Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a type of pain disorder than can manifest singularly, or it can come about along with other pain diagnoses such as lupus. People who suffer with fibromyalgia often feel pain and tenderness throughout their body. They may also feel fatigued a lot of the time. There are many other symptoms of fibromyalgia, but these two symptoms are what are used to diagnose the disorder.


Pain and Stiffness


The main symptom of fibromyalgia comes in the form of pain across the body and muscle stiffness. Pain and stiffness is often more painful in the morning and in muscle groups that are used more regularly.

The pain can be described as:

  • Burning
  • Throbbing
  • Shooting
  • Stabbing
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Fatigue


For some fibromyalgia sufferers, fatigue can be mild, but for others in can be significant enough to make every-day life difficult. People who find fatigue to be leading symptoms of fibromyalgia often describe it like their limbs weigh heavily, making it difficult to move. It may also affect their ability to concentrate.

Any kind of condition that causes chronic pain often causes trouble sleeping for sufferers. This can also add to the issue of fatigue. It is common for sufferers to wake up tired, even when plenty of sleep has been had. This is usually because the condition stops people from sleeping deeply enough to get a quality sleep. This is also known as "non-restorative sleep."

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Extreme Sensitivity


Because the pain felt with fibromyalgia is felt all over the body, sufferers sometimes find the slightest touch extremely painful. What would commonly be fleetingly painful for others may continue to be painful for much longer for someone with fibromyalgia.

The two types of sensitivity often diagnosed are:

  • Hyperalgesia – being extremely sensitive to pain
  • Allodynia – feeling pain from something that ordinarily is not painful, like a very light touch.

It is also possible to feel sensitivity towards smoke, certain foods and bright lights. If you experience extreme sensitivity whilst suffering from fibromyalgia, it is likely that a flare up of this symptom will increase other symptoms to flare up also.

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Depression


It is common for people who suffer from chronic conditions to also suffer from depression. Fibromyalgia is a difficult condition to deal with and low levels of particular hormones associated with living with the conditions can make you more likely to suffer from depression.

You may find you suffer from:

  • Constantly feeling low
  • Feeling hopeless and helpless
  • Losing interest in the things you usually enjoy
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Other Symptoms


There are many symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. Symptoms felt will depend on the individual.

Other potential symptoms of fibromyalgia include:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Headaches
  • Trouble remembering and issues with attention
  • Restless leg syndrome
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What Is The Cause Of Fibromyalgia?


The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown but it is thought there are several contributing factors that can lead to a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

Factors leading to a diagnosis of fibromyalgia include:

  • Abnormal Pain Messages – it is thought that people with fibromyalgia have developed changes in the way pain messages are transported around the body.
  • Chemical Imbalances – people who suffer from fibromyalgia have been found to have unusually low levels of serotonin, noradrenalin and dopamine. These hormones regulate mood, appetite, sleep and stress. They are key to the processing of pain messages.
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What Are The Triggers Of Fibromyalgia?


The symptoms of fibromyalgia are usually triggered by an event that can either cause stress to the body physically, or is emotionally stressful.

Possible triggers for fibromyalgia are:

  • An injury
  • A viral infection
  • Child birth
  • An operation
  • The breakdown of a relationship
  • Abusive relationships
  • The death of a loved one

It is also possible to develop fibromyalgia without any kind of trigger.

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What Is The Treatment For Fibromyalgia?


The treatment for fibromyalgia focuses on easing the symptoms and improving quality of life as there is currently no cure for the condition. It is important to discuss treatment and care with your GP. Via these discussions, it is possible to devise a An injurycare plan that is right for you.

Because of the nature of fibromyalgia, it is important to have a differentiated plan as what works for one person, may not work for another. It is possible that several healthcare professionals will form part of a multi-disciplinary approach to your treatment.

Healthcare professionals likely to be involved in your care include:

  • Rheumatologists – specialists in muscle and joint conditions
  • Neurologists – specialists in conditions that affect the central nervous system
  • Psychologists – specialists in mental health
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Treatment – Medication


Medication is used to treat a variety of symptoms that are associated with fibromyalgia. Listed here are some of the more common types of medication you may be advised to take if you suffer from fibromyalgia.

Painkillers

It is likely that you will be advised to take over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol to relieve the pain of fibromyalgia. If this dose and strength of painkiller is not effective, it is possible for medical healthcare professionals can prescribe painkillers that are stronger.

Antidepressants

The chemicals within antidepressants can effectively help relieve pain in people who suffer from fibromyalgia. Rather than treating mental health, the antidepressants actually treat the symptom of pain.

Medication To Help With Sleep

Fibromyalgia has been proven to disrupt sleep and lack of sleep is a large contributor to increase in the severity of symptoms felt. A GP may recommend over-the-counter remedies or prescribe a shorter but stronger course of medication. If antidepressants are taken, it is likely that a bi-product of this is improved sleep quality.

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Treatment – Alternatives To Medication


Whilst medication has scientifically proven benefits as a method of treating symptoms of fibromyalgia, it is important to also consider other methods of symptom management. Different alternative methods work to a varying level of effectiveness in different people.

Some of the alternative treatments for fibromyalgia include:

  • Hydrotherapy – swimming, sitting or exercising in a heated pool
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Psychotherapy – a therapy that involves talking though thoughts and feelings in order to understand their pattern more deeply
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage
  • Manipulation
  • Aromatherapy

Some of these treatments are used in an effort to de-stress survivors of fibromyalgia. It is important to note that these therapies will not cure fibromyalgia, but they could reduce the exacerbating factors that increase the symptoms felt. 

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Claiming For Fibromyalgia


If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia or think you may be suffering extreme pain throughout your body as a result of an accident that was someone else's fault, you are likely to be entitled to compensation.

Fibromyalgia is a life-changing condition that can make everyday life more difficult. It can be even more frustrating if it has been caused by another's carelessness.

Compensation can help if time off work has been had by you, or if a loved one has also had to take time off work to take care of you. Financial payments could also help you to seek alternative treatments as well as the medication as prescribed by your doctor.

It is also important to note that if you previously had fibromyalgia which was exacerbated by an accident you were in, you are also within your rights to claim for the increase in suffering.

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What Can Simpson Millar Do?


With a team of specialist Personal Injury specialists, you will receive a single point of contact to avoid the stress of seeking information from multiple sources. We are able to provide our clients with information that will enable them to seek the best possible treatment using compensation to finance specialist support.

If you suffer from fibromyalgia because on an accident, it is important to know that most compensation claims must be made within three years of the injury occurring that led to your fibromyalgia.

You will be able to make a compensation claim for potential loss of earnings for treatment and care and for the reduction in quality of life that may have been caused by the injury.

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