If you’re looking for the perfect holiday gift to impress your favorite person with fibromyalgia, then look no further than this gift guide for fibromyalgia patients. This relatively common condition results in widespread pain and fatigue. It can make it difficult to navigate through the day and complete basic life tasks. Any present you buy that improves the person’s life, even for a moment, is sure to be appreciated. It may first help to learn about little bit about the condition. If any of the fibromyalgia gifts mentioned don’t seem like a good fit, you can use the information to select a present that does.
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread pain and accompanied by other symptoms, including:
- Problems sleeping
- Memory disruption
Depression and anxiety may also accompany the symptoms, or perhaps be caused by them.
There is no cure for the disorder, but scientists are beginning to unravel what has historically been a little understood disease. For a long time, people with fibromyalgia went undiagnosed, or medical professionals assumed patients were imagining or misreporting pain because the disease has no diagnostic test. It’s based on the subjective reporting of symptoms, namely widespread pain for at least three months that’s unconnected to a separate medical condition.
The disorder is believed to result from overactive brain receptors linked to pain and other heightened sensitivities in the nervous system, according to Mayo Clinic. Causes may include genetics, including a possible, yet-to-be-discovered genetic mutation increasing a person’s risk. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has also been linked to fibromyalgia.
Medications, changes in behaviors, and stress management can all help alleviate fibromyalgia pain. Many experts do believe that a holistic approach is best to treat the entire patient rather than concentrating solely on the pain they are experiencing.
You can learn more about this condition in the following video.
A gift guide for fibromyalgia patients
Here are some gift ideas for people with fibromyalgia. From fun to incredibly functional and daily useful, no matter what present you decide to bestow upon your friend or loved one, it’s sure to be a hit. These include:
- Gift certificates
- Subscription boxes, like Spoonie Essentials or ChronicALLY boxes
- Movie streaming subscriptions
- Maid service
- Relaxation or meditation CD or app
- Magazines or books
- Home relaxation kit
- Heating pad or ice pack
- Automatic soap dispenser
- Items for getting cozy
- Assistive devices
1. Gift certificate or subscription boxes
Gift certificates make a wonderful option to make life easier for a person with chronic pain. You might splurge and buy a certificate for a spa day at a local resort, or perhaps a massage gift certificate at a more affordable day spa.
Massage helps to reduce muscle tension while promoting healing and relaxation. The myriad benefits often help people with fibromyalgia feel relief from pain and reduce stress levels. Massage is so effective at helping patients manage pain that it is considered a complementary therapy for fibromyalgia, according to the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association (NFMCPA).
If the person with fibromyalgia has been wanting to try other complementary therapies, such as acupuncture or reiki, but can’t afford them, the holiday season marks a great time to give them as a gift.
Other ideas for gift certificates include cards from healthy eateries, taxi services, or the person’s favorite store. Offering a gift card to a healthy restaurant makes a great present for people with fibromyalgia because a bad pain day can make cooking nutritious meals difficult. Despite the difficulty, fueling the body with healthy food is an important part of managing the condition.
Gift cards for taxi services such as Lyft are great for helping the gift recipient travel to doctors’ appointments or other places if pain strikes, making driving a burden.
2. Movie streaming subscription
Giving the gift of entertainment to people with fibromyalgia who frequently need to lie down and relax is sure to be appreciated. Movie streaming options are plentiful, from Netflix to Hulu to Amazon Prime, and each offers different features and benefits.
Netflix offers a DVD by mail option, for example, while the others offer online streaming only.
3. Maid service
Few people really enjoy cleaning, but for people with fibromyalgia, pain can make keeping up with housework next to impossible. It often consumes all their energy to maintain daily life tasks, especially if they work, let alone keep up with housekeeping.
Gifting a cleaning service could take a huge load off the shoulders of your favorite person with fibromyalgia. Related alternatives include hiring someone to go grocery shopping or even cook for the gift recipient. If you’re low on cash, you might even offer to do this yourself.
4. Relaxation or meditation CD
Meditation is increasingly gaining attention for its ability to help people with fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions manage that pain. Although most people are familiar with meditation, many aren’t sure where to start.
A meditation CD or DVD is an inexpensive gift that could help improve the life of its recipient.
5. Magazine subscription or books
Give the gift of information and inspiration. Magazines are something people may enjoy, but perhaps don’t think of subscribing to or don’t have the money. Options range from inspirational magazines like Oprah to those offering tips for simple living like Real Simple. Other popular magazines include People or hobby magazines devoted to the recipient’s interest. Magazines exist for every niche, from quilting to cars.
6. Home relaxation kit
This might apply more to female fibromyalgia patients, but consider gifting an array of bath products to enhance relaxation rituals like baths, which may also help the person alleviate pain.
You could gather a candle, delicious-smelling body scrub and lotion, and bath bubbles or salts into a pretty basket and give the gift of relaxation. Fibromyalgia leads to a lot of physical discomfort. A gift that helps a person pamper themselves could be a welcome one.
7. Heating pad or ice pack
Ice or heat often helps people with fibromyalgia manage their pain. Giving the gift of a high-quality ice pack or a special heating pad—some of them even have electronic massagers built in—could make an excellent gift that offers respite for the recipient.
8. Automatic soap dispenser
Colds can exacerbate fibromyalgia symptoms and cause other health problems. People with fibromyalgia typically undertake extra efforts to stay healthy, including washing their hands frequently. An automatic soap dispenser makes this frequent hand washing easy and reduces the hand motions required for washing.
9. Items for getting cozy
Purchasing pillows in a variety of shapes could help the person you love with fibromyalgia find comfort through the support they offer. With fibromyalgia, muscles throughout the body may cramp or spasm. Having a selection of differently sized pillows to place under the knee or under the neck, for example, promotes comfort and relaxation.
Similarly, warm, cozy blankets help people with fibromyalgia stay warm; the condition often results in feeling very cold, even if the room is a comfortable temperature for others. Weighted blankets are another great option for some.
10. Assistive devices
Some patients with fibromyalgia pain can get the help they need through assistive devices. These devices are products or tools that are designed specifically to assist the patient with day-to-day tasks to provide a path to independence. Many such devices are used by patients with rheumatoid arthritis or other chronic conditions but they can easily be adapted to patients with fibromyalgia pain as many of the day-to-day symptoms are similar. It’s an incredibly practical gift that may help the patient every single day.
Some common assistive devices used for a variety of chronic conditions, including fibromyalgia pain, are:
- Walkers, crutches, or canes: If you experience pain that makes it difficult to walk, an assistive device such as a walker or cane can help. The most common forms that it helps are knee or hip pain. If the pain is in one side, using a crutch on the opposite side of the body can provide added relief while walking.
- Braces or splints: If your pain is centered on a joint such as your knee or wrist, you may find relief from using a brace. They can support the joint and decrease the pressure that is placed on it during normal movements.
- Orthotics: Special inserts for your shoes can help with pain in your feet or legs when walking. There are over-the-counter options you can purchase to use immediately or you can work with a podiatrist to develop a personalized solution.
- Elevated furniture: If getting in and out of furniture is difficult and painful, elevated chair legs can help raise the seat height and make it easier.
- Wheelchairs: An event that requires a lot of walking can sound like something to avoid during a flare-up, but that isn’t necessary. Make use of a wheelchair to avoid missing out on favorite activities, like a trip to the art museum or the zoo.
- Scooters: Many public areas, such as airports or grocery stores, offer scooters for patrons to use if necessary. Rather than avoiding errands, make use of these services.
Even more ideas
Where are some other places where assistive devices can aid a patient with fibromyalgia pain? You can think beyond the norms here and give gifts that help out at work or with favorite hobbies. For example, consider:
- Accessible phone headsets or ergonomic keyboards
- Clothing aids, like zipper pulls and button hooks
- Fibromyalgia-friendly kitchen tools
- Gardening assistive devices
This gift guide for fibromyalgia is by no means exhaustive, since every patient has different likes and wants. It’s a great starting-off point for thinking about the best gifts for a fibromyalgia patient. Have even more recommendations of your own, or are a patient who received an amazing gift before? Hit the comments to share your own suggestions!
For advanced help with fibromyalgia, it’s always important to talk to a pain specialist with experience treating patients with this condition. To find one in your area, click the button below.