American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

Is it Fibro? Tip Sheet for Better Physician Dialogue

Is it Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a common and complex disorder that is best managed through an individualized treatment plan. Consider the following tips to help you and your physician discuss your symptoms and create a flexible treatment plan that meets your needs.

Understand your symptoms:

  • Identify if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

    • Widespread pain

    • Fatigue

    • Not waking refreshed

    • Cognitive symptoms, such as difficulty concentrating or thinking

  • Record your symptoms (use the 60 Day Action Plan to help keep track):

    • Describe what you're feeling.

    • Rate the severity of your symptoms.

    • Note how frequently your symptoms occur.

    • Record what you're doing when the symptoms begin.

Analyze your lifestyle:

  • Keep track of the medications/therapies you regularly use.

  • Document your current exercise routine.

  • Note how your symptoms impact your daily life.

  • Talk to other people about your symptoms and concerns, including family members who can discuss your family health history.

  • Conduct research to learn more about fibromyalgia and the different treatment options available.

Visit an osteopathic physician (DO):

  • Just like MDs, DOs are fully licensed to prescribe medications and specialize in all areas of medicine. They are covered by most insurance companies.

  • DOs can offer a unique approach to fibromyalgia management that focuses on treating the “whole person,” not just specific symptoms.

  • DOs recognize the importance of individualized, patient-centered care to better manage fibromyalgia. As part of a treatment plan, DOs can provide osteopathic manipulative treatment, a hands-on treatment used by DOs that helps care for musculoskeletal pain (such as back pain, migraines, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc.).

  • Find a DO in your area on the AOA's Physician Database.