Video Q & A:

Fibromyalgia 101

Question:

What kind of doctor treats fibromyalgia?

Expert:   Betty Keller, MD, FACR, Board Certified Internal Medicine & Rheumatology »

Fibromyalgia can be difficult to diagnose and treat, and not all doctors are familiar with it. Watch this for help finding the right doctor.

Transcript: Finding a doctor to diagnose and treat your fibromyalgia is not always easy. Fibromyalgia can be difficult to diagnose and treat, and not all doctors are familiar with it. Current research shows it is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors that trigger an abnormal pain signaling process in the brain and spinal cord. The result is a “pain volume” that’s turned up too high. So finding a doctor who understands fibromyalgia and can help you reduce your pain is important. There’s NOT just one type of doctor or specialist who may be qualified to treat the condition. Whether you go to your general practitioner or seek out a specialist, make sure the doctor has treated many other cases of fibromyalgia and is both interested in and knowledgeable about the condition. It’s also important to find a physician who listens to you so you can work together to develop a treatment plan that works. You may see a rheumatologist – that’s a specialist who diagnoses and treats arthritis, and other diseases of the joints, muscles, tendons and bones. They have a lot of experience treating chronic pain, including pain associated with fibromyalgia. These days, however, it is believed that fibromyalgia is basically a neurological disorder. So you may seek out a neurologist who has a special interest and expertise in treating pain caused by nerve dysfunction, including fibromyalgia. You may want to see a pain specialist. At pain clinics you will find experts at treating pain from ANY source, including fibromyalgia, and they can offer pain relief options that may help you immediately and in the long term. Ultimately, your best treatment may come from working with a TEAM of doctors with different specialties. You may need doctors who focus on pain management, nerve disease, joint problems AND those who deal with psychological issues. And they should all communicate with each other about your condition. Although it can be a lot of work to coordinate your care between various doctors, it is worth the effort. Careful management and timely treatment can ease and control pain and fatigue and help restore your quality of life. More »

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