People who have fibromyalgia often have a hard time finding a doctor who understands them and their disease. How do you know if a doctor will be a good match for you?

There are a number of specialists that can treat fibromyalgia. In some cases, one specialist serves as the lead doctor and coordinates care with other health care providers. Read Doctors Who Treat Fibromyalgia

First, look for doctors who list fibromyalgia as an area of expertise, or who come recommended by other people with fibromyalgia. Keep in mind that because fibromyalgia is not well understood, the approach to treatment can vary from physician to physician. To decide if a doctor is a good fit for you, ask the doctor plenty of questions.

See What You Need to Know About Fibromyalgia

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6 Questions to Ask a Physician About Fibromyalgia Treatment

Doctors often schedule extra time for appointments with new patients, so your first appointment is the ideal time to ask a lot questions, such as:

  1. When do you recommend medications?

    See Medications to Ease Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  2. What non-medication treatments do you recommend?

    See Exercise Helps Relieve Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  3. Do you support complementary and alternative medicine treatments, such as acupuncture?
  4. What do you tell patients who need emotional support?

    See Chronic Pain Can Lead to Depression

  5. Under what circumstances would you refer a fibromyalgia patient to a:
    • Physical therapist?
    • Occupational therapist?
    • Counselor?
    • Dietician?
  6. What can I expect from treatment? What type of results do you typically see in patients like me?

See Multi-Specialty Fibromyalgia Treatment

The answers the doctor gives you can help you decide if he or she is a good match. Do they seem to have the necessary expertise? Are they empathetic? Do they seem to view patients as a partners in care?

Lastly, keep in mind that patients may work with more than one doctor. For example, a patient may see both a family physician and a pain specialist who work together to coordinate a treatment plan. Alternatively, a patient may work with a rheumatologist and a psychologist who specializes in coping with chronic pain. Patients can choose a caregiver or combination of caregivers that works for them, and that combination may change over time.

See Coping with Chronic Pain and Insomnia

Learn more:

Foods to Avoid with Fibromyalgia

Characteristic Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

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