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Who Treats Fibromyalgia?

What kind of doctor should you see to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia?  And who will know how to treat it?

It's possible you have experienced symptoms of fibromyalgia for many months and still have not been formally diagnosed with the disorder. You may have visited a number of doctors and are no closer to knowing what exactly is causing your pain.

You're not the only person who's faced this frustrating situation. In fact, most people who have fibromyalgia are (or have once been) in the same boat.

One reason for all this confusion and misunderstanding is just that—confusion and misunderstanding. Doctors haven't yet fully grasped fibromyalgia—there are no definitive causes and only a handful of medications that can manage the symptoms.

The other reason why so many people with fibromyalgia have a hard time receiving proper treatment is that some doctors don't believe that fibromyalgia is a legitimate condition. That's why finding a physician who acknowledges the disorder and is open-minded about treatment isn't always easy.

But that hardly means there's a shortage of knowledgeable physicians who can help reduce your fibromyalgia pain. Your primary care physician may be able to diagnose and treat your condition. But if your physician doesn't understand enough about fibromyalgia, a specialist might be your best option.

Rheumatologists

Rheumatologists are internists who specialize in treating arthritis and diseases of the joints, muscles, and soft tissues. Rheumatologists, arguably more than any other physician, closely follow fibromyalgia developments and will likely have the best knowledge base on the condition. However, not every rheumatologist has an understanding of fibromyalgia.

Neurologists

Neurologists treat diseases of the brain and nervous system. Many neurologists have an understanding of fibromyalgia, but like rheumatologists, they're not all familiar with it. The pain from fibromyalgia is what typically prompts people to visit a neurologist, and this specialist may prescribe medications to control your pain.

Pain Management Specialists

A pain management doctor treats all forms of pain, including that caused by fibromyalgia. Before scheduling an appointment at a pain management clinic, make sure to ask if they treat fibromyalgia because not all clinics do. However, many pain management doctors can treat the disorder.

Finding a doctor who understands fibromyalgia may take time, but don't get discouraged. There are many qualified doctors who acknowledge the disorder and will offer you the proper care, support, and knowledge to help you reduce your pain.

Updated on: 02/18/14
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