General Question

gailcalled's avatar

For those with fibromyalgia, what helps other than NSAIDs or the more serious RX meds?

Asked by gailcalled (54621points) April 1st, 2012

Heat, massage, acupuncture, bracing, hard bed, soft bed, shoes, sneakers, posture, meditation, yoga, PT, walking?

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21 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

@john65pennington; See my recent edit. I am looking for modalities other than meds. The side effects of Lyrica look even grimmer than those of too much Advil.

augustlan's avatar

When I could afford it, I got monthly massages (of a stretching and kneading variety), and that helped. The results weren’t long-lasting, though. Maybe a week? As a poor girl’s substitute, my husband or kids will steadily and firmly pull on my arms and legs, to stretch out the soft tissues. I mean a loooong stretch, too, just short of pulling the limb out of its socket! Immense relief, but short lived. In a similar vein, I stretch my whole body often, using steps and doorways as helpful props.

Keeping warm, especially while sleeping, helps.

I bought a 3 inch memory foam mattress topper, and it’s heavenly. It helps somewhat. Cushy shoes (I wear Crocs Hover) helps some, too.

Light exercise is supposed to help a lot, but I have a very hard time pushing myself to do it when I’m in pain. I’m trying to take up yoga, and my doc recommended walking, too.

All that said, I’d be completely lost without my prescription NSAIDs. I take Diclofenac SOD (75MG, twice daily), and if I didn’t, I would not be able to function at all. I’m aware of the risks associated with it, but have opted for quality of life. I’ve been taking it for years and years, and so far so good. Knock on wood.

gailcalled's avatar

Thank you, Auggie. That is helpful. I have been pushing myself to go faster and farther on the treadmill and annoyingly now have more back and leg aches.

I had massages for years and loved them. Maybe I will try a 30-minute one to see how it feels. I can remember hanging on to the head end of the table and having the masseuse pull both my legs. It did feel wonderful. (Do you suppose Milo could learn how?)

Just to be on the safe side, I had some blood taken last week to check for Lyme and the other tick-related diseases. They, of course, must be dealt with with antibiotics so I want to eliminate them. So far, no word. It does seem more and more difficult to deal with the medical world, doesn’t it?

Those shoes don’t look very supportive, compared to the New Balance walking shoes I wear. But appearances may be deceiving.

JLeslie's avatar

Removed by me.

jazmina88's avatar

warm baths in epsom salts.

I cant take nsaids.

gailcalled's avatar

@jazmina88: At this point, I’d need a derrick and a chiropractor to haul me out of a bath tub. I do find a very hot shower comforting, however.

Buttonstc's avatar

Given his amazing intelligence level, I’m sure Milo could learn how (if he wanted to) but then you’d have a new problem. In order for him to get a proper and effective grip on your limbs in order to stretch them, this would necessitate the use of his claws extended fully.

Sustaining those puncture wounds on an ongoing basis brings up a whole new level of problems. Its always something, ain’t it?


augustlan's avatar

@gailcalled The Crocs have an insole and sole made out of this “croslite” (sp?) material, which is similar to memory foam, but a bit firmer. It conforms to your foot, so it actually offers pretty good support. It’s a little odd walking in them at first… kind of feels like walking on marshmallows. There are little massage nubbins on the insole, too.

Jeruba's avatar

@augustlan, I’ve been longing for shoes that make walking on sidewalks feel like walking on a dirt path or grass. I can handle a walk now, if the surface isn’t dead hard, but concrete still really bothers my lingering foot injury. Are those sneaks of yours as cushiony as that? And—will they fit a wide foot?

augustlan's avatar

@Jeruba The insoles really are that cushy (it takes a minute to really kick in, your foot has to warm them up, I think). I think they’d fit a wide-ish foot, they’re cut much wider than Chucks for instance. They also sell them for men (with a handy woman’s size converter), so that might work for you, too. The one thing I don’t like about them is the quality of the canvas upper isn’t great. It’s pretty stiff canvas, and not well finished on the inside, so sometimes a seam will irritate me.

As ugly as traditional Crocs clogs are, they are often used by chefs and nurses, who work on their feet all day. I haven’t been able to bring myself to try the ugly clogs, yet. They also have an Rx line, for people with foot problems.

Jeruba's avatar

Ugh, they’re all plastic?

Thanks for the links, @augustlan, and I’ll look around, but I know I’m not ready for plastic shoes.

gailcalled's avatar

@Jeruba: I use these (in shocking pink) as indoor slippers. Since I am in and out all the time I like shoes that I can slip on and off.

These are the color of a healthy flamingo and make me laugh, plus they are cushioned and skid proof.

When I go out to stay out, I love my Saucony walking shoes. They are well-cushioned and don’t look too clod-hopperish. Here’s a shoe advisor flow chart from Saucony.

I also wear only the new padded socks.

Jeruba's avatar

“New padded socks”? Tell me more. I’ve been searching for years for cushy soft socks that stay up.

gailcalled's avatar

Here are two examples. Do you have an EMS or REI or sporting goods store near you?

cushioned socks

Google cushioned socks

augustlan's avatar

While I was dozing off for an evening nap, it suddenly hit me that I’d forgotten to mention the one thing that helps me most of all… sleep, and plenty of it! I sleep when my body tells me to, and (as often as is practical) for as long as my body tells me to. There is nothing in the world like a very long sleep to recover from overdoing it.

Jeruba's avatar

I’m envious. If I could sleep for more than two hours at a stretch, 2½ tops, ever, a whole lot of things in my life would work better.

augustlan's avatar

@Jeruba Oh, that’s awful. I’d be bedridden, I think, if I got that little sleep. Have you tried some of the newer sleeping pills?

Jeruba's avatar

It’s not that simple, darlin’, or I’d be on it with fixes from a bottle. But thanks for the sympathy. I comfort myself by saying that my mental acuity is dulled only by sleep deprivation and that if it weren’t for that I wouldn’t be forgetting things.

@gailcalled, off on a new sockal quest. Thank you.

gailcalled's avatar

The only way I can fall asleep for the first, second or third time during the night is by listening to a book on CD. I plug myself into ear buds attached to an old-fashioned Sony Walkman and turn the light out.

The sound of the actor or actress’s voice and the story line turn off the thoughts of the day that swirl in my head; if I stay up for several hours in the dark, I console myself by the thought of another chapter completed in War and Peace, Moby Dick or a mystery story with a cat as hero.

I am surprised sometime at realizing that I have slept more than I thought because of all the story that I seemed to have missed. The only down side is using AA batteries as though they are Tootsie Rolls.

bewailknot's avatar

@Jeruba – my doctor has always said there is a strong link between fibro and poor sleep. To me it is sort of a chicken and egg kind of thing – does the fibro pain screw up your sleep, or does the poor sleep cause the pain? A never ending cause and effect.

I have been helped by massage but I don’t have the money for the real thing. massaging the most painful spots for a few seconds reduces the pain a little for a few hours. Doesn’t always help though.

I just experimented with something new and I did notice some improvement – going electronic free. I took a few days off work for this since I am surrounded by equipment there. No TV, computer, Kindle. Actually packed the Kindle and computer away since they usually surround me. Had to leave the cell phone on because it is my clock but I avoided using it. Strange thing is, I felt much better after only a few hours. Maybe we lead too electronic a life?

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