Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Clothes are the Mind Killer

I'm going to surmise this is something other chronic pain sufferers especially will have come across, although it may be relevant to anyone who has bowel/bladder issues too. Clothes - or more precisely, close fitting clothes.

I don't seem to suffer hypersensitivity flares too often, but when I do they mostly centre around my legs and abdomen. This means some clothes (or indeed, most of them at times) are out of the question.

I realise there will be people who suffer with sensitivity more than me and even what I'm going to suggest would be too much, but I thought I would try anyway.

Particular clothing types I've found "safe" and may be something handy to look out for:

  • Floaty tops - usually the material will be light and so forgiving on aching joints and muscles, and also they tend to skim out from the chest and so don't touch the abdomen and tops of the legs. I invested in one from Wallis last summer which was similar to this one in their current range, and I must say I love it: 
  • Tunic dresses - the less form fitting the better. I'm struggling to find an example that's in any way close to the ones I have however. I've been living in a couple of woolly winter ones the last couple of days after a fateful trip up the road to the shops in jeans saw me laid up for the rest of the day. Never has a pint of milk been so difficult. 

  • Loose trousers - thin linen ones or indeed combat pants are good bets. A tip a lot of people never seem to consider is that there's no harm in buying a size too big for the sake of comfort - I'm a British lady, so I know all about large thighs haha! This pair of linen blend pants have been at Next in one similar version or another for the last couple of years and are wonderful for comfort and in not hugging the legs. They also do the same linen blend in shorts for summer. 
  • Loose floaty skirts - much the same principle. The less the material touches your skin, the less pressure and therefore less pain to be produced. The below skirt is from H&M and is similar to one I bought last year which had an elastic waistband and then thin floaty material to about knee length. Utter comfort.

  • Two thin layers instead of one thicker one - I confess to some bias here due to my love of a chequered shirt over a vest, but it really is something I've found works for me as it reduces the "weight" if you will on particular joints or muscles by spacing it between two different shaped layers with different coverage. Obviously it's not so much use in winter, but it's a thought for when it's a little warmer. For winter, thin thermal base layers which you can find cheaply in any supermarket can serve a similar purpose.

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