Imagine being in constant pain, feeling fatigued and yet not being able to sleep and having noticeable difficulty remembering or recalling information. For individuals with fibromyalgia, these painful and disruptive side effects interfere with their ability to enjoy and participate in life. Yet, despite these obvious and disruptive symptoms, until fairly recently, many within the medical community failed to recognize fibromyalgia as a true medical disorder.

Much of the skepticism that surrounds fibromyalgia stems from the fact that medical researchers and doctors have yet to discover what causes fibromyalgia. Partially due to the unknown origins of the condition, many within the medical community have widely regarded fibromyalgia to have a strong psychological link.

Formally defined as a “centralized pain state”, the symptoms experienced by individuals with fibromyalgia often mimic those of other disorders and medical conditions. Because of this, medical researchers have taken steps to provide more clarity around the disorder in an effort to aid medical providers in the diagnosis and treatment of those individuals who were previously forced to believe their painful symptoms were all in their heads.

Medical research that was published in a recent issue of JAMA, notes that a combination of medications may be successful in treating many of the symptoms experienced by fibromyalgia sufferers. In addition to drug therapy, researchers recommend fibromyalgia sufferers get sufficient amounts of sleep and exercise as both are reportedly effective in combating the negative symptoms of the condition.

Individuals who have been formally diagnosed with fibromyalgia may qualify to receive federal assistance in the form of Social Security disability benefits. The process of applying and qualifying for SSD benefits can be complex and lengthy. To ensure the process is successful, it’s wise to seek the advice and assistance of an attorney who has successfully handled SSD matters.

Source: Medscape, “Effective Treatment for Fibromyalgia May Now Be Possible,” Laurie Barclay, MD, April 18, 2014WRVO.org, “Fibromyalgia — what is known and unknown,” April 27, 2014