keep everything readily available so I don’t have to go looking for it when I feel awful.
Treating the Symptoms of a Fibromyalgia Flare with Warmth
One thing that makes me absolutely miserable thanks to Fibromyalgia is dealing with cold weather. Whenever the temperature drops my pain levels tend to go through the roof. The small bones in my hands start to ache and the muscles along the outer edge of my neck spike with pain.
When the pain hits I like to have a good supply of items to help keep warm and ease sore muscles as quickly as possible.
As many special needs mamas know weighted blankets can be amazing for children with sensory issues. They help to create a comforting feeling with small beads making it fit just a little more snugly than a traditional blanket. I have found that weighted blankets are also great for dealing with the painful symptoms of a Fibromyalgia flare. It makes sense too if you think about it because our sensory input (peripheral nerves) is often working overtime too.
I have found through trial and error that finding the softest blanket possible is important as well. As mentioned in our article on dealing with itchy winter skin from Fibromyalgia there are some fibers that are best avoided as they can cause skin irritation. It’s also important to get a blanket that will keep you warm, but not too warm since sweating can cause skin irritation as well.
If I had to pinpoint one area of my body that is hit hardest by my Fibromyalgia flares it would be my head, neck, and shoulders. Often it starts with a migraine. Then the migraine decides that it wants to turn my headache into a full body affair as it moves down my neck and shoulders.
One way that I battle these full upper body migraines is to use a heating pad on my neck and shoulders. This can be a great way to ease sore muscles and sometimes even calm a raging headache if I catch it early enough.
Staying Comfortable During a Fibromyalgia Flare
Sometimes no matter what you do it’s just impossible to get comfortable when you are dealing with the symptoms of a fibromyalgia flare. The bed is too soft. The couch is too hard. There’s a 20-pound cat on top of you. Oh, that’s just in my house? Anyway, finding a few ways to get a little more comfortable has been a lifesaver during some of my worst Fibromyalgia flares.
A few years ago, when I first started really dealing with awful Fibromyalgia symptoms I would use a pillow under my arm to help relieve back and arm pain. Then I moved up to a body pillow for extra support. The U Shaped body pillow provides support for arm pain, back pain, and neck pain. It truly helps to completely align the body for better comfort.
When I started dealing with Fibromyalgia I quickly learned that the clothing I wore made a world of difference. I was working as an EMT and wearing utility pants, military style boots, and tight fitted shirts to work every day. Once I found myself unable to leave the house as much as before I made a quick change of my wardrobe and haven’t looked back since.
It is truly amazing the difference that a change in wardrobe can have when it comes to dealing with the symptoms of a Fibromyalgia flare. I almost always go with clothing that has a soft texture and that flows with the body rather than pressing against it as I move throughout the day.
Just about any girl you ask will agree that warm fuzzy socks are pretty awesome. When you have FIbromyalgia they can be a great way of keeping the pain out of all of the little bones, muscles, and tendons in your feet. They can also be a great way to keep the rest of your body warm ( I swear I lose warmth out of my feet constantly)
For those that are a klutz like me, it is a total bonus to have non-slip socks. I mean, I still walk into walls and trip over air but at least with non-slip socks I have a fighting chance to make it through my day with only minimal bruising lol.
Tackling Body Aches and Fatigue from a Fibromyalgia Flare
Many times outside factors such as stress can trigger or worsen a Fibromyalgia flare. When we try to push through our illness and find ourselves stressed out or overly tired we end up paying the price. A little self-care can go a long way when it comes to dealing with the symptoms of a flare.
A good eye mask can go a long way when it comes to dealing with the symptoms of a Fibromyalgia flare. Whether it’s puffiness and inflammation or pain behind the eyes as a migraine takes hold the versatility of a hot/cold mask can be a lifesaver. They are also a great way to block out sensory input when a light-sensitive migraine hits.
Aroma is a hit or miss for me when it comes to living with Fibromyalgia. I am far too sensitive for perfumes or traditional air fresheners. When it comes to essential oils though there are a few that seem to be helpful for me. I find peppermint oil quite helpful for my headaches. I also enjoy lemon oils and find the scent comforting.
Some days the whole body hurts. Others are a little easier and you can pinpoint a single area that is feeling pain. On those days I like to use a CBD cream to help ease away sore muscles and joint pain. I have tried a few different brands and found that some are better than others. For the most part, though, any of the organic topical creams have been quite helpful. The addition of Tumeric is great for fighting pain from inflammation.
I spend around 3 days a week with a headache. I’ve become quite the reader since the noise of television, radio, and other things can be a bit much more me most days. Although I’ve been reading a lot of ghost stories I’ve always been a fan of horror collections. You can go wrong getting lost in the worlds of classic authors such as Lovecraft or Poe.
On days that my headache isn’t out of control, I still enjoy quite a bit of gaming. I will always be a fan of the Xbox but lately, I’ve been a huge fan of the Nintendo Switch. There are two reasons for this. For one, the Switch is a handheld device so it is easy to use in any position but the screen is large enough to not bother your eyes. Secondly, with the Nintendo Online service, you get to play tons of games that 80’s kids like me grew up with. You don’t really need to plan or focus as much as you do with survival games and you can just have fun lining up pills in Dr. Mario or smashing pots in Zelda.
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