Some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia are similar to bursitis, tendinitis, and osteoarthritis – which is the number one most common musculoskeletal disease with fibromyalgia as a second. Experts sometimes include fibromyalgia in the same group as these diseases – an arthritic and related disorders group – but it isn’t completely the same the pain of tendinitis and bursitis is a localized pain specific to one area of the body while the pain and stiffness of fibromyalgia are throughout the entire body. The similar, linking factor is that osteoarthritis, tendinitis, bursitis, and fibromyalgia all involve the joints in one way or another, making it possible to mistake for one another.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, happening when the cartilage that protects the ends of bones wears down. It affects millions of people around the world, and it can happen in any joint in the body. The most common joints – the joints with the most wear – are the joints in the knees, hands, hips, and spine. Like fibromyalgia, there is no cure, and the effects of osteoarthritis more often than not worsen over time. The best ways to slow down the effects of the disease are to stay active and maintain a healthy weight.
Tendinitis or tendonitis is the inflammation or irritation of a tendon. Repetitive, minor impact on the affect area is usually the cause of tendinitis, though it can be caused by a more serious single injury. Repetitive motions that strain the tenders include tennis, throwing and pitching, golf, skiing, raking, gardening, painting, scrubbing, carpentry, and cleaning house. Having poor posture when sitting for long periods of time, such as when at work, or doing poor or incorrect stretching before exercising or playing sports can increase your risk of tendinitis.
Bursitis is a painful condition that affects the bursae in the body. Bursae are tiny, fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles near the joints. Bursitis is the result of those bursae becoming inflamed. The most common locations for bursitis are the elbows, hips, and shoulders. Other slightly less common points to be affected are the knees, heels, and the base of the big toes. Like tendinitis, bursitis occurs near joints that regularly perform repetitive, frequent muscles. With care, bursitis can go away within a couple of weeks, but once a bursa has displayed bursitis pain, it is more likely to have bursitis reoccur in the future.
Doctors often check for autoimmune disorders, arthritis, and anemia when determining if someone has fibromyalgia. Anemia is another cause for widespread body pain. Anemia is caused by iron deficiency; by vitamin B12 deficiency; by chronic lead poisoning; by chronic red blood cell destruction; by sickle cell anemia; and by sudden red blood cell destruction. Each of these contributors to anemia has a different calling card that can help differentiate them from fibromyalgia.
A lot of the time when you have fibromyalgia you will also experience tension headaches, temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ), irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and depression. The insomnia that comes with fibromyalgia is a compounding problem, because fibromyalgia causes fatigue, but it also keeps sufferers from getting a good night’s sleep.