Why are we referred to Rheumatologists as opposed to Neurologists is fibro is a condition of the peripheral nervous system?

I dont understand the difference in the two and I am quite fed up with my Rheumatologist who seems to be looking for the wrong thing when testing. The rheumatologist is feeling for nodules but not checking out how the nerves are working. Pregabalin targets nerve pain so something doesn't make sense here. Sounds like Fibro is a neurological problem as opposed to autoimmune.

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12 Replies

  • I have wondered about this too...

  • I have never understood this either. Maybe someone might shed some light. Hope so. X

  • I was referred to a rheumy to rule out arthritis ect and he confirmed my fibro but was sent to nuero to rule out ms and epilepsy ect I found the nuero was only interested if it was ms or epilepsy the rheumy checked reflexes pressure points everything and recommended drugs to try to the gp I found him so much helpful compared to the nuero however I have 2 brilliant gps that help as much as they can but are limited to what they can prescribe so waiting for pain clinic see what they are going to do

  • I think it is because untill recently fibro was thought to be a type of rhumatism. Discovering more about the causes is great but it does seem to have left us in a sort of limbo with whatever doctor or specialist who takes an interest in fibro treating us ...sue

  • Hi Milynda

    I sincerely hope that you are feeling as well as you can be? I think you have asked the most incredible and wonderful question! As you are so correct! I think Mayrose54 has hit it on the head with her reply. However, since doctors now know differently surely we should be assessed and treated differently? Unless this is too much to expect?

    All my hopes and dreams for you.

    Ken x

  • Hi Guys

    Can you not request to see a neurologist? I saw one about 18 months ago and he was the first and only doctor who made sense about my Fibro, so I would highly reccommend seeing one.

  • Do you live in the uk? My GP is certain that the referral should be to a rheumy. I will try this though as it cant hurt. (no pun intended)

  • My doc was unconvinced that all my symptoms were fibro related, so he made appointments for both rhumy and neuro. Although the rhumy said he was no expert, both seemed to know their stuff and reported back to doc that they could find nothing that was not fibro related

  • Seems to make sense to me,but probably the professionals can't seem to agree or understand fibro

  • Dear Milynda,

    I thought I'd re post my thoughts as I replied the other day and you may not have seen it :)

    Why are we not referred to Neurologists is a good question, in my personal opinion (no FibroAction hat on) this could be for many reasons, some suggested below;

    *it's classification by the World Health Organisation of Fibromyalgia, see below


    *the need for more research to confirm these Neurological findings that will satisfy the Medical Profession doubts about Fibro, as until this happens will Fibro be taken seriously by Neurologists?

    *the need to dispel people's perceptions that it is of Psychosomatic cause

    *the diagnostic criteria is outlined by the American College of Rheumatology

    *probably due to the other conditions that are diagnosed by Rheumatology that need to be eliminated before the diagnosis of Fibro


    I would be interested to hear others thoughts about the discussion between Neurologists V's Rheumatologists, or whether they've had positive or negative experiences with Neurologists?

    Another interesting point Milynda :), what are your thoughts?

    Emma :)

    FibroAction Administrator

  • My doc sent me to a neurologist. I've had myriad tests and they have (mostIly) all come back clear. I'm now waiting for my follow up appt but there have been difficulties getting that as my wonderful consultant left and I've been passed onto his replacement whose office lost my file and therefore took me off the books. So I've had to start again with a fresh referral from my gp and will doubtless have to undergo more tests when I finally get given an appt.

    I'd love to see a rheumatologist too as I believe I have issues that should be seen by an expert in that field, however I can't seem to convince my go that I need a referral for that until I get the all clear from the neuro. So I continue to wait.

  • I seem to be pretty much in the same position. I don' understand some of the attitudes. My rheumatologist took some vitamin D tests and sent me back to the GP who in turn has re referred me back to the rheumy. All the mean time my paid time off work is ticking away. Oh well, I am trying to stay positive and say that after all is said and done I will have to learn to manage the pain and live my life. It is hard to wait for the system to catch up.

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