What is Fibromyalgia?

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder with an unknown etiology. It is a medical condition that is characterized by symptoms such as chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain and tenderness throughout the body. It can also cause fatigue, mood swings, cognitive disturbance, psychiatric and multiple somatic symptoms often accompany the disorder. While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, treatments can help ease symptoms and improve quality of life.

If you think you may have fibromyalgia, it is important to see your doctor for a diagnosis. They will likely perform a physical exam and ask about your fibromyalgia symptoms. They may also order blood tests or imaging scans to rule out other conditions. Once a diagnosis is made, your doctor will work with you to create a treatment plan. This may include medication, lifestyle changes, and complementary therapies. With proper treatment, most people with fibromyalgia are able to live relatively normal lives. Unfortunately many people’s lives and careers have been derailed by fibromyalgia and it’s debilitating symptoms.  Many people who experience chronic, all-over muscle and joint pain as well as memory and cognitive issues are most at risk for occupational disruptions.

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes widespread pain and fatigue. It is thought to be caused by abnormalities in the way the brain processes pain signals. Fibromyalgia can also cause other symptoms, such as difficulty sleeping, morning stiffness, headaches, and irritable bowel Syndrome (IBS).

There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but there are treatments that can help relieve symptoms. These include pain medication, exercise, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Fibromyalgia affects an estimated 900,000 adults in Canada and while its exact cause remains unknown, fibromyalgia has been linked to certain risk factors including genetics, psychological stress and physical trauma.

How is fibromyalgia diagnosed? Also called myofascial or musculoskeletal pain syndrome – the diagnosis characteristically involves “tender points” on the body where even light pressure causes discomfort or pain. As mentioned, the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia is widespread pain and muscle aches throughout the body which are typically described as a burning or stabbing sensations. In addition to muscular discomfort many people with fibromyalgia report feeling extreme fatigue, sleeping problems, waking up feeling unrested, problems with memory or concentration, headaches and irritable bowel syndrome. People with fibromyalgia may also experience depressed mood anxiety or tension, among other symptoms.

Tender points are often found in clusters around areas like the neck, shoulders, hips, knees, elbows or back. Researchers believe these specific points may be associated with changes in how the central nervous system processes pain signals from muscles ligaments tendons skin joints or other soft tissues. Pressure on trigger points can lead to referred pain or discomfort which radiates outward from startled areas.

Although treatment options for fibromyalgia differs from person to person, many people find relief through low-impact aerobics, Tai Chi, gentle yoga and relaxation methods to help control stress levels. Also it is important to get enough sleep, eating a healthy diet as well as talking with a counselor or therapist. Taking certain medications may also relieve some fibromyalgia symptoms. These include over-the-counter OTC pain relievers, antidepressants, muscle relaxants and sleeping pills.

Who is at Risk of Developing Fibromyalgia?

An estimated 5 percent of Americans suffer from fibromyalgia according to the American College of Rheumatology. Women are more likely than men to develop fibromyalgia, and symptoms usually appear between ages 30–50, but children, adolescents or seniors anyone can develop the disorder.

It’s also been reported that people with certain medical conditions – such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, ankylosing spondylitis may have an increased risk of developing fibromyalgia. People who have had viral infections, who recently give birth, persons who suffer psychological trauma, undergo physical trauma, have sedentary lifestyles or smoke tobacco products may be more susceptible. Research also shows there might be a genetic link or genetic predisposition to fibromyalgia. Other studies show people who have had major surgery especially abdominal or gynecologic procedures face an increased risk for developing post-operative fibromyalgia type syndromes.

Fibromyalgia and Diet

Eating a nutritious and well-balanced diet is important for everyone, but it may be especially critical for people with fibromyalgia. A healthy diet can help to reduce pain, increase energy levels, and improve overall health. There are no specific dietary recommendations for people with fibromyalgia, but there are some general guidelines that may be helpful. These include eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats. It is also important to limit processed foods, sugary drinks, and alcohol. In addition to following a healthy diet, people with fibromyalgia may also need to take supplements to help reduce symptoms. Some common supplements that are used to treat fibromyalgia include omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, magnesium, and turmeric.

Fibromyalgia and Exercise

Exercise is another important part of managing fibromyalgia. Exercise is often recommended to help improve symptoms. In particular, aerobic exercise has been shown to be beneficial, as it helps to increase endorphins, which are natural painkillers. In addition, exercise can also help to improve sleep quality and reduce fatigue. However, it is important to start slowly and build up gradually, as too much exercise can actually make fibromyalgia symptoms worse.

While it may seem counterintuitive to exercise when suffer from fibromyalgia and you are in pain, research has shown that regular physical activity can actually help to reduce symptoms. Low-impact aerobic exercise is typically the best type of exercise for people with fibromyalgia. This includes activities like walking, swimming, and biking. Tai chi and yoga are also good options for people who suffer from fibromyalgia. It is important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts as your symptoms allow.


Fibromyalgia and Stress Management

Numerous factors can contribute to the development of fibromyalgia, and one of the most common medically documented contributor is stress – which can worsen fibromyalgia symptoms, so it is important to find ways to manage one’s stress levels. Stress can trigger fibromyalgia symptoms or make them worse, so it’s important for people with fibromyalgia to manage their stress levels. Fibromyalgia can be a difficult condition to manage, but reducing stress levels can help to ease symptoms and improve quality of life. Some helpful stress-management techniques include relaxation exercises, meditation, deep breathing, counselling, journaling, spending time in nature, and listening to calming music can also be beneficial for people who suffer from fibromyalgia. If you are struggling to manage your stress levels, talking to a therapist or counselor may be helpful. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that has been shown to be effective for treating fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia and Sleep

Although fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that is characterized by pain and fatigue, studies have shown that fibromyalgia can also interfere with sleep. In fact, many people with fibromyalgia find that their symptoms are worse at night and hence, suffer from sleep problems. This can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. As a result, people with fibromyalgia often wake up feeling exhausted. The lack of sleep can exacerbate fatigue and pain, creating a vicious cycle for those who suffer from fibromyalgia. Although there is no cure for fibromyalgia, there are treatments that can help to improve sleep. For example, cognitive behavioural therapy can help to change negative thoughts and behaviours that contribute to insomnia. Medications can also be used to manage pain and reduce fatigue. If you are struggling with fibromyalgia, talk to your doctor about ways to improve your sleep problems.

What is the outlook for people with Fibromyalgia?

There is no known cure for fibromyalgia, however there are treatments that can help manage widespread pain and cognitive symptoms. The outlook for people with fibromyalgia is generally positive. With proper treatment, most people with fibromyalgia are able to lead relatively normal lives. Some people may need to make lifestyle changes, such as cutting back on work hours or taking breaks during the day in order to reduce their symptoms. But with the support of family and friends, most people with fibromyalgia can find ways to cope with the condition and live full lives.

Fibromyalgia and Work

Fibromyalgia can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life, making it difficult to not only participate in activities that they enjoy, but fibromyalgia can make it difficult to get through the workday. The fatigue, pain and brain fog associated with the condition can make it hard to concentrate or be productive. Many people who suffer from fibromyalgia symptoms find that they need to cut back their hours or even stop working altogether. If you’re struggling to manage your fibromyalgia and keep up with your job, there are a few things you can do to make things easier.

  • Talk to your boss or Human Resources department about your condition. It’s important to let them know what accommodations you need in order to do your job.
  • Get organized and plan ahead as much as possible.
  • Schedule breaks into your day so you can rest and take care of yourself.
  • Try to stick to a regular routine as much as possible.
  • Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, eat healthy meals and get some exercise.
  • Take advantage of technology. If you’re struggling to do everything in person, see if there are ways you can work remotely or use online tools to stay connected.

Fibromyalgia can be a difficult condition to manage, but there are ways to make it easier. Talk to your boss or HR department about your needs, get organized and stick to a routine as much as possible. And don’t forget to take care of yourself. Taking breaks, eating healthy and getting exercise will all help you manage your fibromyalgia symptoms and stay productive at work.

Fibromyalgia and Long-Term Disability Benefits

If your fibromyalgia symptoms make it impossible for you to work, you may be eligible for long-term disability (LTD) benefits. LTD is a type of insurance that provides financial assistance to people who are unable to work due to a disabling condition. To qualify for LTD benefits, you will need to have a group or individual policy in place (in most cases at least 12 months) before you become disabled.

Your doctor will need to fill out paperwork documenting your fibromyalgia condition, pain symptoms and how fibromyalgia affects your ability to work. This is called an attending physican’s statement. You will also need to submit any other medical records that support your case. Once you have everything together, submit your claim to the insurance company and wait for a decision. The process can take a few months, so it’s important to be patient. If your claim is approved, you will start receiving LTD benefits. These benefits will replace a portion of your income and can help you cover your living expenses while you’re unable to work.

Unfortunately, fibromyalgia and it’s symptoms is often misunderstood and many people with the condition are denied disability benefits. This can be extremely frustrating and discouraging, especially for those who are struggling to manage their symptoms on a daily basis. If you have fibromyalgia and have been denied disability, it is important to know that you are not alone. We can help you get the benefits that you need.

If your disability claim is denied, don’t give up. You have the right to an internal appeal of the decision. The appeals process can be long and complicated – and many question whether it is worth it. From our perspective, most internal appeals are not successful, and during the process (since the claimant is not paid) many people suffer serious financial distress. If your internal appeal is denied, you can file a lawsuit against the insurance company. This is a complex legal process, so it’s again important to have an experienced disability lawyer on your side. We have helped many people with fibromyalgia get the disability benefits they need. We understand how debilitating this condition can be and we will fight to get you the benefits you deserve.

When should I consider hiring a long-term disability lawyer?

If you are having difficulty getting the long-term disability benefits you need, you may want to consider hiring a an disability lawyer sooner rather than later. A disability lawyer can help you navigate the claims process, help appeal any denied claims, and if necessary file a lawsuit against your disability carrier for payment of the wrongful denial of benefits. Our disability lawyers have litigated against every disability carrier in the Province, including:

How are disability lawyers paid?

Disability lawyers are typically paid on a contingency basis. This means that the lawyer will only be paid if he or she is successful in getting you compensation for your injuries. The lawyer will be paid a pre-determined percentage of your settlement or court award as payment, so it is important to make sure that you are comfortable with the arrangement before hiring a lawyer. With our firm, we never charge upfront fees, under any circumstances.

Suffer from Fibromyalgia and denied your long-term disability benefits? We can help.

If you are suffering from fibromyalgia and have been denied long-term disability benefits, contact us today to find out how we can help. Our team of experienced disability lawyers will work with you to navigate the claims process and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. Matt Lalande is an experienced disability lawyer who has represented people with fibromyalgia and many other conditions. He has a proven track record of success in getting people the benefits they need to get their lives back on track.

Contact us today no matter where you are in Ontario for your free consultation by calling 1-844-LALANDE or local in the Southern Ontario Region at 905-333-8888. Alternatively, you can reach us by email by filling out a contact form on our website.

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[disclaimer]This information is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with an attorney for individualized legal advice regarding your particular situation. Nothing in this article should be construed as a guarantee or prediction of outcome in any legal matter. The information contained herein is general in nature and may not apply to your specific circumstances. Every legal matter is unique and the law changes constantly. Therefore, the information provided herein may not be accurate for your particular situation at the time you read it. You should always consult with a qualified lawyer for legal advice specific to your circumstances. No lawyer-client relationship is formed by reading this information or by contacting our firm. You are not considered a client of the firm until we have agreed in writing to represent you and that representation has been confirmed in writing by one of our partners. Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers serves clients throughout Ontario.



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