About 1 in 25 people in the UK are affected by Fibromyalgia. Generally, more women than men experience symptoms. Those symptoms vary greatly from person to person and change daily. One of the primary symptoms of this life-long disorder is pain and tenderness throughout the body. Other symptoms can include fatigue, problems sleeping, an inability to get a restorative sleep, headaches, dizziness, and anxiety.
Because symptoms vary greatly and no blood test does not yet exist, it is difficult to diagnose Fibromyalgia. Doctors look for three to six areas of severe pain, or seven or more areas of milder pain throughout the body with no injury or other or other reasons why this pain would have occurred and that the pain has persisted for at least three months.
Living with Fibromyalgia
Although there is no cure for Fibromyalgia, symptoms can be treated and managed. Because symptoms vary for person to person, the same treatments will not work for everyone. In addition to medications, physiotherapy, or occupational therapy can help alleviate symptoms. Many patients also experience relief from alternative therapies such as massage and acupuncture.
The pain and sleep disorders associated with Fibromyalgia make living with it exhausting, stressful, and frustrating for many patients. Low impact exercise such as walking or swimming can help, as can having a set routine and bed time. In addition, assistive devices can help make daily living with Fibromyalgia easier.
Aids for Living with Fibromyalgia
The widespread pain and exhaustion can affect a huge portion of a patient’s daily routine. Using practical aids, tasks can be easier and the patient’s self-esteem and independence are retained.
Muscle stiffness and pain can make getting in and out of the shower or tub quite difficult. In addition, reaching feet or putting arms overhead can pose problems. Assistive devices such as long-handled sponges, foot cleaners, and grab rails make bathing much easier.
Dressing and Comfort Aids
Stiff fingers can make even the simplest dressing tasks more difficult. Tying laces and zipping or buttoning pants can pose a terrific challenge. Also, many Fibromyalgia sufferers find cold increases their pain and warming tools such as heating pads help alleviate their pain. In addition, sitting for long stretches often increases stiffness and pain. Items such as self-binding laces, extra-long shoe horns, warming devices, and support cushions all help mitigate these symptoms.
Pain and fatigue can be big contributors to reduced mobility, which often results in a poorer quality of life and lower self-esteem. To help patients get around, consider walking sticks, crutches, or walkers.
Therapy to relax muscles and relieve stiffness often help patients experience a reduction in symptoms. Certain devices can help with those therapeutic efforts, such as positioning aids, massage oil, resistive bands, and exercise balls.