I have written an article before on #backpainbloguk about Polymyalgia Rheumatica which my sister was diagnosed with a few years ago but both Polymyalgia Rheumatica and #fibromyalgia keep popping up together so I decided to look into what the difference in between these two conditions.
Healthline wrote an article on this about the similarity with some of the symptoms.
When you have Polymyalgia Rheumatica you feel pain and stiffness in the muscles in your shoulders and upper arms (shoulder girdle) and hips (pelvic girdle). This feeling often comes after you’ve spent time resting, and is most severe upon awakening from sleep.
#Fibromyalgia can also cause muscle pain in the same parts of the body. But it’s more wide-spread and the pain is more severe. People with #fibromyalgia tend to experience other symptoms as well, which include tiredness, trouble sleeping, memory problems, bowel and bladder problems.
Both polymyalgia and fibromyalgia may cause depression related to living with a painful chronic condition.
According to the Mayo Clinic, older adults, usually over age 65, are more likely to be diagnosed with Polymyalgia Rheumatica. It’s rare in people under age 50, but anyone can get #fibromyalgia at any age. But it tends to be more common in women than in men.
It is possible for a person to have both Polymyalgia and fibromyalgia. Polymyalgia Rheumatica is an inflammatory form of arthritis. Fibromyalgia does not show traditional signs of inflammation, though some recent research from 2017 suggests it may also involve inflammation.
Blood tests can usually diagnose Polymyalgia, however, no single test can determine if a person has fibromyalgia, instead a physical exam that looks for specific tender points may be used. A doctor may also take blood samples to rule out inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis.