Fibromyalgia causes widespread pain, making it difficult for a person to perform work and daily activities.
Fibromyalgia is a painful medical condition that affects more than 10 million Americans. It is a chronic pain syndrome and doctors are not sure what causes the syndrome. However, in most cases, it is attributed to traumatic events such as occupational illnesses, accidents, and surgeries. Fibromyalgia causes widespread pain and discomfort throughout the body, making it difficult for a person to perform work and daily activities. A worker who develops fibromyalgia in the course of employment may find it difficult to prove their claim for workers’ compensation and may need the help of a St. Louis work comp lawyer.
What Is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes pain in the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and tender points throughout the body when pressure is applied. Common symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
- Chronic pain: A person may experience burning, shooting, radiating, nagging, and exhausting pain, which may not always be consistent in intensity and location. Some persons report that the symptoms become worse during certain times of the day. Stress, anxiety, and physical activity are known to aggravate the symptoms.
- Fatigue: 90 percent of persons report moderate to severe fatigue.
- Tenderness: Fibromyalgia may cause tender spots in the shoulders, upper buttocks, hips, elbows, knees, upper chest, and neck.
- Sleep problems: Some persons also have disturbed sleep patterns and tend to wake up frequently during the night, causing a person to feel tired and groggy.
- Depression and anxiety: Symptoms of fibromyalgia and the lack of relief can make a person feel hopeless and alone. A patient may need psychological help to fight emotional distress.
- Memory issues: Fibromyalgia patients may suffer short-term and long-term memory problems. This can affect a person’s ability to multi-task and make them incapable of performing even simple tasks.
Treatment for Fibromyalgia
Unfortunately, there is still no cure for fibromyalgia and the symptoms are often managed with pain medication. Commonly used medications include the use of analgesics such as acetaminophen, anti-depressants, and muscle relaxants. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of Lyrica for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Studies have been conducted to understand the efficacy of this drug for the treatment of fibromyalgia. The results have been quite promising, with about half of the respondents reporting an improvement in the condition after taking this medication.
Is Fibromyalgia Work-Related?
There are various possible causes of fibromyalgia including injuries, accidents, and traumatic experiences. Research has shown that a large percentage of people who suffer from fibromyalgia noted symptoms after a traumatic experience, such as a motor vehicle crash or a workplace accident. However, proving that the condition is a result of a workplace accident could be challenging.