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Alternative treatment often only relief from Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a condition that is found on the Social Security Administration’s listing of impairments. This means that once sufficient proof of eligibility is provided, those that suffer the symptoms of fibromyalgia may receive benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income programs.

The symptoms of this disorder certainly have the potential to affect an individual’s ability to work. In a recent survey conducted by the National Pain Foundation and National Pain Report, some respondents described the disorder as a “life sentence.” Another said that they have “virtually become a hermit due to this disease” after living a very active life.

What makes this particular disorder so difficult? Aside from the obvious pain associated with the disorder, the responses from this survey shed some light on other issues.

Fibromyalgia symptoms often develop over time, and it may take a while for a doctor to make a diagnosis. For 44 percent of respondents, it took five or more years, and 35 percent reported that they felt as though their physician currently doesn’t even take their disorder seriously.

Adding to this is the fact that there is little in the way of effective medications. There are only three prescriptions that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. When asked if a particular drug was very effective, the drug with the highest response still only had 10 percent of respondents say that it was. The percentage of respondents that said the drug does not help at all fell in the 60s range for all three drugs.

What is surprising is that the numbers were nearly opposite for medical marijuana. When asked to rate the effectiveness of medical marijuana, 62 percent said that it was very effective. Only 5 percent responded that it doesn’t help at all.

Medical marijuana isn’t available in all states, and the federal government still considers marijuana, for any purpose, illegal. Marijuana isn’t the only alternative treatment available, and those who are applying for SSD benefits may have questions about how the use of alternative treatments could affect their application, the current status of their benefits or whether or not the cost of these treatments may be considered.

Can you definitely answer this question? If you can’t, this is only one reason individuals seeking or already receiving benefits may want to have a discussion with a knowledgeable SSD attorney in Wilmington.

Source: American News Report, “Marijuana Rated Most Effective for Treating Fibromyalgia,” Pat Anson, April 21, 2014

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