Contact us today to discuss how we can offer you a more specialist service for your Fibromyalgia compensation claim?
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- Fibromyalgia solicitors
- What are the symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
- What causes Fibromyalgia?
- Is Fibromyalgia real?
- How is Fibromyalgia diagnosed?
- Fibromyalgia treatment
- Fibromyalgia diet
We are the leading solicitors for compensation claims involving Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain. We have a proven track record of securing our clients the very best treatment and the compensation they need to protect them and their families for the future. So if you need a specialist Fibromyalgia lawyer to represent you, please call us today to see how we can help you.
Call us now on 01225 462871.
- The call will be free.
- You will speak direct to one of our highly specialist solicitors.
- You will not be hurried – we want to fully understand your claim.
- You will not be put under any pressure to instruct us. We want you to be entirely happy and comfortable with us before you decide to instruct us.
- Should you decide to instruct us, to ensure continuity, you will be represented by the solicitor you have already spoken to.
If we are instructed, in most cases we can act on a No Win/No Fee basis.
While it may seem unusual these days, we are solicitors who do like to meet our clients! If travelling to see us is difficult, wherever you live, we may be able to see you at home or at another location more convenient for you.
“My doctor diagnosed Fibromyalgia after my road accident but my last solicitors really didn’t take me seriously. I eventually contacted BLB and Bruce Dyer looked after me. Bruce really understands Fibromyalgia and got the top specialists on board. It was a fight but we won. I will always recommend Bruce and BLB.” AK (£375,000 recovered), June 2018
Keep up to date with the latest developments relating to Fibromyalgia and chronic pain more generally through our topical and regularly updated Blog.
What are the symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
Typically, as a Fibromyalgia sufferer you will experience a range of symptoms, but it is likely that the most debilitating of those is widespread pain throughout your body.
The condition is characterised by pain in the soft fibrous tissues such as the muscles, tendons and ligaments, often likened to flu-like symptoms of widespread aching, but constant and unrelenting.
In addition to pain, our clients commonly report symptoms such as:
- Extreme sensitivity
- Poor (non-restorative) sleep
- Cognitive problems
- Irritable bowel syndrome
It is now widely accepted that Fibromyalgia is one of a number of conditions which result from central sensitisation. Indeed, many of our clients with Fibromyalgia are additionally suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which is also a result of central sensitisation.
Read our Fibromyalgia/CFS case study.
Fibromyalgia may develop spontaneously (Primary Fibromyalgia) or as a result of a physical trauma such as a road traffic accident (Post-Traumatic Fibromyalgia).
What causes Fibromyalgia?
Whilst the precise cause of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia and other conditions arising from central sensitisation remains unknown, they are frequently triggered by a stressful or traumatic event such as a physical injury (eg a whiplash injury or a fall).
However, it can also develop from a viral infection or surgery, or from psychological factors such as stress in the workplace, a bereavement or the breakdown of a relationship. Confusingly, in some cases the condition can develop without any clear and obvious triggering event.
Studies suggest that women are seven times more likely to develop the condition than men and that the predominant age for developing the condition is between 30 and 50 years of age. However, there are examples of children developing fibromyalgia.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you’ve done for me. Time and time again during this process you proved you understood what I was going through and really kept me going. It’ll be strange now not speaking to you regularly. You are so reassuring and always filled me with confidence that we’d succeed. And we did! Thank you again.” MB (£235,000 recovered), July 2018
Is Fibromyalgia real?
This may seem a very odd question to ask, but for many years there was a significant body of medical opinion that questioned the existence of Fibromyalgia and sufferers would frequently encounter scepticism and suggestions that their perceived symptoms were ‘all in the mind’.
Fortunately, times have moved on and in the UK the Government recognises Fibromyalgia as a genuine, disabling medical condition and has in recent years allocated significant financial resources to research into the condition.
The NHS has published detailed notes on its website, which provide extensive information for those wishing to learn more.
The DWP also recognises Fibromyalgia as a real condition and, at least in theory, those who have been diagnosed with the condition should be accepted as genuinely disabled. In practice, people who suffer Fibromyalgia often struggle to obtain or maintain their benefits.
“You proved to me in our first telephone call that you understand Fibromyalgia. Your confidence won me over and I’m so pleased it did!” GT (£185,000 recovered), November 2017
How is Fibromyalgia diagnosed?
It is commonly accepted that Fibromyalgia can be difficult to diagnose. This is one of the reasons why it is not known how many people are affected by the condition, although it has been estimated that around 5% of the population may be affected to varying degrees.
The symptoms can vary considerably and misdiagnosis is not uncommon as the symptoms can often present as they do in other conditions such as:
- hyperthyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland);
- chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or ME); and
- rheumatoid arthritis.
If Fibromyalgia is suspected then, as it is largely a diagnosis of exclusion, blood and urine samples are routinely taken and tested for these other conditions. Confusingly, however, it is not unknown for patients with these conditions to also be suffering concurrently from Fibromyalgia.
According to the NHS the most commonly used criteria for diagnosing Fibromyalgia are:
- The presence of severe pain in 3 to 6 different areas or milder pain in 7 or more different areas;
- Persistence of symptoms at a more or less constant and similar level for at least 3 months;
- No other explanation for the persistence of these symptoms has been identified.
“Andrew, I feel so lucky to have found you. What a difference you made! Let’s face it, with [previous solicitors] the claim was heading for the rocks. Thank you so much.” TR (£265,000 recovered), October 2018
Fibromyalgia is currently not a curable condition and treatment does not involve a single approach. Rather, though trial and error, working with their consultant and/or GP, most people will find a combination of therapies which provide them with optimum relief of their symptoms. These therapies include:
- Medication including painkillers, anticonvulsants, sleeping medication, muscle relaxants and antidepressants.
- Vitamins B9 (Folic Acid) and B12 – research has demonstrated that the benefits of taking folic acid in conjunction with vitamin B12 were particularly beneficial to those diagnosed as suffering both Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME) and Fibromyalgia. It was also found that higher doses of these supplements led to a greater reduction in symptoms.
- Pain management programmes and lifestyle changes – the idea behind them being to turn existing with chronic pain into living with chronic pain.
- Therapy, typically Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, to address the psychological aspects of the condition.
- Sleep Hygeine.
- Alternative Therapies – as with so many aspects of Fibromyalgia, finding what works for you really is a case of trial and error. Common therapies that people have reported as being beneficial are physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, massage therapy, acupuncture and reflexology.
With the help of such medication and therapies, many people are able to manage some of the symptoms leading to an increased level of function and improved quality of life. Sufferers are often encouraged to carry on working and undertake regular exercise, as hard as this may be. Self-management has a large role to play in Fibromyalgia treatment and ‘pacing’ is often key, whereby the sufferer learns to work within their limitations to reduce the occurrence of flare ups.
“A huge thank you Bruce for your persistence and optimism. Without them, I think I would have given up.” JT (£246,500 recovered), November 2019
Some experts suggest that diet be employed as a tool to help control the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Common recommendations include loading up on vitamin D rich foods such as oily fish, milk, breakfast cereals such as oatmeal and mushrooms. Others recommend Omega-3 fatty acids found in walnuts and fatty fish such as salmon. Many fruits and vegetables are rich in important antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C, and E, which fight free radicals to keep the body healthy and balanced. It has also been shown through certain studies that a vegan diet can improve symptoms, but the evidence is not proven.
Substances to avoid include food additives such as monosodium glutamate and artificial sweeteners such as aspartame which it is thought can actually increase sensitivity to pain. Also limit or avoid caffeine, given that lack of refreshing sleep is a common feature of Fibromyalgia.