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FIFTEEN TIPS ON HOW TO PREVENT A FIBROMYALGIA FLARE-UP OVER CHRISTMAS…

Managing the pain from Fibromyalgia is hard enough but during the busy festive period, it can cause bad flare-ups for sufferers unless they take care. Many chronic pain sufferers will struggle to get out during and after the festive period. Apart from the buying of presents, there are lots of other activities that come about at this time of year. For instance, the nativity play, the Christmas party, the family get together and the list goes on.

The simple act of sitting down on something that is not suitable for say a person with a back problem could actually create more pain for them.

Here are some tips and products on how to manage during Christmas.

1. Don’t be frightened to ask for help, be it with the shopping, cooking or cleaning. As most sufferers tend to ‘look fine’ most people do not realise the pain they are suffering inside, so if you don’t ask you won’t get help.

2. If work is leaving you exhausted and in pain, then design a flexible plan that works for you and your boss. Ask about working from home part-time, or setting your hours for earlier or later in the day so you can be more productive, during this busy time.

3. At the office, rearrange your workspace for comfort and easy accessibility. A telephone headset, keyboard tray, or other products may help put less stress on your body.

4. Don’t try to always put on a happy face. Your loved ones need to know what makes your symptoms worse.

5. Rest, rest and more rest, every little helps to recharge your batteries. When you feel that overwhelming urge to sleep try and get forty winks.

6. When the invitations start coming in, consider if they will keep you from the rest, exercise, or relaxation you need to feel well. It’s OK to simply say “no.” And stick to it.

7. Support groups can play an important part in the lives of people with a chronic illness. Whether in person or online, they offer a safe place to talk with others who may share your frustrations and concerns.

8. Tomorrow is another day and with Fibromyalgia tomorrow can be a more comfortable day, so try to not think negative when you are having a bad day.

9. Keep all your ‘helpful’ pain relievers on hand, be it a hot water bottle, pillow, cushion or whatever you have that helps your pain.

10. Make sure you enjoy Christmas like everyone else does by being prepared.

11. A great product to have handy for you or to pop on your Christmas gift list is Highlander Folding Outdoor Sit Mat Lightweight Padded Portable Stadium Seat which is constructed from High-Density foam and a hard-wearing durable Polyester. It’s LIGHTWEIGHT, COMPACT AND PORTABLE: Weighing only 380g and measuring 40x40x4cm when folded and will offer comfort and support use after use. This one I found was available on Amazon and is £9.99

12. The Back Booster helps support the lower back, helps relax lower back muscles and is very lightweight and portable, nylon carry bag included. It inflates in a few breaths and deflates to pocket size and is £14.99 available from The Back Booster.

13. A The Sciatica Relief Cushion which performs just like its name and is well worth the investment of £34.00 The Sciatic Pain Relief Cushion is a class 1 medical device designed to alleviate the pressure on the sciatic nerve while sitting allowing the nerve space and time to heal. By placing the cushion on your seat every time you sit you are able to stretch your sciatic nerve whilst reducing the increased pressure the nerve experiences during sitting. This cushion is specifically designed for people who have sciatica pain symptoms that are aggravated or exacerbated while sitting or seated. It is easy to use, safe and specifically designed for sciatica pain relief.

14. This is an Adjustable Tripod Walking Stick and seat as if like me you cannot even stand for long in a queue then this is just perfect. The Height adjustable walking stick seat is designed to provide support and comfort and provides a stable and comfortable seated position when you need a break from standing. This particular one is from Complete Care Shop website. £14.99

Height Adjustable Stick Seat

15. Finally the Memory Foam Contour Travel Cushion from Complete Care Shop which is ergonomically designed, and provides excellent levels of comfort to the user and is ideal when travelling. It is suitable for long train, plane or car journeys and is of a lightweight, compact nature making it tremendously portable. Made from high-quality memory foam, it helps to alleviate pressure and tension and will not lose its shape. This black Memory Foam Contour Travel Cushion is supplied with a removable velour cover and costs £10.00

Memory Foam Contour Travel Cushion
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GINGER AS A FORM OF MUSCLE PAIN RELIEF…

Ginger has been used in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine for intestinal discomfort and flatulence, as well as for inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis and rheumatism.

Ayurveda still forms the basis of much medical practice today in India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, where orthodox Doctors work alongside Ayurvedic physicians.


Some well known herbal agents for pain are skullcap, valerian, tumeric, poppy, willow bark, St. John’s wort, angelica, motherwart, black cohosh, wild yam, lavender, cayenne, kava kava and rose. Essential oils of pine, lavender, peppermint, cinnamon, rose, clove, frankincense, rosemary, ginger, juniper and birch are all well documented analgesic agents.


Essential oils can be used to rub into painful, swollen joints or the herbs can be taken as a tincture or in tablet form and can help quieten the nervous system, and relax muscles, sooth pain and can have an anti inflammatory effect.In China, herbalists use bupleurum, ginseng and licorice to reduce and relieve pain resulting from inflammation and cat’s claw, a herb grown in South America has been found to reduce inflammation and researchers have discovered that it contains anti-arthritic compounds.


Don’t let people deter you from trying some herbal medicines, oils or tinctures. You just have to read all about it before you buy it and buy from a reputable dealer and if you are still not sure then check with your Doctor as some may clash with your regular prescription drugs.

On the NHS website they wrote –

“Ginger kills pain”, reported the Daily Express . It said that a study has found that “muscle pain from sport or gardening can be eased by eating ginger”.

This study compared the effect of capsules of raw or heat-treated ginger to a “dummy” capsule on muscle pain. Students were asked to take the capsules for 11 days, and carry out strenuous arm exercises on the eighth day. They then rated their muscle pain over the next three days. The ginger group rated their pain as slightly less than the placebo group in the 24 hours after the exercise.

Although the study used a good design and both researchers and participants were blinded, the study was relatively small (78 participants). This theory should ideally be tested in further, larger studies. It is also not possible to determine from this study whether ginger would have any effects on other kinds of pain or more intense exercise-related muscle pain.

Where did the story come from?

The study was carried out by researchers from Georgia College and State University and the University of Georgia. It was funded by the McCormick Science Institute (MSI), an independent organisation that supports research into the health effects of culinary herbs and spices. MSI receives funding from McCormick & Company, Inc., a manufacturer of culinary herbs and spices. The study was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Pain.

The study was covered in the Daily Express and Daily Mail , who reported the story relatively accurately. You can read more on what kind of research this was, what the research involved and it’s conclusion on the NHS website.

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COPING DURING THE COVID-19 LOCKDOWN AND TRYING TO DEAL WITH IT WHILE IN PAIN…

This week has been a week where I seem to have struggled with whatever I have done. We all have them and I’m hoping next week will be much better.

I feel guilty in that I think I have brought some of my pain on myself by doing more than I normally would do during the COVID-19 lockdown. But, I’m sure I’m not alone and a few of us have ‘had a go’ at something over the last eight weeks.

Mine was my little shed in the garden which I have sat and looked at for the last twelve months and decided a make over with lots of help from the other half could be manageable.

The end product is just what I wanted but being a bit of a perfectionist at heart has meant more work for me. The edges and finishing touches were done by me which ended up taking longer than painting the shed. It’s not that I was holding anything heavy but it’s the position you get into to achieve what you want. We adapted a stool for me for lower areas and a big cushion for anything lower down but it just took time.

I’ve rested up a few days but it seems to have really stirred up pins and needles and pain down my arm, in fact it’s affected my hand so badly that I’ve dropped a few things. Now I know I’ve not done any permanent harm but I have obviously provoked a reaction. Injuries happen, it’s a part of normal life.

Because I write my blog so regularly I somehow feel expectations are high and I feel almost guilty if I don’t write my regular post. There are moments in the lives of many people when they are not even sure what brought the pain into their life, only that it is agonizingly there.

Pharmi Web wrote that the University of East Anglia researchers are launching a new study to see how Covid-19 and lockdown are affecting people with bone, joint and muscle pain.

Their previous research has revealed the challenges and poor health outcomes caused by social isolation and loneliness for people with conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lower back pain, osteoporosis and fibromyalgia. The study will be of great interest to us all.

The daily sun dose we are having is beautiful and I am sure the last eight weeks would have felt like eight months without it but I am definitely ready to see my family for real as soon as I can.