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After years of pain, why can’t doctors diagnose the cause?

I’ve been to doctor after doctor. I’ve heard this, that, go here, go there… My pain has only gotten worse over the years. Over the years, my primary doctor just dismisses it or forgets it. Any helpful suggestions?

Community Answers
  • MarthaGrowdon moderator
    6 months ago

    Hi wagwigtink, I’m so sorry to hear that your doctor is dismissive about your pain. You have the right to receive attentive and respectful care. Do you have a rheumatologist in addition to your primary care physician?

    I wanted to share a few articles about navigating the doctor-patient relationship—you’re not alone in this struggle and many of our contributors have written about it. Perhaps you will find some insight in their words:
    Articles on helping your healthcare team work with you: and

    Article about what you have control over with respect to your treatment:

    Article about all the different doctors who might be involved in your care (depending on how long you’ve been diagnosed, this may be old news to you):

    and a brief summary of different pain treatment options you can learn about and bring to your doctor:

    I hope this gives you some material to help you know how to approach your doctor and start getting better care. We’re here for you. Reach out any time.

    Martha Team

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