Daily Living

Living Aids

Living Aids

Making even small changes in your day-to-day living, working, and functioning can create positive improvements. Look for tools that take the strain off your body and put you more at ease. Adapt slowly while keeping your mind open to new possibilities, and you might be surprised to learn what works for you. A sampling of suggestions from fellow patients are listed below.

Relax and Sleep

Do you wake up feeling like you got run over by a Mack truck? Good sleep tonight is key to feeling more refreshed tomorrow. Fibromyalgia patients tell us that you don’t have to spend a fortune on a new mattress to snuggle in and get 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 part of your body. 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. You may also want to try:

  • 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 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 with some relief. Or talk with your doctor about prescription medications that are applied topically. Some examples are:

  • 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 some corn starch on your skin during 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.

  • 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, snuggly clothing

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