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How can I partner with my doctor to manage my fibromyalgia symptoms?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Working with your doctor is essential to getting the greatest relief from fibromyalgia symptoms. Together you can find the combination of traditional and alternative therapies, as well as lifestyle changes, that work best for you.

The first step in that process is making sure your doctor shares your collaborative attitude. You want to find a physician (he or she can be a family practice doctor, rheumatologist or neurologist) who has experience in treating fibromyalgia. Next you want to make sure that he or she sees your treatment as a joint effort. With those two conditions met, the two of you can talk about all the options you have to manage your condition. These are likely to include some (or all) of the following:
  • one or more medications for pain management
  • establishing sleep habits to achieve consistent and good sleep
  • exercise
  • changes in nutrition
  • relaxation techniques
  • psychological support
  • complementary therapies such as acupuncture, massage and others
You are smart to want to partner with your doctor to manage your fibromyalgia symptoms. Studies show that although there is no cure for fibromyalgia you may be able to reduce your symptoms with treatments including medication, therapies such as massage and acupuncture, and healthy lifestyle choices including regular exercise and stress-reduction techniques.

Your doctor may be able to prescribe medicine for you to relieve pain and improve your overall functioning. You may also want to ask him or her to refer you to other health professionals such as a physical therapist or a psychologist or counselor who specializes in treating people with chronic (ongoing) illnesses. Your doctor may also be able to recommend resources for more information about fibromyalgia or help you find a local support group for people with fibromyalgia.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.