Pain Mgmt Doc vs. Rheumatologist

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by skitz, Dec 4, 2002.

  1. skitz

    skitz New Member

    I'm looking for a Doc that can dx and assist me with my pain (I'm pretty certain I have FM but never formally dx'd). I have significant pain at the moment and need to rule out other causes.

    There are many local Rheumatologists but few that specialize in FM. One the other hand, I found a local MD specializing in pain mgmt and experience in FM.

    Is there an advantage in one over the other, particularly at this early stage of research/discovery for me?


    I appreciate any recommendations.

    Sharon
  2. skitz

    skitz New Member

    I'm looking for a Doc that can dx and assist me with my pain (I'm pretty certain I have FM but never formally dx'd). I have significant pain at the moment and need to rule out other causes.

    There are many local Rheumatologists but few that specialize in FM. One the other hand, I found a local MD specializing in pain mgmt and experience in FM.

    Is there an advantage in one over the other, particularly at this early stage of research/discovery for me?


    I appreciate any recommendations.

    Sharon
  3. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    Personally, I think you'd be way ahead of the game to see the local MD who's familiar with FM & specializes in pain mgmt! Unless, of course, you have a suspicion that there is more to your pain than FM---if you feel maybe lupus or RA or something a rheumy is really good at dx-ing & treating is also involved---then I might look for a rheumy. There definitely ARE good, FM-aware rheumys out there, but many now only diagnose (or eliminate other inflammatory conditions) then send you back to a regular MD for treatment anyway.

    If pain is your main issue, & you know this local MD is experienced & FM-knowledgeable, I'd start there---do you know anyone else who's had a positive experience with him? That might help you decide, too...

    Good luck & hope you find a great doc who helps!!

    Hugs,
    Pam
  4. allhart

    allhart New Member

    if you can afford it why not go to both?one dr always seems to send us to anthor anyways,see if you can see both and decide which dr you like the best and helps you the best,
    kara
  5. paula45

    paula45 New Member

    In my opinion and just judging from my personal experience, pain doc. I've had terrible experience with rheumatologists. My pain doc (who I love) is very genuinely interested and invested in alleviating my pain. I got to an internal medicine doc as my PCP physician and he, too, wants to help with my pain and prescribes my pain medications. Hope this helps. Like I said, it's just my opinion. Good luck to you.
    Paula
  6. Wreckless

    Wreckless New Member

    It was my primary care doctor that referred me to a Rheumatologist, who diagnosed me with FM, which I had never heard of before. The Rheumatologist put me on the American Arthritis Foundations reccomended treatment, which includes moderate non-arobic excercise(walking no more than 30 mins for me), Desipramine to accent the Prozac I am already taking, and Vicodin for pain. However, my primary care doctor is still involved in my treatment, and I continue to see him.
    Everything I have read leads me to believe that all of your doctors should be involved in your care.
    Rudy
  7. epicurean

    epicurean New Member

    but after he dx"d me he told me he had pain and I would have to learn to live with it just like he did!!!I think not!!
    So am now going to anesht./pain managment Dr. who has made a world of difference in how I feel.I think I am doing so well because of early diag.,compare to most others,and for the early treatment of pain.I would go to each if you can,and then maybe decide,but I lean toward the pain managment.
    Good-luck!!
  8. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I know there are a few here who have good rheumies, but I don't believe, in general, they are very effective in treating pain. Most of them are afraid of addiction and prescribing opiods, which are the most effective meds in handling chronic pain. Pain specialists are familiar with these meds and more comfortable prescribing them. Rheumies usually want to put us on anti-inflammatories despite the fact that our illnesses are not inflammatory in nature.

    My pain specialist knows more about our illnesses than all my other docs put together. Another alternative is a physiatrist, if you can find a good one who is knowledgeable in our illnesses.

    Love, Mikie
  9. mellow

    mellow New Member

    I did not have a very good experience with my Rheumatologist as he did not have much experience with FM and said "it was in my head". He also told me that there was nothing he could give me for pain! I would definitely see someone who specialises in this problem as not many doctors seem to especially in Australia where I live. Mellow
  10. Jillsy

    Jillsy Guest

    HI Sharon,
    Didinitive diagnosis is very important and for that I would suggest a rheumatologist. Once diagnosed, you would be best served to see the doc who specializes in pain management. At least that has been my experience.
    good luck to you...
    Jillsy
  11. queenbee69

    queenbee69 New Member

    Where are you located? I again feel a little bad because I have had such good luck with being dd and having no problems with my dr. concerning this. My pain manangement dr. specializes in fibro. and my rheumy had no quams about that dd. Wish I could help you..........queenbee
  12. skitz

    skitz New Member

    WOW...you folks are all so wonderful about sharing your experiences and helping each other, and us newbies. I can't thank you enough!

    I called the only Pain Doc I could find in the area (I'm in the SW suburbs of Chicago) who deals with FM. The office assistant was not too friendly, and said I had to leave a message for a call back before getting an appt...they never called back!

    In the meantime I found an internal med doc who specializes in FM and has many FM patients, is in my insurance PPO, is close to my home, could see me in less than 2 weeks AND the person who answered the phone was so kind and patient with me. I mentioned my GP would not diagnose me cause he doesn't really believe in FM and she was very understanding and said that this doc is very familiar with FM. I know it's premature since I haven't met the doc yet, but I feel blessed to have come this far in such a short time. I will let you all know how it goes after my appt. which is 12/17.

    I also have a chiro that I trust who has been helping me tremendously with my pain. He's the one who initially suggested FM to me, but he is not in a position to dx (he said).

    My biggest complaint at the moment is the pain in my elbows. I've lost so much strength because of the pain. I've been playing tenneis, but pay the price for the next week. I need to find a new form of exercise. I found a local support group who told me about a warm water exercise class for FM sufferers called AICHI. Is anyone familiar with AICHI? I plan to try it and will let you know.

    Since the concept of FM has all come upon me so suddenly (just thought I was lazy & in pain cause of my baby weight gain) I've been praying hard for some direction. All this (including finding this website) has happened in the past few days. I really believe the Lord is leading me down the path I need to follow.

    God Bless,
    Sharon
  13. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    Sounds like you found the right doc's office for you--I think you can get a good vibe from a caring receptionist who seems to be very understanding about people in pain, and that can bode well for you. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you, but sounds like you're on the right track!

    Good luck,
    Pam

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