Employees hurt on the job may be shocked to discover that they develop a complication from their injury that causes more devastating limitations in their lives than the injuries themselves. Fibromyalgia can develop when a worker suffers a physical or emotional trauma in a workplace accident like a truck crash, slip and fall, or construction accident. A person suffering with this condition can experience widespread pain throughout his body, fatigue, memory and concentration problems, and depression, as well as other symptoms. This is often a life-long problem that limits a person’s ability to do his day-to-day activities and may make work duties impossible. Fortunately, he may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for his medical treatments and lost wages.

You Will Need Workers’ Comp Benefits to Pay for These Treatments

While fibromyalgia is a recognized medical condition, obtaining workers’ compensation benefits can be a battle. This is because fibromyalgia is hard to diagnose and relies on patients’ observations about their symptoms. Doctors use this information to determine if there is widespread pain throughout the body for at least three months with no medical cause. Workers’ compensation insurance companies are reluctant to pay benefits with this type of diagnosis.

However, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney could help you obtain the benefits you may need for the rest of your life. The emphasis of your treatment would be to relieve your symptoms and increase your energy and strength. You may also need to change your treatment plan over time if what you are doing loses its effectiveness. Treatments and medications you may find helpful include:

  1. Pain relievers. Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter medications like Advil, Tylenol, or Alive or prescribe a pain medication such as Ultram.
  2. Anti-depressants. You may find taking an anti-depressant can help reduce your pain, fatigue, and insomnia. Cymbalta, Savella, and Prozac are common medications prescribed. However, these medications come with side effects that you will want to discuss with your doctor.
  3. Anti-seizure drugs. Some medications developed to treat seizures caused by epilepsy have also been found to relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
  4. Cognitive-behavioral therapy. This type of therapy can help you develop a sense of control over your symptoms, understand your condition better, and improve your coping skills.
  5. Physical therapy. Physical therapy can reduce the pain and stiffness you could experience. Regular sessions with a therapist can increase your confidence, relax your muscles, and help you adjust to the daily pain and symptoms you must live with.
  6. Counseling. Many people who suffer with fibromyalgia experience anxiety and depression. If these are problems for you, you might find therapy with a social worker or other mental health provider to be beneficial.

Three Alternative Therapies That Might Help

Managing the symptoms of fibromyalgia often involves a combination of traditional medical treatments and lifestyle changes like exercise and diet. Some alternative therapies that could assist you in coping with the pain include:

  • Acupuncture. This is a Chinese practice where fine needles are inserted through the skin at various depths to restore the normal balance of life forces. Some people report it helps their symptoms of fibromyalgia
  • Massage therapy. Massage therapy can help with a wide range of symptoms, such as relaxing muscles, improving the range of motion in your joints, reducing stress and anxiety, and increasing your natural painkillers.
  • Yoga and Tai chi. These techniques use meditation, deep breathing, and slow movements to help relax muscle tension, reduce anxiety and depression, and control other symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Unfortunately, not all alternative therapies are covered under New Jersey’s workers’ compensation benefits. However, you could be entitled to compensation for your traditional medical treatments—which are changing as research is being conducted on this condition—and lost wages, maybe permanently. You will need an experienced workers comp attorney to help you fight the uphill battles you’ll most likely go through to get these benefits. Start an online chat or call me at 877-360-0183 to schedule a free consultation to learn how I can assist you.

Manfred Ricciardelli
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Morristown Workers' Compensation Lawyer