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Fibromyalgia and Itching

by | 8 Aug 2019 | Fibromyalgia alongside | 2 comments

Estimated reading time:
6 minutes
Word count:
1248
Updated Date:
Aug 18, 2020

Do you have Fibromyalgia and Itching? Some thoughts about dealing with an itch that thinks it has VIP status. How I manage mine on a day-to-day basis. I have to say I have always had a bit of an itch about me. Often in that spot in the middle of my back, you know that part you just can’t reach. In its early days my itching was spasmodic, primarily an occasional annoyance similar to a bad case of the hiccups. Since I have had Fibromyalgia, the itch has upped its game.  

Itchy skin is not usually a sign of anything serious. You can often treat it yourself and it should go away within 2 weeks.

  • is affecting your daily life
  • lasts for longer than 2 weeks or keeps coming back
  • is caused by a new rash, lump or swelling and you’re worried
  • is all over your body – this could be a sign of something more serious

NHS

Where does Fibro Itching Fit?

As we can see by the information from the NHS, itching often resolves itself within two weeks. Before I had Fibromyalgia my bouts of itching were very brief, usually vanishing within an hour. Now they can go on for hours on end. As the NHS acknowledges itching can affect your daily life and be a symptom of something more serious, if it is all over your body. However, on their Fibromyalgia page there is no mention of it. So I am classing itching as an alongside condition of the syndrome rather than a core one.    

When Itching is a Pain

I will go as far as saying, since I have been living with Fibromyalgia and Itching that it is no longer an inconvenience. Every day it bothers me. Sometimes it can get so bad that it hurts, it is hard to describe what I mean. I don’t mean it hurts in the same way that joint pains and headaches hurt, more that the incessant nature of it feels as bad as pain does.

Complications of Itching with Fibromyalgia

When you get an itch you need to scratch it? right? As I have already mentioned when you have Fibromyalgia and Itching it is often all over your body. The Fibro can make it difficult reaching areas like your back and your lower legs. So it can be very difficult dealing with the problem on your own.

Methods I have used to tackle my Itching:

A photograph of my husband Michael Pearson
An image of my Mum, Joan Penter

Family can be a godsend when managing Fibromyalgia and Itching

Michael

Bless him I often call upon him to rub my back. He gets top marks for being willing but sadly his endurance levels sometimes fail. Please don’t think I am complaining, he does so much for me and I would hate him to cause himself pain rubbing me non-stop. My itching doesn’t recognise when he has rubbed it for a sufficient time. Fibro is a greedy monster!

Mum

In my single days before I had Fibro, when I had an itching attack on my back my Mum used to cop for me begging for back rubs. She usually needed a bit of convincing, if not begging, but when she gave in and helped I could sometimes get a whole hour. Especially if we were watching a TV program, it was like she forgot she was doing it. Score! When I met Michael, she was no doubt very grateful to escape rubbing duties.

Medication for Itching

The Doctor has recently prescribed me Menthoderm Cream, four years in and it was the first time I mentioned the itching. When you live with a condition like Fibro, it is useful to keep a record of the symptoms you tell your Doctor about. I thought I had told her ages ago but I guess not. Because the Fibro community is such a great source of information, it is easy to leave your Doctor out of the loop accidentally.

I have used the cream occasionally when I have an obvious patch of itching and it has provided some relief and distraction. When it is a true Fibromyalgia and Itching problem and it feels more like a collection of ants are dancing around under my skin, all over my body, it is less useful.

 

Itching Aides

I have had a Backbliss back scratcher (available from Amazon)* for quite a while now. When I am alone or Michael has done all he can, this gadget is useful for reaching my back. I still need to be very careful because it is easy to cause joint pain reaching with it. But when the itching gets to peak levels it can be a lifesaver. Just remember not to press too hard, it is easy to go from itching, to relief, to pain otherwise. take my word for it, I’ve been there and done that! 

A photo of myself using the Backbliss to deal with itching.

Mindfulness for Itchiness

It may be better actually to say mind over matter! Sometimes, often when insomnia strikes and I am lying in bed at night itching beyond belief. All that I have left is to talk myself out of it. It doesn’t always work but I sometimes have success. My method is:

  • Lying on my back:
  • To touch my thumb to each finger with a firm but gentle pressure.
  • Then tap my hands on the sheet on either side of me. 
  • Followed by scrunching my toes up several times.
  • Finally, stretching my arms and legs as far as I comfortably can.

While I am doing these things I am talking myself through it (in my head) bringing each action to my attention. Finally telling myself, I am aware of all my body and there is no need for itching. Sometimes it is ineffective but when it works it helps me settle down and go to sleep. Any potential cure that is free is worth trying in my book. 

Living with Fibromyalgia and Itching

As with all the other conditions that run alongside Fibro, I have written posts about a few of the others already, Itching is difficult to live with. If you would like to know more about Fibromyalgia, I can recommend reading my post: What is Fibromyalgia? Who are Spoonies? Many of the symptoms faced by people with Fibro are relatively manageable in their own right, it is the combination of all of them that makes this such a devastating condition.

I hope you have found this information useful. Do you have any thoughts about Fibromyalgia and Itching? Perhaps you deal with both? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.

An image of me trying to scratch myself with the words Fibromyalgia & Itching

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