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Research explores cause of fibromyalgia

A recent profile of fibromyalgia provides context for some of the difficulties that may face disabled Americans in their applications for federal or local assistance.

For years, doctors have struggled to understand for the chronic pain symptoms reported by sufferers of fibromyalgia. In some cases, doctors may have characterized the cause as psychosomatic, rather than physiological. However, recent research suggests that dysfunctioning internal valves between blood vessels, called ateriovenous shunts, may play a role.

Specifically, when an AV shunt is not functioning properly, muscle and skin tissues might suffer from inadequate nutrition or waste disposal, as well as temperature regulation. That, in turn, may lead to lactic acid buildup in deeper tissues, resulting in the sensation of pain that seems to travel between various body areas. 

Although workers that have paid into the Social Security disability insurance program may have enough work history to qualify for assistance, other factors may render them ineligible. One major obstacle is producing enough evidence to satisfy reviewers at the Social Security Administration of the seriousness of a condition.

In the case of fibromyalgia, the unknown cause of the disease may have added extra burden in proving a disability claim to SSA officials. Hopefully, the latest research will clear up some of the misconceptions surrounding this debilitating condition.

However, substantial evidence is still generally recommended when preparing an initial application for Social Security disability insurance benefits, including opinions from multiple medical professionals. In that regard, an attorney familiar with the SSDI application process might provide assistance.

Source: communities.washingtontimes.com, “Fibromyalgia solved; A pathology, not in the mind,” Paul Mountjoy, Oct. 17, 2013

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