Many patients with fibromyalgia see a Rheumatologist for a diagnosis and Fibromyalgia Treatment program. Fibromyalgia can cause chronic pain and fatigue similar to arthritis, and can often be misdiagnosed as a rheumatic condition. Frequently a rheumatologist can make a fibromyalgia diagnosis, with your primary physician providing care and treatment for fibromyalgia.
What is a Rheumatologist?
A rheumatologist is an internist or pediatrician who has additional training and experience in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and other diseases of the joints, muscles and bones such as Fibromyalgia.
What Kind of Training Do Rheumatologists Have?
Rheumatologists go to medical school for four years, followed by three years of training in either internal medicine or pediatrics. Rheumatologists devote an additional two to three years in specialized rheumatology training. Most rheumatologists who plan to treat patients choose to become board certified. Upon completion of their training, they must pass an exam conducted by the American Board of Internal Medicine to become certified
What Do Rheumatologists Treat?
Rheumatologists treat fibromyalgia syndrome, arthritis, certain autoimmune diseases, musculoskeletal pain disorders and osteoporosis. There hundreds of diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, lupus, back pain, osteoporosis, and tendonitis.
When Should You See a Rheumatologist?
If musculoskeletal pains are not severe or disabling and last just a few days, it makes sense to give the problem a reasonable chance to be resolved. But sometimes, pain in the joints, muscles or bones is severe or persists for more than a few days. At that point, you should see your physician.
How Does the Rheumatologist Work with Other Health Care Professionals?
The role the rheumatologist plays in health care depends on several factors and needs. Typically the rheumatologist, like the physiatrist works with other physicians, sometimes acting as a consultant to advise another physician about a specific diagnosis and treatment plan. In other situations, the rheumatologist acts as a a go-between manager, relying upon the help of many skilled professionals including nurses, physical and occupational therapists, psychologists and social workers. Team work is important, since musculoskeletal disorders are chronic. Health care professionals can help people with musculoskeletal diseases and their families cope with the changes the diseases cause in their lives.
Is Rheumatology Care for Fibromyalgia More Expensive?
You may be surprised to learn that specialized care may save time and money and reduce the severity of the disease. A rheumatologist is specially trained to spot clues in the medical history and physical examination. The proper tests done early may save money in the long run. Prompt diagnosis and specially tailored treatment often save money and buy time in treating the disease. For More Information to find a rheumatologist in your area, check the American College of Rheumatology’s directory at http://www.rheumatology.org/.
In the next section we will explore research on a Cure for Fibromyalgia.