For many chronic pain patients, the key to successful treatment and pain management seems to be careful monitoring of symptoms and triggers. A practice once confined to taking notes on paper and hastily assembling them before each doctor’s appointment can now be carried conveniently on your phone using pain diary apps. The FibroMapp app was developed specifically for fibromyalgia patients to enable them to easily record a number of different measurements in order to get a handle on what triggers (and helps) their fibromyalgia flare-ups.
FibroMapp app features
The FibroMapp app is one of the most comprehensive pain diary apps available today, offering eight different features to monitor pain and pain symptoms.
These features include:
- Pain tracker: The FibroMapp app tracks not only the type of pain and its severity but also its location on the body.
- Sleep tracker: For many chronic pain patients, a sleep deficit can trigger a painful flare-up. The FibroMapp app tracks both the quantity and quality of sleep.
- Medication tracker: Alarms can be set to remind patients to take their medications and supplements. FibroMapp can set reminders for prescription refills.
- Activity tracker: This feature records the type and amount of activity as well as its benefit or detriment.
- Medical aids: Unique to the FibroMapp app, the medical aids tracker allows patients to note when you need to use splints, braces, a wheelchair, or other medical aids during a flare-up.
- Flare-up button: This simple button lets users quickly report a flare-up with a minimum amount of effort so they can take care of themselves and get back to the tracker later.
- Journal: The journal feature on the FibroMapp app makes it easier to record longer thoughts and feelings to share with a patient’s doctor.
- Reports: One of the most useful features is how FibroMapp collates all of the data into easy-to-read reports for a person’s doctor. These can be saved as a .pdf and emailed, or printed out and taken to appointments.
These are all useful features in one place, but does the FibroMapp app help with chronic pain?
FibroMapp app reviews
The client testimonials and reviews indicate that FibroMapp works well for not only fibromyalgia patients but also those with lupus, MS, and arthritis.
Gypsy Morgan found that the FibroMapp app helped her track not only pain symptoms but also mood changes:
“Best thing for chronic pain and depression. I was having a really hard time finding an app that would track both pain AND depression. This one not only tracks both but also keeps track of the meds you’re taking and allows you to keep a journal.”
The customizable features of the app prompted Kimberly Myer to give it a resounding five-star review:
“This is what I’ve been looking for! I’ve been writing everything down since I was diagnosed in April. When I don’t feel good I tend to not be concerned about writing things down – that’s an important time to be doing so! This app has SO much info that it covers everything and then some. Plus, you can customize it. It’s easy to use and it’s much better than writing things down. This is a must have app for Fibromyalgia patients or anyone with chronic pain!!!”
Pain patients are clearly onboard with the FibroMapp app, but how do doctors feel about it?
Robert Jamison, PhD, professor of anesthesia and psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and pain psychologist with Brigham and Women’s Hospital, believes that pain diary apps such as FibroMapp can help pain management specialists work with more patients while still delivering high-quality care. He notes that even as the number of pain doctors decreases, the number of patients continues to rise:
“Today the ratio is one pain specialist for every 10,000 patients, but mobile technology allows for easy time-effective coverage of patients at a low cost, offering significant opportunities to improve access to health care, contain costs, and improve clinical outcomes.”
Jamison and his team studied patient use of pain tracking apps and found that not only were doctors able to better manage pain symptoms but that patients were also more responsive:
“The pain management smartphone app can deliver non-pharmacological, cognitive behavioral treatment as well as prompt patients to stay active, comply with therapy, and develop pain coping skills.”
Choosing the right app for you
FibroMapp app is just one of many new apps making their way to market. Some of these apps are free, but some charge a nominal fee. Consider the following things when choosing a pain diary app.
Does it have features you need?
If you want to track your food intake as part of your pain management plan, it makes no sense to select an app without this feature.
Is it available on your preferred platform for the device you like to use?
Whether you are an iOS user or prefer to get your apps from Google, make sure whatever app you choose can function on the device you want to use. Not all apps are designed to be fully functional on a tablet, for example, and some are slow and unresponsive on a smartphone.
Will you actually use the app?
Downloading an app that just sits on your phone is not helpful and may end up making you feel guilty. If all you want to do is record symptoms during a flare-up, aim for something simple and user-friendly. It makes no sense to pay for bells and whistles if all you really want is one simple place to record your pain.