| What Doctors Treat Fibromyalgia?
Currently most people with fibromyalgia are treated by their primary care physician or family doctor. While some doctors are very familiar with fibromyalgia symptoms, others are not and even refuse to believe that it is a condition at all. Of course it doesn't help that there isn't a quantifiable test or X-ray that proves you have the syndrome. This widespread ignorance is the main reason why it takes the average patient 10 years to receive a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. When talking to your doctor about fibromyalgia, note if he:
1. Knows what fibromyalgia is and if he is currently treating other patients with the condition.
2. Is he open minded and interested in new fibromyalgia therapies? But don't expect a miracle cure!
3. Is he sympathetic or is he dismissive?
4. Does he put your symptoms down to hormone fluctuations or disparagingly call it a female problem? If he does, find another doctor.
If at any time you are not happy with the treatment you receive by your doctor, consider seeking the care of a specialist. Usually this means visiting a rheumatologist who specializes in the care of diseases of the joints, muscles and soft tissue. A rheumatologist also treats arthritis patients and those with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). A good rheumatologist will know the best fibromyalgia medications to prescribe as well as be able to recommend fibromyalgia exercises and diet tips. He will also be better equipped to tell the difference between chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. Sometimes, if pain is particularly bad, you may eventually be referred to a neurologist. A neurologist works with the brain and spinal cord and has a variety of tools available to treat pain.
A general overview of medical options: What is the best treatment for fibromyalgia pain?
Looking at possible causes: Can a viral infection trigger fibromyalgia?
Are you eligible for disability allowance? Can I go on disability for fibromyalgia?
Alternative therapies and treatments: Can Botox be used to treat fibromyalgia?
Where To Find A List Of Specialists
The Fibromyalgia Network provides a list of physician's by state, as well as information on local support groups. To get your hands on this list you need to send them a self-addressed envelope with first-class postage (business size). You need to insert a note saying that you are requesting a doctor referral list. They don't publish the information on their website because they don't have the resources to keep it updated. To get your list:
PO Box 31750
Tucson, AZ 85751-1750
Phone: (800) 853-2929
UK Fibromyalgia is a resource with lots of useful information. They also have a listing of doctors who treat fibromyalgia and have been recommended by patients. You can see this list on their website.
7 Ashbourne Road
Dorset BH5 2JS
Co-Cure Project is a volunteer organization that shares information about chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. They have a recommended doctors list. You can find details on their website: www.co-cure.org.
Take our symptom quiz: What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?
Can you inherit FMS? Is fibromyalgia genetic?
Can it be cured? Can fibromyalgia be cured?
Differences in symptoms: What is the difference between fibromyalgia and arthritis?
• Need more information? See: Fibromyalgia Guide
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