Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that can cause widespread pain, fatigue and other symptoms. But some people find that weighted blankets offer relief from fibromyalgia symptoms by providing a soothing pressure on the body.
Weighted blankets have become popular in recent years. But little research has been done to show if they’re effective for people with fibromyalgia. In this post, I’ll cover what we do know about the benefits of weighted blankets and whether you should consider buying one for relief from your fibromyalgia symptoms.
What Is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a long-term chronic condition that causes widespread pain, fatigue and other symptoms. Fibromyalgia affects about 5 million people in the U.S., according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS).
Although there’s no cure for fibromyalgia, you can treat your symptoms to help you manage them better. The main treatments involve using a combination of prescription medications and lifestyle changes such as exercise and stress management.
What Is A Weighted Blanket?
Weighted blankets are typically filled with plastic pellets or beads that weigh between 5 and 20 pounds. The weight of the blanket depends on the size of the blanket, and bead fill is lighter than pellet fill. The weight of the blanket should be between 5 and 20 pounds. So that it’s evenly distributed across your body when you lie down.
If you have fibromyalgia, a weighted blanket can help relieve pain by encouraging deep pressure stimulation (DPMS). This type of therapy uses pressure points to stimulate nerves in your body that send pain signals to your brain. As a result, it helps reduce chronic pain caused by inflammation in joints and muscles.
Weighted Blanket Pressure Pain Relief
The pressure of the blanket on the body can have a soothing effect, especially for people who have trouble sleeping. Pressure can help with pain, sleep and relaxation. It can also help with anxiety, depression, stress and many other conditions that affect FMS patients.
The reason for this is that pressure activates your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). This part of your nervous system calms down your body’s fight-or-flight response when it senses danger or stress.
By activating this response through something like weighted blankets, you’ll find yourself feeling more relaxed in no time—and hopefully less fatigued as well!
Have Studies Shown Weighted Blankets To Be Effective For Fibromyalgia?
Studies on the effects of weighted blankets for people with fibromyalgia are limited, but one 2015 study found that a group of young adults who used a weighted blanket for one month reported feeling calmer and more relaxed.
The participants also had improved sleep quality, less anxiety and stress, and fewer symptoms of depression after using the blanket.
However, another study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania found that some people with fibromyalgia were unable to tolerate wearing a heavy weight on their bodies. This may be because they have difficulty moving their arms or legs due to pain and stiffness in these areas.
It’s possible that wearing an eight-pound blanket while sleeping might make it harder to move around in bed when you need to get up during the night—especially if you have trouble bending over due to pain in your hips or spine (which is common among those with fibromyalgia).
Sleep Benefits Of Weighted Blankets
A 2017 case study found that sleep quality improved when patients used a weighted blanket. The participants in the study were people with fibromyalgia, and they reported lower levels of pain at night compared to when they did not use a weighted blanket.
The pressure of a weighted blanket on your body can have a soothing effect. The weight helps reduce pain and relaxes muscles, which could help you get more restful sleep.
Best Weighted Blanket For Fibromyalgia?
- Zzzznest Therapeutic Weighted Blanket
- John Lewis Therapy Weighted Blanket
- Dunelm Calm & Cosy Weighted Blanket
Weighted Blankets Are Not For Those With Respiratory Illnesses
Before you decide to purchase a weighted blanket, it’s best to talk with your doctor about any health conditions or medications that may prevent you from using one.
Weighted blankets can be heavy, which is why they’re not recommended for use by children or people with respiratory problems such as sleep apnea.
Because of their weight, some people who have respiratory problems will have difficulty breathing when lying under a weighted blanket. If you have sleep apnea and are considering using a weighted blanket, speak with your doctor first to make sure this is safe for you.
Always Consult Your Doctor
Weighted blankets are not a cure for fibromyalgia. They may help with sleep and relaxation, but they won’t help with pain. If you’re considering buying a weighted blanket, talk with your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you to use.
Weighted blankets can be expensive, so if you’re thinking about buying one and saving up for it over time, keep in mind that weighted blankets are not safe for everyone. Before purchasing or borrowing one from someone else, check with your doctor first to make sure it’s appropriate for your needs and conditions (for example: if you have an injury or illness).
With all of this in mind, we think it’s safe to say that weighted blankets have a lot of potential for helping fibromyalgia patients. We know that many people are already using them effectively as part of their treatment plan.
However, we do want to stress that if you’re thinking about trying one, you should always talk with your doctor first. They can help make sure a weighted blanket is the right choice for you and rule out any risks or safety concerns before you start using one.