If you are representing a client who is diagnosed with Fibromyalgia you may encounter stiff resistance from opposing counsel on nearly every issue associated with your client’s claims of pain, suffering and residuals. Why should this be the case? Simply stated, because historically, persons suffering from Fibromyalgia were thought to be imagining their symptoms. The attitude of “it’s all in their heads” was adopted by physicians as well as the legal community. In recent decades, however, medical studies have proven that fibromyalgia does indeed exist. In fact, it is estimated to affect between 2% and 6% of people worldwide.
Fibromyalgia is a medical syndrome that is often misunderstood and therefore misdiagnosed. Symptoms are generally described as widespread pain and stiffness in the muscles and joints as well as sleep problems leading to chronic daytime fatigue. Somewhere between 80% – 90% of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia are middle-aged women, although it can affect people of all ages and both sexes. Clinicians who care for patients with fibromyalgia report a range of possible causes that include: 1. Repetitive stress injuries 2. Automobile accidents 3. Other traumatic events