Heated Mattress Pads Help Manage Arthritis or Fibromyalgia
A rather typical email we received regarding personal experiences with both arthritis and fibromyalgia:
I'm in my late fifties now. During the last twenty years I've suffered from arthritis of the spine and fibromyalgia. I've taken a variety of medications for these conditions, even anti-depressants. However, the best suggestion I received for my pain came from a ninety year old friend.
She recommended that I should think about using a heated mattress pad to ease my arthritis and fibromyalgia pain. Usually I can ignore my aches in the spring, summer and fall. But during the winter I hurt the most. The cold air lights up my fibromyalgia and makes my arthritis throb. So last winter, I gave it a try and I was surprised and pleased at how much relief I received from doing so.
I did some research on electric mattress pad use for arthritis or fibromyalgia. I discovered that arthritis is caused by tissue inflammation in the spine, arms, and legs as well as other parts of the body. I learned that fibromyalgia can cause pain in the same areas of the body through over sensitive nerves. Apparently warming mattress pad use can give comfort to my body. The heat reduces my pain. It worked for me! In the mornings, when I woke up, I was more rested. I didn't wake up with the same old terrible pain that sometimes made life seemingly worthless.
This winter I'll be using my heated mattress pad again. I'm glad my very dear old friend told me to think about using an electric mattress pad to ease my arthritis and fibromyalgia aches.
Scientific Research Citations
Randy’s experiences above are further supported by hard scientific research. As we state in the Health Benefits section of the Consumer Guide to Electric Bedding, The Arthritis Helpbook which is authored by Kate Loring and James Fries and which is recommended by both the Arthritis Foundation® and the Arthritis Society® states: “Heat is most effective for reducing the pain associated with muscle tension and stiffness, and when there is little or no inflammation. It works by increasing the blood flow to the skin and muscles around the painful area. This, in turn, enhances muscle nutrition and relaxation. When the muscles relax, pain and stiffness decrease…. Warm baths, showers, a hot tub, sauna, or electric mattress pads are good ways to help soothe the whole body; these methods may be particularly beneficial for the person with fibromyalgia.” (cf. page 241, “Pain Management” in the 5th edition.) Additionally you can pre-warm your bed if that would help prevent any muscle spasms. Warm beds are just nice to get into anyway.
The book Arthritis 101, an official publication of the Arthritis Foundation, states: “Use an electric blanket or mattress pad. Turn it up before you get out of bed to combat morning stiffness.” (cf. page 53, “Other Treatments for Arthritis”.)
So doesn’t it make sense to at least try a warming mattress pad if you suffer from arthritis or fibromyalgia or anything related?