11 Apps That Can Make Life With Fibromyalgia Easier
Fibromyalgia is a complex and chronic disorder that causes three main symptoms – widespread pain, chronic fatigue and cognitive trouble. According to The Mighty’s Fibromyalgia Condition Guide, fibro involves alterations in the function of your nervous system and how your brain processes pain. It is often referred to as a “fight-or-flight” illness because your nervous system stays in alarm mode all the time.
Navigating life with fibromyalgia can be difficult, but for many people, apps can be a helpful tool for managing some of the symptoms.
Apps can help you track and monitor your pain and mood. Other apps can help you focus your energy, and cope with the mental and emotional effects of living with a chronic illness. Some can help you stay organized, create to-do lists and remember important events when brain fog is causing trouble.
Some doctors suggest that tracking your pain and symptoms can help you better understand how fibromyalgia affects you.
“Human memory is best at remembering the immediate past and tends to be clouded by what we are experiencing right now,” Dr. Ginevra Liptan of The Frida Center for Fibromyalgia told The Mighty. She continued:
When you are dealing with poor memory from fibro fog it can be darn near impossible to recall how you were feeling yesterday, let alone two weeks ago! Tracking your symptoms will help you more quickly determine what is working – or not working – for you.
While writing down notes about your fibromyalgia symptoms may seem like a great idea, it can be hard to keep all that information in one place. Furthermore, it can be difficult to compile all that info and understand which pieces are most important to keep track of. Dr. Liptan suggested experimenting to find a way of tracking your fibromyalgia symptoms that works best for you.
“I have found it works best to keep it simple, and focus on pain, fatigue and fibro fog on a scale of 0-10 and record it on a calendar, journal, phone or an app,” Dr. Liptan said.
She also recommended bringing in a compilation of your weekly overview to your doctor “to review your progress over time and gauge your response to treatments.”
While tracking your pain and symptoms with an app may be helpful, it can also be difficult to know which one might be best for you. Mighty member Asrai posted this question to our community:
The question got some great answers, and we wanted to hear more of your recommendations. So we asked our Mighty fibromyalgia community to share which apps help them navigate life with fibro.
These recommendations have been tried and tested by our community, but you are your own individual. It’s OK to use whatever methods you need to use to make your life with fibromyalgia easier.
Here are our community’s recommendations:
Patients Like Me is a website and app for those who deal with certain health issues to share information. It helps with finding specific answers to questions about your medications, your diagnosis and your overall health. You can gain insight from doctors and other health professionals to learn more about what you are going through.
“I enjoy the Patients Like Me app,” said Alexandria Brooke Martin. “It is not so heavily focused on just symptom tracking. You get to ‘check in’ daily and share how you are feeling, vent, and also type up those symptoms if you want to. You can follow people, see their posts, and you can support them. It’s a great positive community. It helps me feel better. I know they understand and I can talk about whatever I want with my fibromyalgia as well as other health issues I have.”
Pain comes with a lot of complexities. The way someone feels pain can be different from others or even different from how they felt pain the day before. Since pain is so complicated, this app was created so you can keep track of all aspects of it. If your pain changes on a daily basis, you can track what you’re feeling in this app. It’ll help you when you visit doctors and try to describe to them what’s going on with your body. Not only that, but it’ll give you a better view of what’s going on with your health.
“We use an app called Nanolume, which has like 12 pre-programmed pain descriptions that you can customize and rate on a scale daily, and add your own if you need to,” said Misty Dawn. “My favorite [part] is that the pain descriptions are color coded, and you shade in the area of pain on a digital model, the app then layers all of them onto the model and you can see where pain overlaps. That’s always so hard to describe in clinic.”
The Symple app is a one-stop place for tracking how you feel and how to take care of yourself. You can regularly monitor what is going on with your body, mind and spirit. It also focuses on checking in on your sleep habits and has an interactive calendar to give you an overall scope of things. There are also premium features that include organizing thoughts for yourself to plan for future doctor appointments.
“I use Symple on my iPhone via AppStore,” Mighty user @fm_paul said. “I’ve tried a few but like this one the best so far.”
A web developer created this app after his wife was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and other health issues. He and his wife became frustrated when she needed help managing her pain, but doctors weren’t listening.
The app gives users the opportunity to create their own health reports through their own personalized recordings. There are ways to track your medication, sleep and your overall feelings about your health. Beyond that though, the app will create a PDF for you to take with you to your doctor at your next appointment. This will not only give the user a sense of their pain, but the doctor as well.
5. Chronic Pain Tracker
The Chronic Pain Tracker allows those living with chronic pain to track their pain. There are 19 different options when it comes to recording your pain. Some of the options include the duration of your pain, your activity level and your mental state. There are also other medical categories that include both bowel movements and pain triggers. You can also export your pain history from the app and email it directly to your doctor.
“Pain tracker on the App Store is really useful,” said Mighty user @ellieu10. “Allows you to track pain, fatigue, sleep, mood, medications, other symptoms etc. Also can display pain levels over time and plotted against other variables to try and find patterns. Definitely worth doing to give the doctors a better idea of what you go through.”
Download the Chronic Pain Tracker app for $6.99 from Apple.
A lot of the time, those with fibromyalgia deal with what is often called brain fog. It’s a cognitive symptom that occurs with fibromyalgia and can cause you to forget things, struggle to remember new information and be unable to focus. This app is designed to help people record and remember important information regarding their chronic illnesses. It includes a pain diary, a medication log and helps you remember important events.
My Pain Diary gives you a history of everything you enter into it. It also gives you charts and graphs that show you certain patterns you may not have recognized. The compilation of data can show you if certain factors such as weather or time of day affect your pain.
Download My Pain Diary & Symptom Tracker: Gold Edition for $4.99 from Apple.
Headspace doesn’t focus on fibromyalgia specifically, but it does help with mental health and meditation. Apps like these can help with the overwhelming feelings that can often come along with having a chronic illness. When it comes to fibromyalgia and your body being in fight-or-flight mode, it’s hard to just take a step back and focus your energy.
Meditation apps like Headspace can help with the mental and emotional stress of having fibromyalgia. “I use Calm, Headspace, and Shine for meditation,” Shana Prince said. Another Mighty user, @loraloralaughs, also recommends a meditation app for those who live with fibromyalgia.
Manage My Pain Pro is an app that will remind you on a daily basis to update it. So if you want an app to track your pain, but part of the issue is that you forget to do it all the time, this might be the app for you. The app is designed to help you better manage your pain so you can prosper. You track your pain, then the app analyzes it for you. After that, you can share any info you want from it.
“I use an app titled Manage My Pain Pro,” said Christopher Haskins. “It’s a good pain tracker and it can run on multiple devices, synchronizing across all of them. Nice if you are using your tablet instead of your phone… Can nag you every day for an entry… Also generates summaries to carry in to your doctor.”
Download Manage My Pain for $3.99 from Google Play.
GeoPain is an app that allows you to draw your pain. For anyone exhausted with the numeric pain scale, this app treats pain in a more visual way. There is an interactive 3D body that allows you to get directly to the source of your pain.
It’s sometimes difficult to get a full understanding of your health until you see an overall vision of it. This app allows you to track your pain and will help you see if what you’re doing to manage your pain is actually working for you. It’s great for anyone who is still trying to figure out what’s going on with their body and is still working on a treatment plan.
CatchMyPain is an app that allows users to draw on a body exactly where it hurts and describe the pain. You focus on localizing your pain and rating the intensity of it. The app also asks about your mood. Then after you track your pain, you will be able to see a chart that describes your pain on a larger scale.
“I use the CatchMyPain app,” Shana Prince said. “It’s free and I can track the different locations of my pain and the intensity. It’s been very useful. Plus it is really easy to use, even when in a complete fog.”
11. The Mighty
Did you know The Mighty also has an app where you can chat with a community of fibromyalgia warriors 24/7? Download the app to share thoughts and photos, ask questions and learn more about the condition.
Download The Mighty app for free from Apple.