Choosing clothes to wear when you suffer from fibromyalgia can be a real dilemma, especially if you need to dress up for a special occasion. Clothing tags, elastic waists, and zippers are torture for the tactile-sensitive. Here are some great clothing options that will help you fashion a more pain-free wardrobe.
A word about allodynia
There are several types of fibromyalgia pain, and one of them is allodynia, a hypersensitivity to sensations that don’t cause discomfort in others. For fibromyalgia patients, it means that certain temperatures or tactile stimuli cause abnormal, adverse reactions, such as shooting pain, itchy rash, or swelling.
The exact cause of allodynia in fibromyalgia is unknown, but scientists have linked it to the peripheral nervous system, theorizing that dysfunctional over-sensitized nerve cells are triggered easily into producing the pain response.
Back to the clothes
Even if you don’t plan on stepping outdoors, it’s important to choose clothes that make you feel good, inside and out and don’t trigger fibromyalgia pain; this means finding soft, comfortable cotton clothing that fits loosely, doesn’t scratch the skin, and doesn’t have any irritating seams or tags.
Looking “put together” does not mean that you have to commit yourself to wearing tight undergarments, rough, scratchy socks, or stiff fabrics!
Choose large, loose shirts, unless you’re shopping for a sweater. Thick bulky knits are more liable to irritate the skin and trigger pain zones, despite the extra room.
Have a few boxy button-up shirts on hand for flare-up days.
Always layer clothes, especially during extreme temperatures, to avoid a painful heat rash; you can always add an extra layer if you need to.
Hands-down, most fibromyalgia patients prefer low-rise pants over the kind that pinches the waist painfully. Look for draw-string closure instead of an elastic band. And always give them a good test drive in the store before taking them home. Sit, bend, and twist in the dressing room, and see make sure you have enough room in the seat.
For skirts, choose thin, light fold-over waist jersey cotton skirts in a mid-length style. Or, look for a breezy rayon circle skirt.
Ladies, you don’t need to wear whalebone-edged bras that squeeze your ribs in order to get support and feel dressed. Many manufacturers offer comfort bras that are wireless, seamless, and sport wide shoulder straps that still give a good lift.
Feel the fabric for yourself, and ask for assistance in choosing the right size…even if you think you already know. Sometimes, shoulder pain and itchy rashes occur with fibromyalgia because you’re wearing a too-tight or large-sized bra.
For underwear, stick to breathable 100% cotton, especially during the summertime.
Some manufacturers make seamless socks for the tactile sensitive fibromyalgia sufferer. For dressier occasions, avoid pantyhose, and opt instead for knee-high nylon socks.
Sometimes, diabetic socks are also a good option during a fibro flare-up.
Do you have any pain-free clothing items that you love?
Do you have any questions or suggestions? Please leave your comments below.
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