Fibromyalgia and Rheumatology

fibromyalgia and rheumatology

Fibromyalgia and rheumatology are indirectly linked. Seeing a doctor who specialize in rheumatology can benefit those with fibromyalgia. Many doctors who are rheumatologists tend to specialize in fibromyalgia as well. How are fibromyalgia and rheumatology related and is fibromyalgia a rheumatic disease?

What Is Rheumatology?

Rheumatology is a study of disorders which affect the muscles, joints and ligaments. It covers more than 200 over musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases. The more common ones include arthritis, gout, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus etc. Nonetheless, almost any condition that can lead to chronic pain in the muscles and joint tend to fall within rheumatology.

Doctors who specialize in rheumatology are rheumatologists. They usually practice their profession in outpatient clinics and treat patients who are typically being referred to them by a general practitioner.

How Are Fibromyalgia And Rheumatology Related?

Fibromyalgia and rheumatology are related because rheumatologists specialize in treating widespread musculoskeletal pain which happen to characterize fibromyalgia. If you have fibromyalgia, there is a good chance that your doctor will refer you to a rheumatologist at some point. However, rheumatologists are usually not the first mode of treatment for those with fibromyalgia. Generally, those who have fibromyalgia have to see a general practitioner first.

Is Fibromyalgia A Rheumatic Disease?

Depsite the connection, fibromyalgia is not a rheumatic disease. Fibromyalgia does not cause actual inflammation or damages to muscles, joints and connective tissues as in arthritis. It is a neurological condition resulting in widespread pain and tenderness.

When Should You See A Rheumatologist?

Deciding if a rheumatologist is best for you is a decision that you must work with your doctor. If you feel that your current treatment is ineffective, asking for a referral to a rheumatologist may be a good option.

It is possible that a rheumatologist is more qualified to treat your condition. However, you need to keep in mind that not all rheumatologists are familiar with fibromyalgia. This is because fibromyalgia is one of the chronic conditions that are poorly understood. Thus, rheumatologists who lack the knowledge of fibromyalgia may not be able to offer any help.

Nevertheless, rheumatology is a specialized field that is capable of treating similar conditions to fibromyalgia. Hence, seeing a rheumatologist may be beneficial in looking for a treatment that can work best for you. The key is to find a doctor who specialize in rheumatology and have experiences in treating fibromyalgia.

Have you seen a rheumatologist for your fibromyalgia? Leave a comment to share your experience below.


  • I waited Three years through the public health system to see a rheumatologist.. I am so glad I didn’t have to pay for that appointment because my hand would have been shaking handing any money over. Fibromyalgia is so misunderstood by medical professionals, because not enough research has been done due to it being a chronic disease, not a terminal one. The common misconception is that if the patient looks well, they can’t be feeling much pain.. WRONG!… We may look well but believe me our bodies tell us different some days. I want a sleep study done, due to sleep aponea and tooth grinding at night, so bad it makes my migraines worse.. I was told that I was not the regular body type for sleep aponea, so highly unlikely that I need a sleep study done… The same as I was told that I wasn’t typical of build or age of a woman with gallstones.. I had my gallbladder out due to stones at age 34 in fit physical shape. I am learning to speak up to stereotyping with this and other conditions. Exams for medical students just don’t cover enough about the disease.. Things need to change. A rheumatologist is not always equipped with the knowledge to cover the many diverse symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia. Muscle and joint pains are only the tip of the iceberg for many patients. Fibromyalgia involves so many more complex symptoms that vary from patient to patient.

  • I was diagnosed in 1994 by rheumatologist in Frimley Park hospital, hence a form signed by him , Proof at least for people who need to know.

  • So far No Rheumatologist that I’ve been to know anything about Fibromyalgia. The only one that actually understands Fibro is at But , it cost 100$ for a phone appointment, and the vitamins that he make( that make sense) are over 100$ a month, which is a lot of money if your not able to work. But may help you to work again, it’s a vicious circle.

  • It is a false statement to say Fibromyalgia does not cause inflamation….. I have been dealing with it for 20 years and it very much so causes inflammation that is very painful.

  • I saw a rheumatologist and she said she couldn’t help me. She prescribed Elavil to help me sleep, hugged me gently, and wished me good luck. Elavil helps greatly with the fatigue and pain! I am still looking for a doctor who will diagnose what I have… whether it is fibromyalgia or not. I want to know what it is and what to do about it.

  • It was my rheumatologist that actually diagnosed my fibromyalgia when I was under her for my ostio arthritis and osteoporosis, I was in so much pain all over my body and after seeing her on several occasions she then told me about the condition and printed out loads and loads of information about fibromyalgia as I had never heard of it before , she referred me to pain clinic and then said she didn’t need to see me again because unlike rheumatoid arthritis there are no medications for ostio the same as fibromyalgia it’s all down to pain management, yet there are so many types of medication for rheumatoid, that was about 12 years ago it all seem to happen within months of each other about 3 or 4 months after finishing chemotherapy after breast cancer .
    Prior to that I was fit as a fiddle , always held down 2 jobs and running around helping other people I just never seemed to have 5 mins to myself as I was always on the go, from there on in I have had one thing after another starting with the arthritis and osteoporosis then the fibromyalgia, I could go on and on my immune system is so low , I seem to be getting weaker and weaker and have really bad flare ups .
    Since I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia I couldn’t believe how many people I know have it and groups like this considering I had never heard of it before so knowing what pain I’m going through I really feel for all the thousands of people all over the world who share this awful nightmare including all you guys who write in on here x

  • Yes, I have been seeing a rheumatologist since the early 90s and the 2 I have seen have been a tremendous help. It’s TRUE that some will just send you to a pain clinic, but, I looked for docs who would not since I have other chronic issues as well, and i do not want to take narcotics. I love to travel to see my children and grandchildren and dont want to have narcs in my car or in their house. The rheumatologist has been innovative and practical in my meds and came up with a cocktail of meds to meet my needs. It’s not perfect but I can function and have some semblance of a life.
    You might have to look around for one and the certainly a dying breed but they can help a lot if you can find one.

  • I have asked my doctor several times for a referral. She says that, she can’t as the guidelines have changed. And I have to have something else wrong with me to be referred? She has printed the info off the health website for me, but that doesn’t help me when there are other treatments out there, that I can only get after a referral. All she keeps offering me is physio, which isn’t any use as it puts me on strong painkillers for a week.

  • I haven’t but my grandmother had rhumetology and i recently heard she was diagonaed with Fibromyalgia in 1978. She died in 1987. I was diagnosed in 2003 and recently diagnosed with osteoarthritis. The Dr that my grandmother saw is still practicing. I sometimes wonder if I should see her.

  • This is all a bunch of bullshit and it’s the worst God damn disease there is worse than cancer leaves you with no goddamn memory every fucking test come back normal but you are far from normal suicide is always think about 24 hours a day you spend your whole life getting spit on abused by your husband he raped me he poured beer on me all he’s ever done is lied and cheated and treated me like shit now I end up with something that nobody can help me with I have to make the decision now to end my life and please him Rheumatology does not run in my family but yet I’ve got osteoarthritis and every single joint and what’s this shit the bones that hurt r not even joints you can’t work cuz you can’t remember what the hell you doing and you’re in so much pain and a sickness that is undescribable this disease been out since the 1800 animal I have hand you was a bunch of antidepressants that’s bullshit any depressants fry your brain I have a psychiatrist who hands me Alzheimer’s medication in an envelope an envelope that you would send the letter out in because I confronted her about going into her sample closet and handing out expired medication the medical system is horrible the doctors don’t know what they’re doing best thing to do is just become a drug addict shoot up some heroin couple times a day

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