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What is Fibromyalgia? It is a chronic disorder that causes severe muscle pain and tenderness and fatigue. Like other chronic illness, fibromyalgia sometimes causes enough pain and fatigue that a person’s daily life can be greatly diminished. People suffering from fibromyalgia often have trouble working, completing normal household activities, and sleeping. Many questions about this painful affliction remain unanswered. For example, it is unclear why fibromyalgia predominantly effects women. However, there are a few factors that are common among suffers, such as a traumatic event (car accidents, severe falls, etc.) in the person’s history.

The key to making the connection between fibromyalgia and a traumatic event, such as a car accident, is proper diagnosis. Unfortunately, many people assume that a chiropractor should be the first doctor to see for medical treatment following a car accident. While a chiropractor may be useful in treating car accident symptoms they are often times not as likely to diagnose the symptoms of fibromyalgia as a medical doctor would be. Receiving the best possible medical care shortly after an accident is critical. Not only is proper diagnosis and treatment critical to ensuring one’s well-being, it is critical to recovering monetarily for your losses in a personal injury case. Fibromyalgia sufferers often times go from doctor to doctor before they are finally diagnosed properly. There is no true diagnostic test to use to uncover this disease, so often times the chronic pain may be dismissed as psychological, phantom, or as patient malingering.

On the bright side, a doctor familiar with fibromyalgia can make a diagnosis based on criteria established by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). Some of the factors considered are a history of widespread pain lasting more than 3 months, and other general physical symptoms including fatigue, waking unrefreshed, and cognitive (memory or thought) problems. The right doctor will be able to recognize these symptoms and conduct appropriate testing to rule out other causes of this type of pain.

Car Insurance companies will often argue that fibromyalgia is not related to an auto accident. The insurance giants strongly defend these claims on the basis that the injury (fibromyalgia) was not caused by the traumatic experience (car accident). My answer is often the same; if the pain wasn’t caused by the accident, then what is causing it? Insurance companies are in the business of making money by denying claims and paying the least amount of possible to victims of negligence. To protect yourself, it is important to show certain facts that will lead to a positive evaluation of your case. In recovering for pain caused by fibromyalgia that resulted from an accident, some of the key facts that must be proven are: diagnosis of the fibromyalgia after the accident; lack of prior medical history indicating symptoms related to fibromyalgia; and the onset of symptoms post motor vehicle accident. If you are suffering from fibromyalgia or any type of chronic pain following a traumatic accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, speak with an experienced attorney who can assist you with ensuring that your condition is treated properly.