Although fibromyalgia can cause serious issues in the workplace, many disability insurance companies still look for reasons to delay or deny legitimate disability claims. Having proper documentation of fibromyalgia as well as appropriate care and treatment can help make sure that your disability benefits are approved in a quick and timely manner.
Fibromyalgia is a common disorder that can cause intense musculoskeletal pain. In reality, the disorder increase the sensations of pain by affecting how your brain processes those pain signals. Women are much more likely to have fibromyalgia and there is no real cure to the condition. Fibromyalgia can be accompanied by tension headaches, anxiety, and depression as a result of the seemingly constant pain often associated with the disorder. The main and most commonly described symptom of fibromyalgia is the constant and dull pain from your muscles and is noticed in specific points of your body called tender points, such as the back of your head, the top of your shoulders, or your outer elbows. There are other symptoms and coexisting conditions that are often linked with fibromyalgia, though, including:
- Fatigue: even after sleeping for long periods of time, those with fibromyalgia are often tired because of restlessness and frequent disruptions in sleep because of the pain associated with the disorder
- Irritable bowel syndrome
The cause of fibromyalgia is not yet known and research is being done to try and determine what exactly causes the condition. While doctors are not sure of exactly what causes fibromyalgia, there are a number of factors that likely work together to cause the condition such as:
- Physical or emotional stress: specifically, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is linked to the development of fibromyalgia
- Genetics: although there is not a specific gene or mutation that is linked to fibromyalgia, the condition commonly runs in families so doctors are confident genetics plays some sort of role in the development of fibromyalgia
- Infection or disease: while the effects are not conclusive, some illnesses seem to prompt the development or aggravation of fibromyalgia
The diagnosis of fibromyalgia is extremely structured, with two requirements having to be met for a patient to be diagnosed with the condition. These two factors are:
- Widespread pain lasting at least 11 months
- Out of the 18 recognized tender points, at least 11 of these points must negative reactions to pain
It can be difficult at times to diagnose fibromyalgia as the symptoms tend to come and go with time. If your symptoms are less severe when you are seeing a doctor, you may not be diagnosed with the condition when you actually do meet the criteria at other times. Make sure to discuss the possibility of fibromyalgia with your doctor if you believe that you may have the condition or believe that you meet the two necessary criteria.
There is no formal cure to fibromyalgia, but you should aim to control the symptoms of the condition and improve your quality of life. Generally, patients with fibromyalgia use a combination of medication and self-care or therapy to treat the condition. The medication that is prescribed will depend on your exact case of fibromyalgia and can be used to ease pain and/or improve the quality of sleep. In a large percentage of fibromyalgia cases, patients take analgesics to help ease the pain and/or anti-depressant medication to help ease the pain and maybe promote better sleep. Therapy can be used to treat fibromyalgia in that you may be able to discuss strategies to deal with the constant pain and how to overcome the difficulties that can come along with the condition.
If you have fibromyalgia and you are considering filing a claim for disability benefits, or have already been denied disability benefits by your insurance company, our firm can help. Sign up below for a free consultation or call our offices toll-free at 1-855-828-4100.