Affecting an estimated 10 million Americans, fibromyalgia is one of the most common chronic pain syndromes. It occurs most commonly in women, but can affect men and children as well. The condition inflicts a spectrum of debilitating symptoms, including chronic body pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and issues with memory and mood.
What is Fibromyalgia?
The medical community isn’t completely sure what causes fibromyalgia, but doctors believe the syndrome results from changes in your brain and spinal cord that affect how pain signals from your nerves are processed. The condition is incurable.
Consequences of Fibromyalgia
Having fibromyalgia can seriously impact your quality of life. People with fibromyalgia are more likely to be hospitalized, have higher rates of depression, and have a much higher risk of committing suicide than the general population.
Head and Neck Trauma Can Cause Fibromyalgia
One believed cause of fibromyalgia onset is whiplash or other neck trauma such as that caused by a car accident. As fibromyalgia symptoms are also associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), people who have experienced head and neck trauma in a car accident and who then go on to develop PTSD are at increased risk of developing fibromyalgia as well.
Fibromyalgia can cause a range of unexpected and disconcerting symptoms. They include:
- Widespread body pain
- Sensitivity to stress
- Sensory overload
- Tingling or numbness in hands and feet
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering things (“brain fog”)
Patients frequently describe the pain of fibromyalgia as “deep muscular aching, throbbing, shooting, stabbing, or intense burning.”
Treatment of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia cannot be cured, only managed. Treating fibromyalgia often requires a multifaceted approach to symptom management. Doctors will commonly prescribe pain relief medicine and recommend that patients increase physical activity and pursue stress management practices, such as meditation and yoga. Fibromyalgia patients often find some relief from complementary therapies such as acupuncture, acupressure, and chiropractic manipulation.
Living with fibromyalgia often necessitates enlisting psychological support. To address the emotional challenges of the syndrome, it’s recommended that patients pursue counseling and/or cognitive therapy.
Costs of Living with Fibromyalgia
On top of their physical suffering, fibromyalgia patients are often forced to shoulder the high cost of treatments. According to one study, a third of fibromyalgia patients spend between $100 and $1,000 per month over their insurance on healthcare. As fibromyalgia is incurable, it requires lifetime care.
Beyond the monetary cost of living with this condition, people who suffer from fibromyalgia are also burdened with psychological distress and functional limitations that result in a diminished quality of life.
Proving Fibromyalgia was Caused by a Car Accident
Fibromyalgia symptoms don’t always present right away following a car accident, so you may be correc tin believing that your fibromyalgia was caused by a car accident. At first, you might think you have only minor injuries—maybe some soreness in your neck, for example. However, neck injuries are often more severe than they first appear, and can lead to chronic pain or even fibromyalgia months down the road.
A delayed onset of fibromyalgia, coupled with the 3-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Massachusetts, can make it challenging for victims to bring a claim to court effectively and proving their fibromyalgia was caused by a car accident. For this reason, it is absolutely vital that you consult with an attorney who has particular knowledge of the condition and can help you navigate this unique area of the law.
How a Worcester Car Accident Attorney Help
At the law offices of Worcester car accident attorney Peter Ventura, we are sensitive to the pressures fibromyalgia places on a person. We have the skill, knowledge, and compassion to bring your case to a swift and favorable resolution. If you have believe you fibromyalgia was caused by a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your treatment costs, pain and suffering, and diminished quality of life. Please contact us today to schedule your free consultation.