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Is Fibromyalgia a Type of Arthritis?

Although fibromyalgia is often considered an arthritis-related condition, it is not truly a form of arthritis (a disease of the joints) because it does not cause inflammation or damage to the joints, muscles, or other tissues. However, like arthritis, it can cause significant pain and fatigue, and it can interfere with a person's ability to carry out daily activities. Also, like arthritis, fibromyalgia is considered a rheumatic condition.
You may wonder what exactly rheumatic means. Even physicians do not always agree on whether a disease is considered rheumatic. If you look up the word in the dictionary, you'll find it comes from the Greek word rheum, which means flux -- not an explanation that gives you a better understanding. In medicine, however, the term rheumatic means a medical condition that impairs the joints and/or soft tissues and causes chronic pain.


Fibromyalgia can be hard to treat. It's important to find a healthcare provider who is familiar with the disorder and its treatment. Many family physicians, general internists, or rheumatologists can treat fibromyalgia. Rheumatologists are healthcare providers who specialize in arthritis and other conditions that affect the joints or soft tissues.
Once a patient is diagnosed, the healthcare provider may recommend one or several different treatment options. These may include:
Remember that fibromyalgia is a real condition, but not everyone responds the same to every treatment. Therefore, changes to the treatment plan may be needed at various times during the course of your treatment.
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