What is Polymyalgia? How it is Different From Fibromyalgia

Polymyalgia vs Fibromyalgia, Know The Difference

Polymyalgia rheumatica is a disease of the muscles and joints characterized by muscle pain and stiffness, affecting both sides of the body, and involving the shoulders, arms, neck, and buttock areas. People with the disease are typically over 50 years of age. Polymyalgia rheumatica is abbreviated PMR.If you’re experiencing stiffness in the joints, muscle pain and fatigue, you could be suffering from either polymyalgia rheumatica or fibromyalgia. These two inflammatory disorders are often confused. However despite sharing similar symptoms, they differ in nature, cause, diagnosis, treatment and other factors.

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Know the difference between Polymyalgia and Fibromyalgia to seek the right treatment.

Polymyalgia vs Fibromyalgia: Symptoms

Both polymyalgia and fibromyalgia are both pain conditions. General practitioners who are unfamiliar with the conditions may have trouble distinguishing one from the other.

With polymyalgia, you experience stiffness in the neck, shoulders, arms and hips, particularly after you have rested for a while.

Similarly, fibromyalgia also lead to stiffness in the same parts of the body, accompanied by muscle pain. However, these are not its only symptoms. Fibromyalgia patients suffer from painful tender points which are specific to fibromyalgia. They also experience difficulty with sleeping, tiredness and mental fuzziness.

Polymyalgia vs Fibromyalgia: Causes

Polymyalgia and fibromyalgia are thought to be genetic in nature. However, polymyalgia is diagnosed more often in certain seasons, pointing to the fact that it is environmental in nature. On the other hand, fibromyalgia is usually diagnosed after a prolong period of severe physical or emotional stress due to an injury, an illness, a traumatic period or event such as an accident or death of a loved one.

Polymyalgia vs Fibromyalgia: Demography

Polymalgia is usually diagnosed in seniors above 65 years of age and cases of under 50 years of age are extremely rare. On the other hand, fibromyalgia can exist in all age groups, ranging from children to adults.

Both polymyalgia and fibromyalgia are more common in women than men. The ratio of women to men affected by polymyalgia is 2:1 while ratio of women to men affected by fibromyalgia 4:1

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