You wake up every morning feeling tired with pain in your joints – it was another night when you slept poorly.
You feel stabbing pain or burning sensation in your muscles, especially in your back and neck. Your body is fatigued and stiff after the whole night.
Working and spending 8 hours in seated position is the last thing that you want to do. Sitting in your office chair increases the stiffness of your body, causes numbness in your legs and hands. You feel like you can’t concentrate on your work and the sharp pain in your body gets worse and worse.
If you’re struggling with fibromyalgia you probably know all of this from your own experience and I don’t have to explain you how hard it is to fight with this disease. But you can fight with its symptoms and do few tricks that will help you to decrease the pain.
For example, if you spend several hours per day working on a computer, it’s very important to choose proper ergonomic desk chair, whether it’s for your home office or business office.
Having uncomfortable chair is as bad as not having the chair at all. Let’s be honest. Evening on the sofa is okay, but if you spend 8 hours+ curling up on your bed or sofa with laptop on your knees it’s definitely not okay for your body. It only intensifies your pain.
So let’s get you the right equipment!
I hope you’ll find here the best office chair for fibromyalgia that will help you to decrease your pain and work more efficiently.
- Relieve Your Sore Body – The Best Office Chairs For Fibromyalgia
- 3 Useful Gadgets For Fibro-Friendly Office
- What is it?
- Who does it affect?
- What’s the treatment?
- BodyBilt for fibromyalgia
- TENS Unit for Pain Relief in Patients with Fibromyalgia
- TENS cuts fibromyalgia pain in large RCT
- A TENS Unit for Fibromyalgia Pain
Relieve Your Sore Body – The Best Office Chairs For Fibromyalgia
There are so many chairs on the market so how would you know it will help you with your pain?
Well, there are few features that a chair for fibromyalgia definitely should have.
First of all, choose a chair with high back. This way your shoulder blades and neck will be supported and you’ll be sitting in proper position. Forget about mid-back chairs and definitely avoid those with short backrest that only supports lower back.
Adjustable armrests are another must-have feature. Of course 4D arms are ideal, but choose at least height-adjustable ones so you could rest your elbows comfortably and relieve the tension on your shoulders and neck. It will also help you with wrist fatigue and numbness in hands.
Don’t forget about proper lumbar support. The backrest on your chair should be S-shaped and have built in support for your lower back. Chair with adjustable lumbar support that allow you to move it up and down and change its thickness is the best one. But probably it will be more expensive.
If your budget is tight you can choose office chair with non-adjustable lumbar support and strap an additional support cushion onto your chair (more on that later).
There are two more features that you should keep in mind when you’re choosing a chair for fibromyalgia: adjustable chair height and adjustable seat depth. The former one is a standard now and all computer chairs have that function.
The later one is more advanced feature. It may seem like a fancy and unnecessary thing, but trust me – it will help you to find the proper and supportive position for your thighs. And you’ll be able to rest your feet flat on the floor with your knees at 90-degree angle.
Without further ado, I present you three best chairs for fibromyalgia that provide exceptional comfort and support.
1. Ergohuman High Back Swivel Chair with Headrest
You’ll love this chair for its multiple adjustments. It really allows you to sit comfortably for many hours and focus on your work.
So what features you can find on Ergohuman office chair?
You can lower or raise the whole chair, as well as change the height of the backrest – depending on your height. Thanks to that you can adjust the lumbar support so it could fit your spine curves.
There is also tilt tension and 3-position tilt lock for those who’d like to take a break and relax a bit. You can lock the chair so it doesn’t tilt at all as well.
Another great feature is the headrest which you can slide up and down, as well change its angle. People who struggle with fibromyalgia often complain about neck stiffness and pain, therefore having a headrest that supports neck is so important.
Seat depth is adjustable too – just slide forward or backward to find the best position for your thighs and knees. Thanks to that you’ll decrease the risk of numbness in legs which is often one of fibromyalgia symptoms.
Armrests are height-adjustable and they pivot left to right therefore your wrists are always supported, whether you’re writing, typing or drawing.
The mesh on the seat and backrest prevents your body from sweating while giving you proper amount of the support without causing any pressure!
Even people after back surgery use this office chair and most of the customers (on Amazon) praise it for help with back ache, neck tension, hip and leg pain.
Keep in mind that Ergohuman office chair is most suitable for average in height and tall users (5’2’’- 6’5’’). It may be uncomfortable for a very short person.
2. CMO Ergonomic Mesh High-Back Ultra Computer Office Chair
This is the cheapest option among high-quality office chairs for fibromyalgia. But as for pocket-friendly chair, it is really well equipped.
Just like the previous chair, this one has high back and headrest too. The later one is height- and angle-adjustable. I only wish the headrest was covered with mesh fabric, instead of PU leather, but it’s a minor drawback.
There is also seat glide function which means you can adjust the seat depth, depending on your thighs length.
Lumbar support also adjusts to your spine shape (you can slide it up and down).
Armrests are only height-adjustable, but it’s still a good feature at this price point. Definitely better than stationary or flip-up armrests. They will help to decrease wrist pain and hand numbness.
For those who like to tilt back and relax this office chair has 4-position tilt lock and tilt tension adjustment.
The mesh backrest provides good air circulation for user’s upper body. The seat fabric padding keep your thighs cool as well.
And there’s one additional feature which turns out to be kinda useful – a hanger on the back of the seat for a jacket or bag. Nice addition.
Keep in mind that this office chair for fibromyalgia is not suitable for tall people. It’s definitely less comfortable for someone above 6 ft tall.
3. Herman Miller Embody
I’m not gonna lie to you, this is very expensive chair. But it’s also one of the best office chairs for fibromyalgia as it provides perfect support for user’s back and helps to maintain proper posture which in turn decreases body stiffness and pain.
Let’s take a look at Embody chair features.
It has a high backrest which will support you from your sacral area up to your shoulder blades. It follows user movement and adjusts to his position. Unfortunately there’s no headrest.
The backrest is very unique and you won’t find anything like it on any other chair. It’s similar to human back. There is central spine and flexible ribs on each side – together it provides perfect amount of support without causing any painful pressure.
Moreover, you can adjust the backrest to be more curved or flat! It’s awesome because we all have different body type, shape and size and need different amount of support. With this chair everyone can find the most comfortable position for his back.
Lots of customers praise Herman Miller Embody for helping them with posture and chronic back pain, therefore it’s a really good office chair for fibromyalgia.
The depth of the seat is adjustable – you can simply extend the seat pan. The armrests adjust by height and width.
Here you can check full comparison: CMO Ergonomic vs Herman Miller Embody
There’s also tilt angle and tension adjustment, but no tilt angle lock.
The seat fabric is breathable so you don’t have to worry about sweating during long hours of working. According to customers it’s a big advantage. Besides, thanks to 4 supporting layers on the seat, your pain in pelvic area, hips and thighs will be decreased.
Another great thing is proper weight distribution – it improves blood flow and reduces the pressure on your muscles and joints. As you can see Embody by Herman Miller may help with the most common symptom of fibromyalgia. It’s also recommended by customers for people after back surgery.
Of course you should not forget about taking breaks from sitting (even if your chair is super comfy) and stretching. Staying in one position for a long time may cause your body stiff. Remember to stand up every 50-60 minutes, take a short walk around the office (or even go outside if you can) and do some light stretching. It will improve the blood circulation and relieve the tension off your body. And make you more focused and efficient!
3 Useful Gadgets For Fibro-Friendly Office
Choosing proper office chair is the most essential thing when you’re arranging fibro-friendly office space.
But there are few more gadgets that can make sitting in front of the computer easier and less painful.
Equipment and gadgets for office are so smart nowadays. Use them!
1. Split keyboard
Have you ever tried split keyboard? Frankly, I haven’t heard about it for a very long time, but when I was arranging my home office I got one and wrist pain just disappeared!
Thanks to ergonomic shape of a split keyboard (for example this model from Fellowes or this Perixx model) your hands, wrists and forearms are rested in natural, relaxed position. If you’re like me and spend several hours per day on typing and struggle with wrist fatigue, split keyboard is a great solution.
2. Vertical mouse
This is another useful gadget that will help you to be at the computer all day without hand pain and numbness.
It might seem fancy or weird but trust me – it’s SOO comfortable. The ergonomic design of upright mouse encourage neutral position for your wrist and arm (like a handshake). Overall it doesn’t strain your arm and wrist as much as the standard mouse.
In my opinion it’s a must-have for people with fibromyalgia who often experience pain and numbness in hands (check this model from Anker or this one from J-Tech Digital).
3. Coccyx Cushion Pillow For Chairs
You may also want to add a special cushion on your seat (for example this one or this model) – especially if you experience coccyx or hip pain.
Great thing about these pillows is that you can use them everywhere – in your office, dining room, car or even a plane! They provide necessary support for lower back and reduce the pressure off the tailbone, pelvic area, lumbar spine, hips, thighs and buttocks.
Coccyx memory foam pillows are recommended for a variety of back related diseases (as well as after surgery) as they help to relieve the pain and numbness.
Those suffering with Fibromyalgia or widespread pain in the muscles and tenderness in areas of the body know how debilitating it can be. Not long ago Fibromyalgia wasn’t considered a physical condition. It was “all in your head”. Now there is actually a National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, it’s May 12th.
Fibromyalgia can impact many functions/regions of the body including pain, sensory, cognitive, mood, muscular, gastrointestinal as well as have other physiologic influences as noted below.1
Pain: back, neck, abdomen, muscles
Sensory: sensitivity to pain, pins and needles, sensitivity to cold
Cognitive: bad concentration, forgetfulness
Mood: mood swings, nervousness, anxiety
Muscular: muscle spasms, delayed onset muscle soreness, muscle tenderness
Gastrointestinal: excessive gas, constipation, nausea
Other Symptoms: coldness or tingling in hands, tingling feet, depression, , headache, painful menstruation, Irritability
You’ve probably seen numerous “big pharma” commercials on TV during the evening news recommending pharmacological medication for the treatment of Fibromyalgia. Some include Pregabakin (Lyrica), Duloxetine (Cymbalta) and Milnacipran (Savells) which are non-specific to Fibromyalgia, can be prescribed for any number of other pain issues and may have nasty side effects.
While exercise has been found to alleviate symptoms, the pain itself can deter a patient from being able to commit to a routine. Many Fibromyalgia patients find any physical exertion difficult in the first place making exercise wishful thinking.
Massage therapy with duration ≥5 weeks had beneficial immediate effects on improving pain, anxiety, and depression in patients with FM.2 Some find the most beneficial results with a softer Swedish style and others with a more aggressive Shiatsu style3
For those looking for more holistic or alternative treatments you can look into, Acupuncture, Biofeedback, Meditation, Herbal Supplements and even Cannabis4
There is no “one size fits all” treatment for Fibromyalgia and some methods may work better for some than others, but we have found that massage is the best place to start. If you find massage effective, a massage chair may be the right choice. You don’t have to travel to a therapist or have the recurring costs of an in-home visit and having to set aside time each week or even each day. When you find your symptoms flaring you can jump in to your chair anytime. For patients with limited mobility, elderly or disabled we recommend the Dreamwave M.DX which will provide many styles of massage including Swedish and shiatsu.
What is it?
Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term rheumatic condition characterised by muscular or musculoskeletal pain, with stiffness and restricted tenderness at specific points on the body.
People with fibromyalgia may also experience some of the following symptoms:
- increased sensitivity to pain
- fatigue (extreme tiredness)
- muscle stiffness
- difficulty sleeping
- problems with mental processes (known as “fibro-fog”) – such as memory and concentration
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – a digestive condition that causes stomach pain and bloating
The exact cause is not known, but it is thought to be related to abnormal levels of certain chemicals in the brain and changes in the way the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord and nerves) processes pain messages carried around the body.
It is suggested that genetic links in some people may be related.
Who does it affect?
Anyone can develop fibromyalgia, although it affects around seven times as many women as men. The condition typically develops between the ages of 30 and 50 but can occur in people of any age, including children and the elderly.
What’s the treatment?
There is currently no cure, but there are treatments to help relieve some of the symptoms and make the condition easier to live with.
Treatment tends to be a combination of:
- medication – such as antidepressants and painkillers
- talking therapies – such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)and counselling
- lifestyle changes – such as exercise programmes and relaxation techniques
BodyBilt for fibromyalgia
BodyBilt chairs have often been recommended for people with fibromyalgia because they can be accurately adjusted through the 10 point posture control, giving support where needed. They also offer totally bespoke options like the ‘ish dish’ or ‘memory foam’ to help relieve pressure and provide more sensitive cushioning.
Get in touch to see how we can help.
Visit the NHS website for more information about symptoms, causes, treating and self-help for fibromyalgia
TENS Unit for Pain Relief in Patients with Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a long-term medical condition that is characterised by chronic widespread pain in the muscles and joints, with sen- sitivity to pressure stimuli. The symptoms may vary from person to person.
The main symptom of fibromyalgia is severe muscle pain but it can also be accompanied by: fatigue, chest pain, headaches, fever, abdominal pain, insomnia, swollen lymph nodes, irritable bowel syndrome and depression.
Does TENS help Fibromyalgia?
The cause of this elusive disease is unknown. The main symptom is severe muscle pain, stiffness and tenderness however, the painful tissues involved are not accompanied by tissue inflammation. Therefore, despite disabling body pain, patients do not develop body damage or deformity. Fibromyalgia also does not cause damage to internal body organs. In addition to the pain, a patient can feel fatigue, headaches, insomnia, swollen lymph nodes, irritable bowel syndrome and depression; often resulting from experiencing so much pain so regularly.
TENS Unit or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Unit provides non-invasive, drug-free pain relief. Pads are placed on the back, near the area of pain. TENS Unit uses soothing pulses that are sent via the pads through the skin and along the nerve fibers. The pulses suppress pain signals to the brain and encourage the body to produce higher levels of its own natural pain killing chemicals – endorphins and encephalins.
In general, the research suggests that TENS Unit treatments do significantly relieve fibromyalgia pain during treatment and for a short time afterward. Researchers have suggested future work aimed at evaluating the effect over time of on-going TENS Unit use.
Some research suggests that TENS Unit may even have a calming effect on the central nervous system (CNS). A central feature of fibromyalgia is believed to be a hyper-sensitized CNS, which is called central sensitization, so anything that will calm it down is likely to be a benefit.
TechCare Massager offers a full range of tens machines, ems units, Tens Units and other pain relief device
Buy your TechCare TENS Unit today to have significantly relieve fibromyalgia pain!
TENS cuts fibromyalgia pain in large RCT
CHICAGO – Treatment with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation led to a significant cut in pain during movement in women with fibromyalgia in a randomized, controlled trial with 301 patients at two U.S. centers.
Dr. Leslie J. Crofford
The findings showed that, among patients assigned to self-administered transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for at least 2 hours daily for 4 weeks, 44% had at least a 30% reduction in their pain with movement while on treatment, compared with 22% of patients reporting this level of improvement in the group that received mock TENS, Leslie J. Crofford, MD, reported at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology. In addition, 29% of women who received active TENS reported at least a 20% drop in fatigue plus at least a 30% cut in pain, compared with their baseline levels, whereas this level of response occurred in just 13% of women who self-administered mock TENS.
The findings showed that “TENS can safely be used in addition to other treatment to improve pain and fatigue in women with fibromyalgia,” said Dr. Crofford, professor of medicine and director of rheumatology and immunology at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. A total of 70% of women in the actively treated group reported they felt better on a global rating of change after 4 weeks of self-treatment, compared with 30% of women in the mock-control arm.
TENS, which uses a U.S.-approved device to deliver a defined series of electrical pulses to, in this case, the cervical and lumbar spine regions during activity, also showed no signs of inducing tolerance in the study and in fact produced results suggesting cumulative benefit with chronic use while causing “minimal” adverse effects, Dr. Crofford said.
“We did this study because we thought that previous studies of TENS had been inadequate,” she explained.
“Until now, most studies of TENS have been null. This was a uniquely positive trial,” commented David T. Felson, MD, professor of medicine at Boston University.
“The size, rigor, patient selection, and the TENS parameters may have been important” for the positive results, Dr. Crofford suggested. The 300-patient study was roughly 10 times larger than prior studies of TENS, and the current study used a “very vigorous placebo,” a TENS device that delivered a mock electrical stimulus. The electrical pulses used during TENS can vary by amplitude, duration, frequency, and pattern, and the settings for each of these parameters used in the trial came from prior clinical and animal studies of TENS.
“Once our study is reviewed and published, we will post our effective TENS parameters on our website. Most TENS units are adjustable” for these parameters, Dr. Crofford said. “Some of the parameters are probably important for avoiding tolerance, so it’s important to use the parameters that we’ve shown are effective.”
TENS “is available, safe, and very well tolerated. It has the potential to change practice immediately. If you look at the effect size and number of responders, TENS treatment is comparable to drug treatment,” Dr. Crofford said in an interview. A quarter of the patients in the study were on opioids at baseline, and the effect in this subgroup was similar to the overall findings. The women in the study were an average age of 46 years and had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia for an average of 7 years. Their average body mass index was 34 kg/m2.
The FAST (Fibromyalgia Activity Study with TENS) trial enrolled women aged 18-70 years who met the 1990 criteria for fibromyalgia (Arthritis Rheum. 1990 Feb;33:160-72) who had not received TENS during at least the prior 5 years and scored at least 4 on pain rating during the prior week. The study randomized 103 women to receive active TENS, 99 to receive mock TENS, and 99 to receive no TENS. Patients in the TENS arms received instructions to use it for at least 2 hours a day when they were active. The study’s primary endpoint was the between-group difference in pain during a 6-min walk during TENS treatment. When measured after 4 weeks of at-home treatment, patients on active TENS had an average pain level of about 4.5 on a scale of 0-10, compared with an average score of about 5.5 among the mock-TENS group, a statistically significant difference. Both groups had essentially identical pain scores of about 6.5 at baseline.
FAST did not receive commercial funding. Dr. Crofford and Dr. Felson had no disclosures.
SOURCE: Crofford LJ et al. ACR Annual Meeting, Abstract LB19.
A TENS Unit for Fibromyalgia Pain
What is TENS?
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a therapy sometimes used to treat localized or regional pain. During TENS therapy, electrodes deliver electrical impulses to nearby nerve pathways which can help control or relieve some types of pain.
TENS is often used to treat osteoarthritis, chronic pain and postoperative pain. A personal TENS unit is a pocket-sized device with a couple of cables that attach to electrodes. You stick the electrodes around where you’ve got pain, and the device sends a little electricity through the area.
TENS may be effective for reducing pain in people who have fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in the muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as fatigue and multiple tender points’ places on the body where slight pressure causes pain. The pain of fibromyalgia isn’t limited to a specific area, so TENS therapy isn’t generally used as a treatment.
But some research has shown that TENS may be effective for reducing pain in people who have fibromyalgia, especially in combination with other treatments, such as exercise. TENS or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation provides non-invasive, drug-free pain relief.
Fibromyalgia Disability Car bumper sticker: Lets put this sticker on your car and spread the fibromyalgia awareness. As many people out there don’t consider our illness as being disable, because they don’t know it.
Pads are placed on the back, near the area of pain. TENS uses soothing pulses that are sent via the pads through the skin and along the nerve fibers. The pulses suppress pain signals to the brain and encourage the body to produce higher levels of its own natural pain killing chemicals – endorphins and encephalins.
TENS is generally considered a very safe treatment.
TENS is also believed to get your brain to release endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers. Pain leads to tension, which leads to more pain, which leads to more tension, etc. Breaking that cycle can give your muscles the relief that can be so hard to come by, and TENS may help break that cycle.
TENS is generally considered a very safe treatment. As long as the strength of the electricity isn’t set too high, it isn’t painful. It won’t interact with medications or other treatments. It won’t make you loopy like pain drugs can, and it rarely causes unwanted side effects.
With a personal unit, you can use it when you need it the most and without having to make an appointment or leave the house. A small percentage of people in the general population can’t tolerate TENS. We don’t know whether that number is higher in fibromites, but with how sensitive we are, it stands to reason. However, it doesn’t take long to determine whether you like the feeling or not. The first few tingles will probably let you know.
Where Can You Get One?
It’s best to consult a doctor before trying any sort of physical therapy. They may be able to give you advice on whether or not TENS therapy would be effective for you. In addition, many physical therapists and pain clinics will have one on location and you’ll be able to try it yourself and make your own decision. If you’re interested in getting one for yourself, there are plenty of places online where you can buy a TENS machine. Many cost less than $100. It’s best to make sure you’re getting a good one, but simply because one is more expensive doesn’t mean that it is better. Carefully read reviews on any unit before buying. They come in a variety of sizes, but almost all are battery powered and portable. The advantage of a smaller unit is that many can be clipped directly onto a belt. That means you can attach the pads to your skin under your clothes and use the machine throughout the day. Because the relief provided by TENS therapy is temporary, being able to turn the machine on regularly is a big advantage when it comes to treating your pain.
Best tens machines for fibromyalgia
Pure Enrichment PurePulse Pro TENS Machine
The Pure Enrichment PurePulse Pro gives a medical-grade pain management and is the most used TENS machine that I have ever stumbled upon. I have never used this TENS machine at an intensity level of over 17-18 and this one is really good for those gentle pulsations at the beginning of every rehab. And if you are not using it at the comfort of a Physical Therapist, it comes with a video series that demonstrates its different ways of treating pain in all of the areas of the body. Disclaimer: I have not seen these videos but I bet they are of quality! Also comes with 2-year warranty.
Tens Units by NURSAL
This small, lightweight, compact, and portable TENS device comes with eight reusable electrodes that are contoured to suit any body part. It features twelve high-frequency stimulation and twenty intensity levels that work for all muscle groups. The device is user-friendly and has an easy-to-read animated LCD screen with a pause button.
Gold TechCare Mini Massager TENS Machine
This one is a really interesting option, but should be bought with caution. It is the size of an ipod and as simple as it gets. It has 2 electrode patches that can be switched out. It also has a rechargeable battery with duration of about 10 hours.
The screen is pretty small and the strength is not as high as some of the other ones (In other words pretty weak, but as a person with sciatica or fibromyalgia, you will not need a stronger one). It comes with a lifetime warranty and a 30 days’ money back guarantee.
Always remember that what works for some of us doesn’t work for all of us. It’s best to approach each treatment with cautious optimism. If a TENS doesn’t seem to be right for you, don’t stick with it just because it worked for someone else.
Fibromyalgia Awareness Store: With so many people across the world affected by the pain, fatigue and brain fog of fibro, it is critical we raise awareness of the condition.Along with speaking, lets spread out fibromyalgia awareness with some others means, let the things speak out it self. Like you can have customized T-Shirts, Mugs, Stickers, Pants, Mobile Covers, Socks, Wall Tapestry.
- Carbonario F, Matsutani LA, Yuan SL, Margues AP. Effectiveness of high-frequency transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation at tender points as adjuvant therapy for patients with fibromyalgia. European journal of physical and rehabilitation medicine. 2013 Apr;49(2):197-204.
- Dailey DL, Rakel BA, Vance CG, et al. Transcutaneous electrical never stimulation reduce pain, fatigue and hyperalgesia while restoring central inhibition in primary fibromyalgia.Pain. 2013 Nov;154(11):2554-62.
- Lofgren M, Norrbrink C. Pain relief in women with fibromyalgia: a cross-over study of uperficial warmth stimulation and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Journal of rehabilitation medicine. 2009 Jun;41(7):557-62.
- Mutlu B, Parker N, BugdayciD, Tekdos D, Kesiktas N. Efficacy of supervised exercise combined with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation in women with fibromyalgia: a prospective controlled study. Rheumatology international. 2013 Mar;33(3):649-55.
- Nijs J, Meeus M, Van Oosterwijck J, et al. Treatment of central sensitization in patients with ‘unexplained’ chronic pain: what options do we have? Expert opinion on pharmacotherapy. 2011 May;12(7):1087-98.