Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease involving pain and tenderness, spread throughout the body that can coexist with rheumatic diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The term fibromyalgia comes from the Latin word fibro for fibrous tissue and the Greek words myo for muscle and algia for pain. In addition to diffuse pain and tenderness of the body, fibromyalgia can be associated with a number of other symptoms, including fatigue, cognitive problems, headaches, difficulty sleeping, leg restlessness, sensitivity to temperature, and sensitivity to bright light and loud sounds. Unlike RA, fibromyalgia is not considered a type of arthritis and is not associated with inflammation and joint damage. However, like RA, fibromyalgia is considered a rheumatic disease that causes chronic pain that affects joints and soft tissues. Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Fibromyalgia affects about 3 million people, mostly women (80% – 90%). The disorder is most often diagnosed in middle age, but it can also affect young people and children. The causes of fibromyalgia are unknown. However, it is suspected that genetic or environmental factors may play a role in making a person more susceptible to the disease.

Fibromyalgia May Occur With RA

Fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis can usually occur, with fibromyalgia rates ranging from 15% to 17% in groups of patients with RA. In patients in whom both conditions have more severe symptoms, covering both conditions, including tenderness pain, joint pain, decreased physical and mental function and decreased overall quality of life. They are generally in worse condition and suffer from more concomitant illnesses, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease (hypertension, heart disease) and depression. In addition, studies show that patients with both conditions tend to have lower levels of education and lower socioeconomic status. They are also more prone to disability and unable to work. 

Who is at risk for fibromyalgia

Studies have shown that heredity plays a role in susceptibility to fibromyalgia. In other words, fibromyalgia is more common in people who have family members and have or had a disease. However, like rheumatoid arthritis, genetics is not the whole picture when it comes to the risk of fibromyalgia. Environmental and psychological factors are believed to play a role in increasing the risk of the disorder.

Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Diagnosis of fibromyalgia

Since the pain and symptoms associated with fibromyalgia can be similar to those seen with many other diseases, it can be especially difficult to diagnose the disorder. However, it can be helpful to determine the exact location and nature of the pain. Fibromyalgia is associated with common areas of pain, including muscles, ligaments, and tendons throughout the body. These symptoms can occur in one area and then spread among others. For diagnosis, the widespread pain associated with fibromyalgia should last at least 3 months and include tender points in 11 out of 18 specific anatomical sites. In addition to pain, fatigue is another serious problem with fibromyalgia. An estimated 9 out of 10 patients with the disorder suffer moderate to severe fatigue. Other related functions usually include alarm,  

Fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis – treatment

Fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis are best treated with a combination of approaches, including drug and non-pharmacological approaches. Including exercises, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and education. In fact, the American Fibromyalgia Pain Syndrome Group recommends a multimodal approach to the disorder. Medicines for fibromyalgia usually include antidepressant medications that can reduce pain, improve overall well-being, and help with sleep problems. Often tricyclic antidepressants (such as amitriptyline) can provide these benefits. It has been shown that several complementary and alternative therapies, including acupuncture and biofeedback, are effective in the research. And other treatments may be helpful, including yoga, chiropractic therapy, massage, tai chi,

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