Can Weighted Blankets Help with Fibromyalgia? – RedOrbit

Weighted blankets are getting a lot of attention these days. Fans of weighted blankets claim that they relieve anxiety and insomnia, as well as potentially helping children with autism and sensory integration disorders. But some people with fibromyalgia are exploring the possibility that weighted blankets may provide comfort to them, too. Here is some more background information on whether weighted blankets can work for fibromyalgia relief.

There’s no question that life with fibromyalgia can be challenging. Pain and aches all over your whole body are a constant for most people with fibro, though most people have occasional periods of relative comfort. Looking for the right thing that will relieve pain is usually a long and difficult process. Medication can help some people but it’s usually not sufficient in itself. Relief from pain and discomfort often requires a combination of multiple different therapies.

THE ORIGINS OF WEIGHTED BLANKETS

You may have just started seeing weighted blankets in bed and bath stores in the past couple of years. But the truth is that weighted blankets have actually been around for nearly twenty years already. They began as a tool prescribed by occupational therapists to help children with sensory processing issues, anxiety, and autism spectrum disorders. The weight of the blankets would help kids feel calmer. Back then, it was difficult to find a ready-made weighted blanket, so many therapists and parents would make their own. The first mass-produced blankets were introduced to the market in the late 1990s but were originally only marketed to children.

THE SCIENCE BEHIND WEIGHTED BLANKETS

Believe it or not, weighted blankets aren’t just a trendy meme. There’s actually some science between what makes weighted blankets so calming and comforting. The weight of the blanket provides deep pressure, which can have a relaxing effect on some people. A 2008 study in the journal Occupational Therapy in Mental Health evaluated 33 adults who each rested under 30-pound blankets for five minutes.

At the end of those five minutes, 33 percent of the study participants who used the blankets showed a greater drop in sweat on the skin, which is a measure of stress. Nineteen of the participants said they felt calmer with the blanket than without, and eight said they were comfortable either way. Only three of the study participants felt more anxious with the blanket than without.

Although it’s only a small study, it shows some promising initial results that the weight of a blanket can be soothing, especially when combined with rest.

Read more at: https://www.redorbit.com/can-weighted-blankets-help-with-fibromyalgia/