Of the 100 million-plus people who receive Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits in the United States each year, 346,105, or about 30%, suffer from diseases of the musculoskeletal system and the connective tissue, making this category the number one most disabling.
What is Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is one type of musculoskeletal disorder that affects many Americans, especially women, who make up 75-90% of the estimated ten million total sufferers. At its worst, fibromyalgia can cause disability for the sufferer and qualify him or her for Massachusetts SSA disability benefits. Fibromyalgia can cause many physical problems including:
- Widespread musculoskeletal pain.
- Sleep problems.
- Memory issues.
- Mood swings.
- Tension headaches.
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain.
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Depression and anxiety.
Of these, the musculoskeletal pain is the most common and debilitating symptom. This pain arises from the muscles and happens on both sides of the body, above the waist and below.
Causes of Fibromyalgia
The causes of fibromyalgia are unknown, but there are some clues. Doctors have advanced the following factors as possible causes:
- Some infectious illnesses may trigger fibromyalgia or make it worse.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder is another link to the causes of fibromyalgia.
- There may be genetic mutations that run in families that cause the disorder.
- Some researchers think that people who have a rheumatic disease are more likely to experience fibromyalgia.
Researchers are still uncertain why this pain occurs. A theory called “central sensitization” has arisen. This theory maintains that the brain of someone with fibromyalgia has a lower threshold for pain. They think this happens because the repeated stimulation of nerves actually changes the brain, causing the chemicals that signal pain to increase abnormally.
Treatments for Fibromyalgia
Although fibromyalgia is considered incurable, current treatments can help relieve pain and suffering. These treatments include:
- Medications for pain management.
- Managing and improving sleep through various habits and sometimes medications.
- Providing psychological support, from family and friends to counseling and support groups.
- Other treatments involve physical therapy, massage, aerobics, relaxation and breathing techniques, yoga and nutritional supplements.
Qualifying For Disability Benefits With Fibromyalgia
If you or a loved one suffers from fibromyalgia and is unable to work, you may qualify for New England SSA disability benefits. To find out and get help with the application process, contact Keefe Disability Law. These Boston Social Security disability attorneys can evaluate your case and walk you through the application process. Call today toll free at 888-904-6847 or fill out the confidential form on this page. We look forward to helping you.