Fight For Your Fibromyalgia Disability Claim
There is nothing easy about seeking, obtaining and retaining disability benefits. Disability claim forms are complex, and even if your claim is approved, the insurance company may terminate your benefits if they determine that you should be able to return to work. If you are dealing with a claim for disability benefits due to fibromyalgia, an attorney at ERISA Law Center may be able to help. We handle fibromyalgia and all disability claims covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), protecting claimants’ rights as they seek the benefits they need.
If you feel your insurance has not come to the right conclusion regarding your LTD claim associated with fibromyalgia, you have a limited time frame during which you can appeal their decision. With an office based in Fresno, at ERISA Law Center, we understand that fibromyalgia can affect each person in different ways, which is why it is so important to treat each of our clients like the individual they are.
Work With An ERISA Lawyer Dedicated To Your Needs
When symptoms like fatigue, cognitive impairment, depression, cramping and pain weigh you down, it is hard to juggle your illness with insurance paperwork. That is why we take on the lion’s share of your claims process so that you can focus on your health. If you or a loved one is struggling with your long-term disability claim at any step in the process, the best thing you can do to protect your rights is to get an attorney.
Our experienced attorneys know how hard things can be, which is why we are available 24 hours a day, every day of the week. This way, you are always able to seek the guidance you need to succeed in your claim. We can help anyone, wherever they are in the United States because we offer our service nationwide.
Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by chronic, widespread pain affecting the muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones. This pain may be accompanied by symptoms ranging from fatigue and depressions to lower abdominal pain and cramping. To be considered chronic and widespread, the pain experienced must have lasted at least three months, must affect both sides of the body and must be present both above and below the waist.
The cause of fibromyalgia is currently unknown. According to Mayo Clinic, several factors may be at play, such as genetic mutations, infections, physical trauma or emotional trauma. It seems the pain experienced by fibromyalgia patients is linked to increased chemical levels in the brain’s neurotransmitters, which are responsible for signaling pain. The pain receptors in the brain may also develop a “memory” of the chronic pain, causing hypersensitivity to pain signals.
Scientific testing confirms patients with fibromyalgia do perceive the pain they report and that these patients perceive this pain at much lower levels of stimulus than healthy individuals. This is caused by central sensitization, which causes the nervous system to be in a heightened state of sensitivity. When mild stimulation is given to fibromyalgia sufferers, the pain continues as long as the mild stimulus is applied. For healthy people, the mild stimulation does not maintain the pain level.
Fibromyalgia is considered a “subjective” medical disorder by some because there is no specific laboratory test that can confirm its presence. Doctors must rely on a patient to indicate when and where they feel pain. In the past, doctors would test for fibromyalgia by applying a specific amount of pressure to 18 points on the body to see how many were painful. Today, a fibromyalgia diagnosis may be based on a patient’s report of widespread pain for at least three months, along with an absence of other medical conditions that could cause such pain.
Other Factors Associated With Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia sufferers have relatively typical muscle strength, no swelling of joints, healthy range of motion and normal peripheral nerve examination. However, fibromyalgia patients commonly suffer from one or more of the following:
- Sleep disturbances
- Gastrointestinal complaints
- Chest symptoms
- Depression and anxiety
- Pain in 11 of 18 tender point sites on digital palpitation
- Increased headaches or facial pain
- Cognitive disorders
- Genito-Urinary problems
- Myofascial trigger points
- Skin complaints
- History of widespread pain
Some patients with fibromyalgia also suffer from “brain fog,” which is the decreased ability to concentrate or think quickly, especially with complex or multitasked problems. These people typically appear normal on standard office examination. This brain fog may be the result of the greater effort required for concentration.
The pain associated with fibromyalgia varies from day to day and changes locations in the body. The pain is usually most severe in parts of the body used most, such as the neck, shoulders and feet. Additionally, fibromyalgia causes fatigue, which varies from person to person ranging from mild tiredness to exhaustion, similar to having severe flu-like illness.
Potential Treatment Options And Medications
In general, treatments for fibromyalgia include both medication and self-care. Treatment plans emphasize minimizing symptoms and improving general health.
Medications can help reduce the pain of fibromyalgia and improve sleep. Common choices include:
- Analgesics: Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) may ease the pain and stiffness caused by fibromyalgia. However, its effectiveness varies. Tramadol (Ultram) is a prescription pain reliever that may be taken with or without acetaminophen. Your doctor may recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.) or naproxen sodium (Aleve, others) – in conjunction with other medications.
- Antidepressants: Duloxetine (Cymbalta) and milnacipran (Savella) may help ease the pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia. Your doctor may prescribe amitriptyline or fluoxetine (Prozac) to help promote sleep.
- Antiseizure drugs: Medications designed to treat epilepsy are often useful in reducing certain types of pain. Gabapentin (Neurontin) is sometimes helpful in reducing fibromyalgia symptoms, while pregabalin (Lyrica) was the first drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat fibromyalgia.
In addition to medications, talking with a counselor can help strengthen your belief in your abilities and teach you strategies for dealing with the stressful nature of this condition.
Fight Back With An ERISA Lawyer
If you are seeking, earning or keeping your disability rights, you know that it is a challenging process to manage. The forms you need to fill out are complicated, and the insurance company will often become the greatest threat to your disability rights. If you or someone you love has fibromyalgia and is working to secure or retain your disability benefits, you can get a free, confidential review of your claim by contacting our Fresno office at 866-360-0983 or by completing our online form.
Our knowledgable legal team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to offer insight and guidance. You can also continue reviewing the information on this website to learn more about disabilities and your rights under ERISA.