While most people probably wouldn’t discuss this topic, there is actually a lot to be said about fibromyalgia and the proper clothing to wear to keep pain at bay. Many people with fibromyalgia experience tender joints and muscle pains. Wearing tight clothing, such as compression thigh highs, can actually make your body ache even more and it is important to think about the clothing you wear when you have flair ups. Here are some helpful tips for dressing with fibromyalgia.
Help with the Waistband
One of the areas where clothing is the tightest is the waist. There are a few ways to take the pressure off of your waist and to make you more comfortable in this area. Rather than wearing control top pantyhose, or even pantyhose that go to your waist, invest in thigh-high or knee-high hose. Enjoy bikini briefs rather than more full underwear, so that you don’t have elastic around your waist. Enjoy draw string or elastic waist clothing, and purchase items a size larger than you normally would. This is not to say that you need to look dumpy all the time; but to help you on your most painful days. When you try on clothes, don’t just admire yourself while standing in front of the mirror. Sit down and see how the item feels when you are sitting in it.
Dealing with Bras
Unfortunately, most women feel more comfortable and supported when they are wearing bras. This can pose a very difficult problem on days when you ache and have tender joints. Use a sports bra instead of an underwire bra – just make sure not to buy one that is too tight. A sports bra will hold you in place, but is usually not as restrictive as a regular bra. If you do use a regular bra, buy one without underwire support. You may find this to be more comfortable.
Some people with fibromyalgia are sensitive enough that they complain about the feeling of certain fabrics on their skin. Both the texture and the weight of fabrics can make a big difference in how you feel. Shop for fabrics that will make you feel comfortable; these include cotton, silk, stretchy knits, fleece and flannel.
Pay Attention to Socks and Other Outerwear
Socks are a difficult dilemma. Most people, particularly people with fibromyalgia, want to wear cozy socks that will protect their feet. At the same time, the elastic bands on them can drive you crazy when you have aches and pains. Try to pay attention to where on your leg the socks are hurting. See if you can buy socks that are a different length and that will miss your sensitive spots. Try wearing socks that are thinner, as they put less pressure on your foot and leg. Finally, there are socks made specifically for people with diabetes that are called “sensitive foot” socks. These socks might be just the right thing for someone with fibromyalgia. Shop for these online or at a specialty store for people with diabetes.
Your comfort is incredibly important. Some days, you may find that you simply need to stay home and abandon your clothes entirely. Hopefully, this will not be the case on the majority of days. You should pay attention, however, to how your clothes are influencing your pain and help yourself to wear clothing that will help – and not hurt – you.