What is the Difference Between Inflammatory Arthritis and Fibromyalgia ?

Certain types of inflammatory arthritis and fibromyalgia are often confused because their symptoms mimic one another in early stages.


While fibromyalgia is considered an arthritis-related condition, it is not a true form of arthritis because it does not cause tissue inflammation nor does it damage joints or muscles. However some consider it a rheumatic condition because it can make the joints and surrounding tissues painful and sore to use. In general people with fibromyalgia have normal looking X-ray and blood tests results, and family and friends drive them mad by telling them they look fine. A person with arthritis will have abnormal test results and they may also be in visible pain, with swollen or deformed joints.

Distinguishing between the two to yield a proper diagnosis is important to ensure proper treatment. Both are chronic disorders earmarked by long-lasting pain.

Inflammatory Arthritis

There are several types of inflammatory arthritis which include:

Inflammatory arthritis leads to inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. Long-standing inflammatory arthritis can result in joint deformation and disability.

Typical Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis/Osteoarthritis  Osteoarthritis

• Pain in affected joints, particularly after repetitive use.
• Stiffness, you may feel creaky first thing in the morning.
• Creaking joint noises, cracking and crunching sounds.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

• Reduced appetite.
• Feeling generally unwell.
• Fatigue.
• Swollen glands.
• General feeling of weakness.



Fibromyalgia affects not only joints, but muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues in the elbows, hips, chest, knees, lower back, neck, and shoulders. Fibromyalgia can develop alone or with inflammatory arthritis.

Common Shared Symptoms

Both fibromyalgia and inflammatory arthritis sufferers have pain and stiffness in the morning. Other common symptoms shared by the two conditions include:

  • fatigue
  • sleep disturbances
  • limited range of motion
  • numbness or tingling

Typical Signs of Fibromyalgia

• Pain in specific points of the body called the fibromyalgia tender points.
• Flu like pain, primarily in the neck and shoulders.
• Feeling anxious.
• Constant extreme fatigue.
• Chronic back pain.
• Bouts of constipation or diarrhea.
• Jaw or facial tenderness (90 percent experience this symptom).
• Headaches and migraines (up to 50 percent of cases).

Diagnosing Symptoms

Tests to distinguish fibromyalgia and inflammatory arthritis include X-rays, blood tests, and ultrasound. Besides inflammatory arthritis, fibromyalgia also shares common symptoms with several other conditions.

  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • cancer
  • depression
  • HIV infection
  • hyperthyroidism
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • Lyme disease

Some common facts about Complex Regional Pain

Thanks to our modern science which helped us know a lot about CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome). CRPS is basically a pain condition that effects limbs like feet, hand, legs and arms especially after a trauma or injury. In some cases it is mild, some its moderate and in other cases it is severe too.

CRPS can occur due to malfunction or damage of central or peripheral nervous system. The central nervous system comprise of spinal cord and brain and peripheral nervous system consists of nerve signaling via spinal cord and brain to the entire body.

Some common facts about CRPS are

The pain is not directly associated to range of damage or injury

The pain that occurs in case of CRPS can be unbearable without affecting much to tissue health. Remember this pain part of protection of the body on its own and doesn’t indicate any tissue damage.

The limb that is affected can feel different from the way it actually looks

Here temperature and size are included. It also feels like detaches, not mine, doesn’t belong to me . The loss of sensation of owning the limb occurs as brain produces this sense, but brain can also regulate it.

The symptoms absolutely can change depending on how you feel and your mood

Stress can increase the pain. This is because of identified threat to the individual triggering  protection.

Looking at someone who can move their body part leads to depression or hurt you

The brain imitates the similar movement leading to actual pain.

Change in color of limb because of change in blood flow

The ANS (automatic nervous system) controls our blood flow. This system answers to identified threat – fright, flight, freeze.  In simple words this system responds to what and how we think. When it is a embarrassing situation for us we turn to red.  This is due to how we though of that situation. The ANS becomes sensitive, and is asoosciated with CRPS – sweaty palms, changed sense regarding size and color change.

The women are affected almost 3 times more than men. A series of CRPS  treatment is conducted normally to improve symptoms of CRPS. A MRI, x-ray, bone scan or a test of nervous system can help a person know if he/s she has CRPS.

A majority of CRPS patients within the age group of 30-55 years and CRPS can spread occasionally from one part to another anywhere in our body like opposite limb. Symptoms and signs exists from months and extend to years and treatment is only effective when started in initial stages of the disease.

The condition takes several to many years to improve. Approx 75% of patients get back to normal condition whereas some near normal. About 15 per cent have permanent diability(moderate) and 10% cases suffer from permanent diability(severe). Fifty percent of people who remain untreated end up facing extreme residual impairement.

It is better to get your CRPS condition treated in early stages of illness to avoid severe impairment.

Herbal Remedies to treat chronic pain

Treating pain which is chronic in nature is a daunting task as there are number of factors that lead to chronic pain. This article will help you know about herbal remedies that can treat chronic pain naturally.

Vitamin D

Deficiency of vitamin D leads to a lot of chronic diseases. Studies say that people who are vitamin D deficient require more pain medication as compared to those who have normal vitamin D levels. You can get vitamin D not only through supplements but also exposing your body to the sun can give you vitamin D naturally and helps recovering from chronic pain


Magnesium acts as a powerful treatment for nerve pain as well as muscle pain. Magnesium helps balancing a brain chemical called as NMDA which is responsible in imparting pain via nervous system. Deficiency of magnesium is the major cause of pain so you can use magnesium supplements to improve the symptoms of pain.


Skullcap has been known to be effective for 200 years in treating pain, convulsions, nervous tension, and anxiety. Chinese skullcap is similar herb but slightly different and it is useful to treat headaches, inflammation, allergies, infections and even cancer. People suffering from chronic pain can use it as a powerful weapon to calm nerves and relieve pain.


It is the most powerful herb known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is helpful in treating gout, arthritis, sciatic, autoimmune diseases and other conditions related to inflammation. Ideally turmeric help suppress inflammation that leads to diseases and helps in recovering from pains that you are suffering from


It is a natural herb with a history of relieving pain. It is often used to promote sleep and relax the body. It also helps easing psychological stress, anxiety which in turn cause unbearable pain. Valerian also treats headaches, joint and muscle pain, depression and menstrual pain.

Devil’s claw

This is an African herb which is very effective in treating low back, arthritis, and hip and knee pain. Studies say that it can even relieve chronic pain within just 10 days of use without leaving any side effects.

It is a well known dietary supplement which is helpful in treating depression and osteoarthritis. It is a compound which is naturally found every cell of human body. It is known for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory benefits. It relives stiffness, ease pain, rebuild cartilage and reduce swelling in joints. SAM-e is helpful in treating pain in lower back, bursitis, fibromyalgia, and tendinitis.


Apart from psychoactive effects, the active ingredient present in cannabis is known for its pain relieving and analgesic properties. According to various studies, cannabis is also effective in easing neurological pain with leading to any serious side effects. Juice extracted from cannabis leaves (raw) is helpful in reversing illness and chronic pain.

Kava Kava

It is a natural herb which is very effective in easing nerves, reducing anxiety, subdue pain and relaxing muscles. It has got synergistic ability which promotes both physical and mental restfulness. It is also useful in relieving chronic pain.

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