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Posts Tagged ‘fibromyalgia pain’

Choosing Pain-Free Clothes with Fibromyalgia

Monday, February 4th, 2013



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.

Choosing Pain-Free Clothes with Fibromyalgia- B12 Patch

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.

Your turn!

Do you have any pain-free clothing items that you love?

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

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Like this? Read more:

Best Clothes for Fibromyalgia Pain- 6 Helpful Dressing Tips

Image(s) courtesy of olovedog/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Fibromyalgia Pain Types

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012



It’s hard to describe fibromyalgia (FMS) pain, as there are so many different ways that it affects your body.  Nerve pain from vitamin B12 deficiency, which occurs often with fibromyalgia, causes numbness and sharp “pins and needles” sensations.  Being able to explain fibromyalgia pain to your doctor is essential for finding the right therapy. Here are some clues to help you identify the type of fibromyalgia symptoms you’re experiencing.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Fibromyalgia Pain Types

Hyperalgesia fibromyalgia pain

Hyperalgesia refers to a hyperactive response to pain (algesia).  With fibromyalgia, pain signals are amplified. What would normally score a “2” on the pain Richter scale for others might peak to a “5” or “6” for a fibromyalgia patient. This occurs as a result of nerve cells that overreact to pain triggers.

In the Search for a Fibromyalgia Doctor, Start Here


RX: Drugs like Lyrica and Cymbalta are often prescribed to treat nerve pain from fibromyalgia.  Vitamin B12 is also helpful for preventing destruction of nerve cells.

Allodynia fibromyalgia pain

Similar to Hyperalgesia, allodynia is also an overreaction to sensors that causes immense nerve pain. Only instead of amplifying common pain triggers, allodynia produces a pain response to mild sensations such as the touch of a wool blanket or a chill breeze.

Tactile allodynia can feel like sunburn. Only instead of being caused by overexposure to the sun’s rays, it can be triggered by gentle pressure, such as a snug blouse.

Mechanical allodynia is similar, but caused by movement over your skin, such as a backrub.

Thermal allodynia is a pain response to moderate hot or cold temperatures.

Other people who may suffer from allodynia are people with peripheral neuropathy, such as occurs in pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency, a comorbid condition with fibromyalgia.

Chronically Pained? Here’s your Essential Chronic Pain Checklist…


RX: Topical lotions like Tiger Balm and capsaicin may provide temporary relief from allodynia pain.  Prescription drugs may include Tramadol, Lidocaine, or morphine, depending on the pain severity.

It’s worth noting that if vitamin B12 deficiency occurs with fibromyalgia, long-term supplementation with vitamin B12 is required for complete treatment of nerve pain.

Paresthesia fibromyalgia pain

Paresthesia is a type of nerve pain that makes your skin “crawl.” That’s the best description that fibromyalgia patients offer to sum up the painful prickling, burning, and numbness experienced with paresthesia.

Besides fibromyalgia, other causes of paresthesia are peripheral neuropathy from vitamin B12 deficiency, multiple sclerosis, and migraines.

15 Chronic Pain Causes and 15 Treatments (Vitamin B12 is one)


RX: Certain antidepressants like SSRIs and SNRIs may help to reduce paresthesia nerve pain.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Fibromyalgia Pain TypesAlso, as vitamin B12 is essential for protecting the nerve cells, many fibromyalgia patients who receive prescription vitamin B12 shots see a significant improvement after a short time.

Please tell us…

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, Facebook, or Google+.

Like this? Read more:

Painful Tingling in Hands and Feet- What’s Up with That?

9 Conditions that Mimic Fibromyalgia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency


What is hyperalgesia? What is allodynia?

Understanding Fibromyalgia Pain

Fibromyalgia Symptoms and Types

Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Best Clothes for Fibromyalgia Pain- 6 Helpful Dressing Tips

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011



What are the best clothes to wear if you have fibromyalgia…especially when Muumuus are not an option?


Dress for success in spite of fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is an “invisible disease” that causes much suffering to its victims; fibro patients experience intense pain at the slightest touch, even in the absence of any discernable skin or muscular injuries.

Many sufferers also experience “fibro fog,” which may be a sign of chronic fatigue syndrome, a comorbidity of fibromyalgia.

7 Reasons You Have Brain Fog…And What to do About It

What are the symptoms of allodynia?

Allodynia is a specific condition in which fibromyalgia patients feel that their “clothes hurt,” an overreaction to sensations that are not painful to non-fibro patients, particularly in relation to clothing.  People in the fibromyalgia circle refer to it as “Princess and the Pea Syndrome.”

Common complaints are:

  • Shooting pains in arms caused by wristwatches, rings, or bracelets
  • Itchiness and skin irritation produced by wearing hot, manmade materials or tight, constricting clothing
  • Painful pressure on ribcage or abdomen
  • Sensitivity to sewn-on clothing labels and tags, or anything rubbing against the skin

100 Best Sites for Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Information

Which clothes are worst for fibromyalgia?

What works for some doesn’t always work for others…

You might be more comfortable in loose, flowing caftan, while other fibromyalgia sufferers prefer skintight stretchy leggings and a sports top.

When it comes to socks, tight diabetic hosiery might give you long-lasting relief from foot pain, but some people can’t stand the feel of tight or padded socks, and walk comfier in thin, no-show athletic socks.


6 helpful tips for dressing without fibromyalgia pain

1- Don’t get strapped down.

Tight bra straps and underwire shaping are the biggest causes for complaint among fibromyalgia sufferers.  Unfortunately, most of us cannot afford to go without.

For office clothing, consider wearing thick vests over comfortable cotton shirts, in lieu of form-fitting tops that require a shaping bra.

Check out JoAnn Fabrics- they sell a bra strap extender for just $1.99.  Some great alternatives to pokey wired bras are cotton sports bras, or Spanx Bra-llelujah! Wireless Front-Closure Bra.

2- Loosen up.

Tight button-down collars, stuffy ties, and tight jeans are not for you.  Around the house, it’s fine to lounge around in super comfy drawstring pants and oversized tank tops, but your boss will probably frown on flannel pajama pants as your new office attire.

Choose clothes that are comfortable, but not sloppy.  Long, breezy cotton dresses are acceptable in or out of the office, as well as rayon wide-legged trousers.


If elastic waistbands are driving you nuts, then consider wearing low-riding bikini underwear instead of high-waist briefs.  For outerwear, opt for low-rise cotton pants paired with a longer-length top for tummy coverage.  Be on the lookout for clothing items that feature covered elastic waists.

Don’t be shy about investigating the maternity clothing stores; Maternity pants and skirts have a low elastic waist that tucks under the tummy, and are really comfortable!  In fact, many moms are reluctant to switch back to their old waist-hugging jeans.  Alternatively, you can get the same results from a pair of wide, drawstring pants.

4- Forgo fashion labels.

Clothing tags and labels are murder on the tactile-sensitive.  Many clothing manufacturers such as Old Navy and Hanes make nonirritating tag-free shirts, pants, and socks.

If ripping the tag out is not an option, hop on over to your neighborhood tailor, and she’ll be glad to carefully remove the tag without causing any damage to the fabric. In a pinch, you can also wear underwear, socks, or pajama tops inside out, and nobody need ever know.

5- Be kind to your feet.

Fibromyalgia pain is similar to diabetic neuropathy.  For that reason, many fibro sufferers find relief by wearing form-fitting diabetic socks. Other key features to look for are seamless toes and non-ribbed socks.  Comfortable shoes should be made of leather or cotton.

Some favorites include handcrafted loafers and sandals from San Antonio Shoes (SAS).

6- Drape yourself in comfortable fabrics.

Omit polyester, or any manmade clothing material, from your fashion wardrobe.  Instead, buy comfortable, breathable apparel made from natural fibers.

Check the clothing label (before ripping it out) for 100% cotton, silk, Tencel, rayon, or modal, in addition to 5% spandex.

WinterSilks is famous for their silky long underwear, but they also manufacture a full range of comfortable clothing for men and women.


    Also read:

    Staying Fit with Fibromyalgia: 13 Pain-Free Workouts

    Why More Fibromyalgia Patients are Taking Tai Chi

    15 Handy Household Tools for Chronic Pain Sufferers


    Poll: What Clothes are Worst for Fibromyalgia Pain?

    Allodynia: Weird Pain Related to Fibromyalgia

    How to Dress for Less Fibromyalgia Pain

    A Checklist for the Symptoms of Allodynia

    Why More Fibromyalgia Patients are Taking Tai Chi

    Thursday, April 28th, 2011

    New research encourages fibromyalgia sufferers to practice tai chi for pain relief

    The origin of fibromyalgia is unknown, but the painful symptoms associated with fibromyalgia are all too real. Millions of Americans suffer from fibromyalgia, a chronic pain disorder which causes sufferers to feel heightened pain responses. Fibromyalgia patients often experience severe joint and muscular pain, depression and insomnia. Pain killers and muscle relaxants offer little relief for chronic pain patients.


    Read: How to Tell if Chronic Pain is Fibromyalgia: 18 Pressure Points

    According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, fibromyalgia patients can find relief in the ancient Chinese practice of tai chi.

    • In this small study conducted by Tufts Medical Center, 33 voluntary fibromyalgia patients were given tai chi classes twice per week, while 33 other chronic pain sufferers were given simple stretching classes, also two times per week.
    • After 12 weeks, the participants who practiced tai chi reported feeling less muscular pain, were well rested, and scored better on physical fitness tests.
    • Out of the control group who took the tai chi classes, 1 out of 3 patients were able to stop taking pain medications. Only 1 out of 6 patients who took the stretching classes were able to wean off their meds.
    • Chronic pain sufferers who have difficulty participating in an aerobics or strength training class have no qualms keeping up with the slow, gentle movements characteristic of tai chi martial arts.
    • Tai chi incorporates focused breathing throughout the course which many fibromyalgia sufferers find relaxing, allowing them moments of tranquility- a luxury they seldom have an opportunity to indulge in.
    • Scientists explain that attaining a state of relaxation “raises the pain thresholds and helps break the pain cycle.”
    • The Mayo Clinic touts the benefits of tai chi for cardiovascular health and stress relief, calling it a “meditation in motion.”


    Also read:

    Chronic Depression, Chronic Pain- It’s All the Same, say Experts


    LA Times, U.S.News & World Report, Web MD, NY Times, New England Journal of Medicine

    How to Tell if Chronic Pain is Fibromyalgia: 18 Pressure Points

    Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

    Has pain become a constant unwanted visitor in your life?

    When your doctor asks you, “Where does it hurt,” are you tempted to say, “Everywhere!”

    What is fibromyalgia?

    Fibromyalgia, often linked with Vitamin B12 deficiency (National Institutes of Health), is a condition which causes sufferers to feel chronic pain in various parts of the body at all times. According to the American College of Rheumatology, symptoms of fibromyalgia include severe pain in at least 11 points of the body which doctors access in order to diagnose fibromyalgia.

    These 9 pairs of pressure points on your body are are used by physicians to determine a fibromyalgia diagnosis:

    • Pain on either side of the back of the neck could indicate fibromyalgia; neck pain might also be caused by sleeping in an awkward position or by rheumatoid arthritis.
    • The front of the neck is another hot spot for fibromyalgia pain; potential sufferers may feel pain above the collarbone and adjacent to the larynx
    • .Tender spots below the bend of your elbows towards the outside of your forearms are typical for fibromyalgia patients; tendonitis or repetitive motions may also cause elbow pain.
    • Fibromyalgia patients often feel pain in the lower hip areas, close to the buttock muscles, while arthritis patients typically experience pain at the joints of the hips.

    • Approximately 25% of all adults experience lower back pain. Individuals diagnosed with fibromyalgia feel their back pain at the lowest point where the spine adjoins with the buttock muscles.
    • Most people experience upper back pain every once in a while as a result of stress or injury; people with fibromyalgia experience extreme discomfort at the points where the shoulder blades connect with the back muscles.
    • Above the upper back area, where the shoulders meet the lower neck, are some more troublesome tender spots for fibromyalgia patients.
    • Fibromyalgia patients who suffer from knee aches tend to feel tenderness in the inner knee pad areas.
    • Soreness in the chest area, on either side of the sternum, is another telltale sign that somebody might  require fibromyalgia treatment.


    Health.com, American College of Rheumatology, National Institutes of Health

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