Imagine hurting all over, in your shoulders, neck, arms, legs, feeling like someone took a bag of oranges or a baseball bat and beat you up! You may have experienced those symptoms during a bout with the flu, but for someone with Fibromyalgia, the pain doesn't go away in a week. Unfortunately, around 2% of the population or 5.8 million Americans, suffer from Fibromyalgia, with higher occurrences in women than men.
Ouch! What is Fibromyalgia? It's a chronic condition where muscles, tendons, ligaments, and soft tissues hurt, accompanied by joint stiffness, fatigue and tender points that are sensitive to the slightest pressure. Its more common in women, 20-50 years old. Symptoms include chronic fatigue, widespread pain, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, numbness and tingling, bowel and bladder issues like IBS, and more.
What causes this chronic condition? That's the million dollar question that patients and doctors are working to answer!
Possible causes or triggers of fibromyalgia include:
- Physical or emotional trauma
- Abnormal pain response - areas in the brain that are responsible for pain may react differently in fibromyalgia patients
- Sleep disorders like sleep apnea, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, etc.
- Infection like a virus, Lyme disease, etc., although no virus has been linked
How can a memory foam mattress reduce Fibromyalgia symptoms? In the 70s, NASA developed Memory Foam to cushion and protect astronauts from the harmful G-Forces experienced during take-off and re-entry.See, even NASA knows memory foam provides out of this world comfort! Later, the medical industry began using Memory Foam in hospital's mattresses for the soothing effects it provides bed-ridden patients, especially those with injuries limiting mobility. No one wants to be confined to a bed, but especially an uncomfortable bed!
Memory Foam is temperature sensitive, as your body temperature rises the mattress becomes softer. So as you sleep, the Memory Foam contours to the body and distributes your weight evenly to relieve pressure points. You may have heard people with memory foam mattresses rave about "melting" into their bed, they're referring to the mattress adapting to their individual bodies based on temperature, height, and weight. Its almost like having a custom made bed!
Traditional coil spring mattresses can be a Fibromyalgia patient's worst enemy! Instead of providing a cradle for your body, like a memory foam mattress, inner spring mattresses apply pressure to your body. You know how they feel like they're poking or sticking you? Adding pressure to already sensitive pressure points, can lead to increased inflammation and pain, which leads to more discomfort and trouble sleeping. Remember the classic fairytale of "The Princess and the Pea"?
There's no way to prevent or cure Fibromyalgia, but sleeping on a Memory Foam mattress can help relieve its symptoms of pain and fatigue. When considering a Memory Foam mattress, you should look for a mattress with a 4lb. or higher density rating. Not all memory foam mattresses are created equal, and quality is essential in finding an optimum balance between support and comfort.
If you are a Fibromyalgia patient, what type of mattress has helped improve your symptoms?