Primary Care Doctor
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of fibromyalgia, you should make an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she should be able to rule out other conditions, positively diagnose fibromyalgia, and refer you to a rheumatologist with more expertise in diagnosing and treating the disorder.
A rheumatologist is a physician with special training in treating diseases of the muscles, joints, and connective tissues, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, lupus, and fibromyalgia. Your rheumatologist will most likely be your primary fibromyalgia doctor. He or she will perform initial and follow up tests, as well as prescribe and monitor your medications.
Psychologists and psychiatrists both treat mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. A psychiatrist is a certified medical doctor (M.D.) and can prescribe medications. A psychologist is not an M.D. (though he or she may hold a Ph.D. and be called “doctor”) and cannot prescribe medications. Both psychologists and psychiatrists can provide counseling and other forms of therapy useful for fibromyalgia, including cognitive behavioral therapy.
Physical and occupational therapists help people strengthen muscles and joints to better perform everyday activities and find ways to go about daily life with less pain. Physical and occupational therapy can help fibromyalgia patients be more mobile and helps them create effective exercise programs.