By: Paige Wyant
When you struggle daily with the pain, fatigue and brain fog of fibromyalgia, it can quickly become frustrating and exhausting – especially since there’s no cure or one-size-fits-all treatment. Finding a product or technique to help ease your symptoms is often an ongoing process of trial and error that usually involves a combination of treatments rather than one single “fix.”
Although there is likely no single item that will totally alleviate your fibro symptoms, many of those in the chronic illness community have found some products (or a combination of products) that help them push through even their toughest flare days.
To help you find some relief from your symptoms, we asked our Mighty community to share products they swear by that help manage their fibromyalgia. Here are their recommendations.
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1. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt has a number of health benefits, including soothing muscle pain and reducing swelling. Try adding some to a warm bath and give your body time to soak and relax. Hayley Elizabeth told The Mighty, “Epsom salt baths – 2.2 pounds (1 kilo) for $6 at the hardware store – are my lifeline.”
2. Salonpas Pain Relieving Patches
Salonpas patches are applied on your body directly where you’re hurting and have a topical analgesic that can help relieve muscle aches and pains. They offer several types of patches (i.e. some contain lidocaine, while others provide heat) depending on the type and level of your pain.
Danielle Bennett said the patches help with pain spots. Blythe Varney added, “Expensive, but so good at easing sharper pains.”
3. Magnesium Lotion
Magnesium is a nutrient that has many health benefits for the average person, but for those with fibromyalgia, its anti-inflammatory properties can be especially helpful. Some use magnesium lotion and let it absorb through their skin. Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.
Nancy Nishihira told us she uses magnesium lotion for muscle aches, and Shannon Franklin added that magnesium helps her tremendously with muscle and nerve pain.
4. Yeti Hand Warmers
Not only do these gloves look awesome, but they plug in via a USB cord to warm your hands. If you have Raynaud’s phenomenon or get cold often, these fun hand warmers may help. (They also come in slippers, too!)
Carrie Meyer said she likes using her Yeti Hands in combination with magnesium lotion, essential oils and heating pads.
5. Heated Blanket
Not only can a heated throw blanket help keep you warm, but the heat may also be beneficial in soothing some of your aches and pains.
Samantha Louise Quy told us her heated throw is a lifesaver.
6. Deep Heat Gel
The Deep Heat rub delivers both heat and pain relief when applied. Available in the UK, this helps soothe muscle aches and ease stiffness.
“Deep Heat gel! It burns like hell but it works wonders after the initial burning sensation dies down. It’s mainly my legs that get flare-ups, so I’m forever rubbing Deep Heat on my legs!” Alice Elizabeth Scott wrote.
7. Chillow Pillow
The Chillow Pillow is a cooling gel pad you can use to ease hot flashes or aches and pains due to fibro. You can place it under your back, wrap it around an arm or leg or even put it under your pillow to keep you cool while you sleep.
Donna Lear Lambro said, “I put my Chillow Pillow used for hot flashes under my back. The fold numbs the pain so I can fall asleep.”
8. Pain Gone Pain Relief Pen
If you need pain relief on the go, this portable pen may be useful.
“Paingone – it’s a pen-shaped device that delivers little shocks like a TENS machine. It really helps to soothe my muscles when I’m out and about,” Laura C. Wild told us.
9. Two Old Goats Essential Oil Lotion
Made with goat’s milk, almond oil and six essential oils (lavendar, chamomile, rosemary, peppermint, eucalyptus and birch bark), this lotion promises to help soothe sore muscles.
Brenda York wrote, “It helps a lot when I have sudden spikes of pain in my muscles.” Alicia Taylor said she uses it for muscle aches.
10. Lush 93,000 Miles Shower Jelly
Made with eucalyptus and mint, this shower jelly promises to cool and soothe cramping muscles and ease aches and pains.
Delwen Bothma recommended this shower jelly for those whose muscles ache constantly due to fibromyalgia.
11. Tennis Balls
If your muscles are aching and in need of some massaging, a tennis ball may be a helpful tool. You could roll it back and forth where you’re tense or use it to put pressure on trigger points.
Tanya Fierro said she uses tennis balls for trigger points in her neck, shoulders and back.
12. CBD Lotions and Oils
CBD topicals, such as lotions or oils, are infused with cannabis that, when absorbed through the skin, can help with pain, soreness and inflammation.
Aviva Schreiber Kesselman told us, “CBD clinic level 5 pain relief cream. It’s the best topical solution I’ve found. Definitely does its job!”
“CBD oil is changing my life. I have only been on it for a while but I’m almost able to do regular people things!” said Ek Palmer.
Deanna Brooks added that medical marijuana-infused lotion is “magic” for her pain.
If you struggle with fibromyalgia, finding shoes that are tolerable on your feet may be a challenge. However, many of those with fibro have found Skechers to be a viable option.
Cinthia Kerr told us, “Nothing helps with my pain, but Skechers Life Savers help ease my feet on long days. Best I found so far.”
Ruth Hughes added that her Skechers trainers are her only comfortable pair of footwear.
14. Kool Pak Cool Bandage
This bandage cools down when wrapped around your body, providing both cold and compression for inflammation, swelling and muscle strains – no refrigeration required. A downside is they are one-use only.
Stephanie Stevenson-Ward wrote, “The Kool Pak instant ice packs are my favorite. No need to freeze, just activate and they are ready.”
15. Thera Cane Massager
Although this device may look a bit odd, it is actually the perfect shape for massaging parts of your back you cannot reach. The multiple treatment balls allow you to work on multiple areas at one time. For those with fibro, this can be helpful in easing sore and tight muscles.
Chauntayna MacRae wrote, “The Thera Cane is amazing! I use it from head to toe on sore spots and tight muscles. It’s also inexpensive.”
16. Vicks VapoRub
Although Vicks VapoRub may often be thought of as a cough suppressant, it can also be used to relieve aches and pains in your muscles and joints.
“My grandmother used it as a salve for everything from headaches to colds to her arthritis. It helps alleviate so many various aches and pains, plus the smell wakes me up and calms me down,” Amanda Morgan told us.
17. Essential Oils
Essential oils can do a lot more than make your home smell nice. Different types are known to have different healing properties, both physical and emotional.
Leslie P. McMillan recommended, “Frankincense essential oil. It helps with emotional issues and painful muscles.”
The Fibro Natural Club told us that essential oils such as lavender, cedarwood, patchouli and clary sage help them sleep, and Carrie Meyer added that blends of peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender and lemon are good for relaxing.
Biofreeze is a topical analgesic containing menthol, which is both cooling and pain relieving for sore muscles and joints.
“Biofreeze for muscle cramps or joint pain! I use both gel and roll on depending on if it’s my back or hands that really hurt,” wrote Natalie Heavren.
19. Tiger Balm
Tiger Balm contains a blend of herbal ingredients that can help reduce joint and muscle pain. They offer ointments, rubs and pain relief patches.
Sarah Oldfield recommended, “Tiger Balm – it’s cheap, smells soothing, works for muscle pain and headaches. Make sure you buy the original.”
Sometimes, when the pain or fatigue is just too much, distractions are the best way to cope. Whether that means watching your favorite TV series, inviting your friend over for movie night or reading (or listening to!) a good book, immersing yourself in a different world can draw your mind away from your battle with fibro – even if just for a little while.
Erika Davies-Budgen wrote, “[With my Kindle] I can read, either on the screen or by Audible, even on days when I’m too weak to hold a book.”