Fibromyalgia And The Workplace: What’s The Story?
Fibromyalgia is not something to be taken lightly – as sufferers of this often debilitating and painful medical condition know all too well. And the real tragedy is, in some cases, the condition can be brought about through circumstances that were no fault of your own, like a car accident or an accident in the workplace (which is our focus here). But first thing’s first, let’s look at fibromyalgia itself and how it can affect people physically.
Put simply, fibromyalgia is a chronic condition which presents itself through muscle and skeletal pain (bones and joints) and fatigue across the entire body. Here’s a snapshot of just the most common complaints in people suffering from fibromyalgia:
- Aching all over – with pain and stiffness particularly bad in the morning
- Deep, shooting, stabbing and throbbing pains in the muscles
- Fitful sleep with interrupted breathing and restless/jerky limb movement
The condition is relatively common, with around 1 in 50 sufferers in the UK alone. The trouble is, while it’s easy to see how much distress can be caused to people by fibromyalgia, it’s actually difficult to pin the disease down in terms of its exact causes. And that has led to some controversy over its diagnosis and claims for compensation.
So what are the current theories regarding how a person can develop fibromyalgia? Well, while we’ve acknowledged, it’s not easy to provide an exact clinical cause for each sufferer – and research into the possible causes of the illness continue to this day. But there are certain likely categories that most victims of the condition probably fall into:
An inherited condition – it may be that the condition is present in some people from birth, with symptoms being initially mild, then worsening as the person gets older.
Stress and/or trauma (physical or emotional) – again, there is no concrete proof that this is a definite cause of fibromyalgia. But it may be that changes in the body after a traumatic or stressful episode could trigger the occurrence of the illness.
Accident related – the possible cause which interests us most here. It’s possible that the illness comes about after car accident or accident at work involving physical injury.
So what if you have had an accident at work and you think you are suffering from fibromyalgia? Well, in the first instance you need to make an appointment to get the opinion of a medical professional, such as your GP.
It may be that your symptoms are diagnosed as something else, but that doesn’t mean you may not have a case for a personal injury claim. It’s worthwhile speaking to a reliable personal injury lawyer with experience in dealing with fibromyalgia to investigate the matter further.