Finding Someone to Treat Fibromyalgia
It isn’t always easy to find someone to help you because there’s not just one type of doctor who treats fibromyalgia. But it’s important to find a doctor who understands your condition and will work closely with you to manage your symptoms and help you feel better. How do you find the right doctor for you?
Know your options.
Some people with fibromyalgia are treated by their primary care doctors or internal medicine doctors. However, you may want to ask whether you should see a specialist. Specialty doctors who most often treat the condition are rheumatologists. Rheumatologists treat inflammatory, often painful conditions that affect the joints, muscles, bones and other organs. Pain specialists and neurologists may treat fibromyalgia, too.
There’s no rule as to what type of doctor you should use to help you manage fibromyalgia. However, make sure he or she has an interest in and knowledge of fibromyalgia treatment.
Expand your horizons.
Finding a doctor who can lead your care and help you manage fibromyalgia is your first priority. But you may benefit from working with a team of healthcare providers that can help you manage specific symptoms. The team might include a physical therapist, sleep specialist, massage therapist, acupuncturist, cognitive-behavioral counselor, and others.
Look for a clinic.
Getting recommendations from friends, family, other physicians and your insurance provider is one way to find a doctor. Another is to see whether you have a pain or rheumatology clinic in your area. Oftentimes, these clinics offer care from several members of the fibromyalgia treatment team all in one location.
Ask the right questions.
Just because a doctor or other type of healthcare provider knows about fibromyalgia doesn’t mean he or she is the right doctor for you. A few questions you can ask to help you decide include:
- Do you typically treat people with fibromyalgia?
- What is your experience and success in treating the condition?
- Do you recommend I see a specialist?
- What medications would you recommend for me?
- What activities can I do to help manage my pain?
Many people with fibromyalgia check out a number of doctors until they find the right one. It’s worth the effort. You can greatly improve your symptoms when you have a knowledgeable and focused doctor, along with your own participation and motivation. In addition to asking your insurance provider, you can search Healthgrades.com for providers who treat fibromyalgia.