FINDING THE RIGHT DOCTOR FOR FYBROMYALGIA
There are all kinds of doctors. We know there are the primary care physicians and there are all the specialists. However, not every doctor understands fybromyalgia and it is important to find the right doctor to treat your condition. Wherever you live, you will have to do some research to find a physician that best suits your needs. The good news is that it is easier to find a doctor who is familiar with fybromyalgia since there have been many studies on the subject resulting in many treatment options that help.
Traditionally, fybromyalgia fell under the care of a rheumatologist. But today, primary care physicians, podiatrists, osteopaths, psychiatrists, neurologists, even nurse practitioners – are overseeing long-term fybromyalgia treatment.
However, in small communities, it may be difficult to find a doctor knowledgeable in the subject. Even large cities may have their own problems as many physicians are closed to new patients. But there are other ways to get around this problem. Here are a few tips.
If you live in an area that doesn’t seem to have providers for fybromyalgia, find a support group. Contact local hospitals and ask for any support groups for fybromyalgia, lupus, or chronic fatigue. The people in these groups will know which health care providers treat fybromyalgia.
GO BEYOND THE RHEUMATOLOGIST
Don’t limit yourself to just the rheumatologist. Many rheumatologists have heavy patient lists. Some only prefer to treat autoimmune disorders like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
Consider the team approach. Ideally, you would like to be under one provider’s care. When that is not available, look into the team approach. Many times, there will be a provider who manages your long-term fybromyalgia, plus therapists to address specific problems.
For your long-term fybromyalgia, you can use podiatrists, osteopaths, psychiatrists, and neurologists. Although these may not have as much experience with your condition, if they have an open mind, that certainly counts. Their willingness to help may be just what the doctor ordered.
If you need only short-term fybromyalgia care, physical, occupational, and speech therapists can be of great benefit to you. Since they specialize in certain aspects of the body, their expertise would give you help with specific problem areas and symptoms.
If therapists have not helped you in the past, don’t give up. Find one that is familiar with fybromyalgia or has, at least, worked with older people. That is hard to take if you are only 40 years old but the exercises they offer will be similar for your fybromyalgia.
CHECK WITH PAIN CLINICS
Pain clinics can be hit-and-miss but they are worth a shot. Contact them to see if they are familiar with fybromyalgia and if any of their patients have the condition. Ask around for a pain clinic reference. If you know someone who has gone to a pain clinic, ask about their experience with the clinic.
If you are having difficulty finding a provider for your fybromyalgia, don’t give up. Keep trying and use the resources in your community. Out there somewhere is the right provider for you.