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Many different types of doctors can diagnose and treat fibromyalgia. Sometimes a rheumatologist, a doctor that specializes in diagnosing and treating arthritis and other joint, muscle, and bone diseases, can make the correct medical diagnosis of fibromyalgia and treat the symptoms. Neurologists, doctors that specialize in diseases of the brain, may play a big part in diagnosing and treating fibromyalgia. This is because newer studies link fibromyalgia to more blood flow in certain areas of the brain that manage pain, and also to unusual levels of certain brain chemicals such as neurotransmitters. Other doctors who may treat fibromyalgia include pain specialists. In addition, your doctor may recommend that you seek treatment with a psychiatrist, rehab specialist, or a physical therapist.
Trying to find the right specialist to diagnose and treat your fibromyalgia can be like trying to get hold of a helpful supervisor at a big corporation's call center. But in the end, your search will be worth it when you find the best doctor for you. Because there are no lab tests or X-rays to use for a diagnosis, you need to choose a doc who treats fibromyalgia on a regular basis.
A rheumatologist or a doctor who specializes in treating diseases of the joints and soft tissues is a good doctor to see for fibromyalgia. A rheumatologist is an internist who treats arthritis, autoimmune diseases, pain disorders, fibromyalgia, back pain, disc disease, and osteoporosis. You can also talk with your family doctor or primary care doctor. Many health-care professionals know about fibromyalgia and are able to make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe the right treatment.
Because fibromyalgia is a syndrome or cluster of symptoms, your doctor will prescribe a multi-faceted treatment program to treat each symptom. Your fibromyalgia treatment plan may consist of several medications, physical therapy, moist heat twice a day to reduce pain, and even complementary and alternative therapies such as yoga, meditation, tai chi and stress management.
Although technically it falls under rheumatology, experience has shown that it largely depends on the degree of interest on the part of the practitioner. Many holistic physicians are more likely to be better trained and there are also clinics such as the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers nationally which specialized in treating fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia can be diagnosed by any medical specialist including physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
However, typically a primary care physician will begin the diagnostic process and seek confirmation of the diagnosis from a rheumatologist.
Neurologists and chronic pain specialist may also be involved in diagnosing and treating these patients.
Other specialists may also come in contact with these patients and help exclude conditions that might mimic fibromyalgia in that fibromyalgia patients have a pain syndrome. Cardiologists, for example, may be asked to exclude heart disease in the presentation of chest pain due to fibromyalgia.
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.