By Kristen Stewart Medically Reviewed by Farrokh Sohrabi, MD
Though fibromyalgia and Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis are two different conditions but it may take a while to distinguish between the two , considering that they exhibit similar symptoms.
Fibromyalgia can aggravate the symptoms of Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis , likewise, having Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis, can also increase your risks of developing some other conditions and complications.
While Fibromyalgia does not trigger other disorders such as Psoriasis, both fibromyalgia and Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis can trigger irritated bowel syndrome.
Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis is a condition whereby those places in the body where the ligaments and bones meet, are inflamed, causing sharp and sporadic pains that may not subside for long periods of time.
Some symptoms associated with Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis include; red and scaly itchy skin- these are not often present in fibromyalgia, and for this reason, Psoriasis symptoms seem to be the primary indicator for Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis.
For this reason, you may have to be diagnosed of both psoriasis and Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis when you visit a doctor. If on the other hand, you develop some back, neck, and joint pains, your doctor will have to examine you for fibromyalgia and Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis.
Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis is characterized by a low back pain that may extend to the butt region. Stiffness in the spine is also common and this can be mild in women who have more movements in their spines. Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis may also affect men, but it is not as common as in women.
Fibromyalgia and Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis
There symptoms may look similar, but Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis is different from fibromyalgia in diverse ways. Simply put, fibromyalgia involves pains located in the soft tissues and muscles, especially the ligaments and tendons, and this condition may not show any evidence of inflammation.
Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis symptoms, on the other hand, are always accompanied by inflammation , and it is a condition that can affect the joints and spines.
For this reason, the major difference between fibromyalgia and Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis, is therefore the development of inflammation, and this may be the first check a doctor will consider before further diagnosis are carried out.
There are ongoing researches being conducted to establish the link between fibromyalgia and Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis, but presently, there is no specific genetic marker for fibromyalgia, therefore it is practically impossible to link both conditions genetically.
One possible link that has been identified between fibromyalgia and Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis, is sleep. Lack of sleep has been identified as one of the largest contributors to the development of fibromyalgia, or its worsening symptoms.
It has also been established that any condition , including Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis, that can worsen pain, can make fibromyalgia much more serious. Similarly, any condition, including Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis, that interrupts with sleep, can increase the risks of fibromyalgia.
Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis has also been linked with irritable bowel syndrome, including; ulcerative colitis, and Chrohn’s disease.
Individuals who suffer from inflammatory bowel syndrome may develop pain in the neck and spine, and these can worsen fibromyalgia conditions .
Inflammatory disorders have been linked with the abuse of medications such as corticosteroids, and antibiotics , and one of the fastest possible ways of detecting these conditions is through the observation of diarrhea and blood in stools.
Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis has been linked with certain heart problems , and this may differentiate the condition from fibromyalgia(fibromyalgia does not trigger any heart complications).
Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis, for instance, has been linked with the inflammation of the aorta of the heart, and this is a dangerous condition, in which blood flows back from the aorta, instead of flowing forward and distributed to all other parts of the body.
The increase in the conduction system of the heart and this may lead to high blood pressure and eventually heart failure.
Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis disorder is more common among women of ages between 25 and 45, and the fact that it co-exist with other diseases can make it extremely difficult to diagnose.
Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis has also been linked with numerous lungs and jaw problems, but fibromyalgia does not affect such parts.
Treatment of Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis
While Fibromyalgia is normally treated with anti-depressants and some other drug-management medications, Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis, on the other hand, cannot be treated with such medications.
Just before treatment, the medical practitioner may have to ask a series of questions in order to ascertain the proper treatment to administer.
For instance, some drugs may interact with those prescribed for Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis, and such situations may worsen the condition, instead of ameliorating it.
Dietary changes can help alleviate most of the inflammatory symptoms of Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis. For instance, you can reduce the risks of developing the disease by avoiding foods that can trigger inflammation.
For instance, white flour, sugar and certain spices can cause Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis to get worse. You may also be advised to stay away from strenuous exercises that can put further strains on your joints and ligaments.
In extreme cases, surgical treatments may be administered on a patient suffering from Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis. In most cases, the medical practitioner will examine you for.
Any physical activity that may speed up the healing of inflamed joints , can also be recommended. For instance, the systemic movement of legs in certain positions, for several minutes a day, have been found to be effective in speeding up the healing of inflamed joints.
Surgical procedures are only performed on affected body area, when the pain seem to be recurring and it has reached an advance stage where it is affecting the normal daily life of the patient.
X-ray findings and blood tests are normally used in confirming Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis once physical examinations have been conducted, while X-rays will reveal abnormalities in the affected joint, tendon or spine, blood tests are normally conducted to confirm the presence of inflammation in the body.
Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis may also affect individuals who have lesser bone mass, than those with larger bone masses.
Sometimes, Urinalysis may be conducted if there are symptoms of kidney abnormalities, that are directly linked to Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis .
Ankylosing Spondyloarthritis can be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Naproxen.