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.