With similar sounding names you would automatically think Polymyalgia and Fibromyalgia were similar, but the only similarity is that they both give pain in your muscles (myalgia).
Some people say that Fibromyalgia is an autoimmune disease but the majority of sites do not think that. However Polymyalgia is an autoimmune disease which gives you pain, stiffness and tenderness in large muscles, typically around the shoulders, upper arms and hips, and yet the 18 pain points in Fibromyalgia do not give you any pain. The cause is not known. Confused, yes it is a bit confusing and another reason to keep a diary of your exact pain to help your GP decide what your problem is.
Fibromyalgia is not an inflammatory condition. It is caused by abnormal sensory processing in the central nervous system. People with fibromyalgia may be extremely sensitive to pain.
Treatment differs, too. Fibromyalgia is treated with exercise, relaxation techniques, analgesic medications and antidepressants to relieve pain and promote sleep. Treatment for polymyalgia is targeted at relieving inflammation. For some people, daily doses of NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), are sufficient, but more often corticosteroids, such as prednisone, are required to control inflammation.
Both diseases tend to be in mainly women and some seem to run in families.