Who can diagnose Fibro?: Can a... - Fibromyalgia Acti...

Fibromyalgia Action UK
48,252 members59,886 posts

Who can diagnose Fibro?


Can a physiotherapist diagnose fibro? I have a doctor phobia but am fine with physios, and have never hd a diagnosis due to this, but am seeing a physio for my shoulder issues this week and wondered if I could ask them. Thanks for any advice.

13 Replies

As long as you see a specialist physio who knows about fibro they can give you an answer, if the one you see isn't then ask if a colleague could advise,it would be wise before they give you rigorous exercise that will aggravate any fibro..

Hi, I was diagnosed by a doctor who specialised in stomach problems. However, I then saw a GP and he told me that it wasn't a formal diagnosis but 2 different GP's diagnosed me with fibro. I finally saw my rheumatologist and he confirmed I had Fibro and EDS type 3.

I think it depends on how knowledgable the person is.

Good luck

Hi Bethechanger welcome to our wonderful forum 😀

In answer to your question, your physio can refer you to a Rheumatologist and what they normally do is write a report & send to your GP. The thing is fibro can take a very long time to diagnose and after many blood tests to eliminate other conditions that fibro mimics the symptoms of, if all come back clear & symptoms are still the same after around 3 mths you are then normally referred to a Rheumatologist but most doctors will send you to physio.

I do hope you get somewhere soon with it all my friend and do let us know how you get on.

Pls go check the mother site fmauk.org where you will find a wealth of information on Fibro

Peace, luv n light

Jan xx

Hello Bethechanger and a warm welcome to our friendly fibro forum where you can find advice, help, support and understanding.

I think a physiotherapist can suspect fibro but cannot definitely diagnose it. As our lovely Janet28 says, it is a process of elimination of other conditions, particularly like lupus and Lyme Disease amongst others.

I am concerned of your doctor phobia as you may be suffering unnecessarily with your health, a proper diagnosis of your symptoms is essential.

Would you be able to take a close friend or family member with you in the consulting room, or even just to the waiting room?

A telephone conversation may help but your doctor really needs to see you to check for muscle stiffness, arthritic joints and swelling. He will then be able to organise blood tests and xrays if necessary.

Please do seek your doctor's advice.


I would think you would have to see a Doctor or rheumatologist to confirm your diagnosis if a physio Thought it was fybro, take care

Hi the first physio I saw didn't know anything about fibromyalgia or what was wrong with me so stopped the appointments. A doctor then referred me to a rheumatologist consultant who diagnosed my fibromyalgia plus other things.

X x

Hi Bethechanger

I sincerely hope that you are feeling as well as you possibly can be today? Welcome to the forum and it is wonderful to make your acquaintance.

I have pasted you an excerpt from the *PhysioWorks website, on how they say Fibro is diagnosed:

*How is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed?

The symptoms of fibromyalgia can be associated with many conditions or diseases, making it difficult to diagnose. Diagnosis is usually made by your doctor or rheumatologist after ruling out other diagnoses. As well as palpating a number of sensitive points around your body your doctor may perform blood tests, scans and x-rays to rule out other causes of pain.

Conditions that can mimic the features of fibromyalgia include an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), vitamin D deficiency, rheumatoid arthritis and even sleep apnoea.

I want to sincerely wish you all the best of luck and please take care of yourself my friend.

All my hopes and dreams for you


Yep rheumo dx my fibro x

I don't know how your phobia manifests but You or a friend can explain when booking your GP appointment. Maybe a sympathetic Lady DR? The GP that everybody recommends at your surgery? I think the GP is an essential as the gatekeeper to being referred on to physio, specialist etc. I agree without a GP you may be missing out on diagnosis and treatment of treatable conditions.

With all the info on the Net, you may be worrying yourself without being able to go to a Dr to rule anything out. Sometimes with some of our symptoms we can get very anxious that they are serious. Certainly they feel serious! We do need reassurance.

I was diagnosed by the Rheumatologist. I think that is usual.

Your Dr cant treat you without consent. He can suggest treatments but you can say no. A Dr has to ask for you to agree to examination and they have to tell you what will happen.

I remember the terror as a child that Drs would just do things without my consent. Sometimes very bad things! I think they were wrong. I guess grown ups trusted too much.

You can take a friend? Ask for a chaperone?

I wont have intimate examinations without a chaperone and I ask to see a woman Dr for these too. I don't care if privately they think that is obsessive. They don't make me feel bad for asking. (You should be reassured Chaperones are fully trained for this role). I am certainly not alone in making this choice. I also refuse examination if I fear the examination is pointless or the Dr or other medic is clueless. Being a fibro I'm easily hurt. I find a hand holder is a great help for any difficult exams or treatments. Someone close to say, nearly over or just another minute you're doing fine.

I think fears can be less when we know we can be in control. I'm not diminishing your phobia, I know they are horrid and disabling. I'm just trying to say you can maybe overcome if you feel able to ask for how things need to be and tell them why. Any decent Dr should want to help you and not scare you more. There could be counselling too?

Fibro is a condition of exclusion. A physio can suspect but can't exclude the many other reasons you could be suffering.

I hope you get diagnosed with something easy and treatable. By the time you get diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I think you will be cured of your phobia as they will have had to exclude so many other more likely conditions first. We old timers have had most of our bits checked, scanned, etc. Wee tests, blood tests, MRI, Xray and so on and on. With fibro, these tests are ongoing as each new odd symptom suggests something more sinister. (heart, Kidneys, Guts, gynaecological, bladder?) We get the joy of knowing each time we are at least a very healthy poorly person.

People get diagnosed with fibro because despite the Drs testing and failing to find disease, they are suffering so much, they keep coming back asking for answers. The suffering (with disease ruled out) builds a recognisable pattern. Any medic prepared to simply plump for Fibro, is too likely fobbing you off.

I wish you success with finding what is making you feel so poorly.


I agree with delicious 21, but I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia about 5 years ago by my doctor, but it was hard to diagnose but good luck and I hope you don't have it.

It is very painful and I wish it on nobody!!!

Take care,


Thank you all so much for your very kind responses. Forgive my not feeling up to replying to each individually, but my energy levels are low...sure you resonate with that! Not sure if I will proceed with seeing diagnosis just now, can't quite face it to be frank.

Thank you all so much for your very kind responses. Forgive my not feeling up to replying to each individually, but my energy levels are low...sure you resonate with that! Not sure if I will proceed with seeing diagnosis just now, can't quite face it to be frank.

You may also like...