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Fibromyalgia patients explore alternative treatments

Some New Jersey patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia find that drug treatments provide only limited relief for their chronic pain symptoms. For that reason, many explore alternative treatments such as acupuncture, local electrical stimulation, brain stimulation, and medical marijuana use.

In fact, a recent study estimates that about 10% of FMS patients treat their symptoms of pain, fatigue and insomnia with marijuana use. However, the study also observed a potential downside of that alternative treatment: medical marijuana users were more likely to have psychosocial issues, such as unstable mental illness.

FMS is a chronic pain condition where pain signals keep firing in the nervous system, causing symptoms of widespread muscle pain, fatigue, headaches, sore joints, and/or sleep disturbances. These symptoms can make it difficult for a person to get around the house, let alone function for 8 hours at an office.

If your fibromyalgia symptoms are keeping you from working, you may be able to file a claim and obtain disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. The approval of your claim will likely depend on 2 key factors: a proper diagnosis of your fibromyalgia and your ability to demonstrate the severity of your symptoms and the effect they are having on your ability to do your job. Simply describing symptoms of FMS -- without more evidence -- may not be sufficient to convince the Social Security Administration that you are disabled.

If your injury is likely to keep you from working for at least 12 months, you may also not have to wait 12 months to file it. An attorney can guide you through the filing process.

Source: Philly.com, "1 in 10 Fibromyalgia Patients Uses Marijuana to Ease Pain," Robert Preidt, June 22, 2012

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