After I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia I too, wanted information. My family doctor prescribed medication for me. That first month, my doctor referred me to a rheumatologist for a second opinion. Making the visit to an RA doctor is highly recommended.
Fortunately, I have a great doctor, who knows fibromyalgia is real and treats it. Many people with fibromyalgia find they have other co-existing conditions. Sometimes RA mimics fibromyalgia. And fibromyalgia and myofascial trigger points (TrPs) share medical complaints. Rheumatoid Arthritis, RA, causes our own body to target and kill our good cells. RA is chronic and results in deformations of the bones, and almost always causes myofascial TRPs. It is progressive. There is no cure for RA as yet. But there is treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. Trigger point treatments can help lessen the pain load.
Polymyalgia rheumatica means ‘pain in many muscles’. It causes pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulders and hips. People with it awaken with pain in the muscles, and seem to have inflammation of the blood vessels in the face. This is usually not chronic, and seems to disappear in one or two years.
Arthritis and fibromyalgia (FM) often co-exist together. The word ‘arthritis’ means inflammation of the joint. If you have myofascial TrPs, they tend to contract your muscles, and the bones can be pulled slightly out of alignment causing stress on the joint tissues. The stage is set for chronic pain.
There is another autoimmune, and degenerative type of arthritis called Ankylosing Spondylitis. More men have this than women. Symptoms include recurrent back pain, sciatica, fatigue, morning stiffness with anemia.
It’s very important to spend time and get blood work done. Some of these complaints listed above go hand in hand with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are not types of arthritis! Still today, I know women who have gone to their doctors complaining with fibromyalgia, only to be told there is nothing we can do. When you aren’t getting the results you want, look up a fibromyalgia doctor! Try pain clinics. It’s been eleven years since I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and I’ve studied that long to understand it.