some time I tell people who want to know what Fibromyalgia feels like, I tell them it's like having a tooth ache all over the body.
An X-ray will show osteoarthritis which is wearing down of the joints. From a pain perspective it feels the same to me. My rhuematoligist said fibromyalgia is s nerve problem. But to me the dull aching and burning nerve pain is indistinguishable from the osteoarthritis. I ache everywhere. My joints look fine on xray and exam except for my sacroiliac joints showed osteoarthritis. But it feels like my knees and hips and ankles and feet and back all ache. I don't have rheumatoid arthritis. None of the fibromyalgia medications like neurontin ever helped me. I get most help from antiinflammatory medication which tells me most of my pain is arthritis related. It's not an easy task to tell the difference.
Yes.. difference is the arthritis affects the joints specifically.. fibro affects the entire body at times (achy feeling) and then can move from one area to another as well (e.g. from arms to legs,etc). My knees and neck have arthritis and hurt just in those areas, especially after standing, walking or sitting too long. They swell, and my neck causes headaches.
For me all I know is that I'm in constant pain , I cannot tell which is causing it my fibromyalgia or my arthritis or a combination of the two( most likely). If u are undiagnosed and wondering if you have arthritis there are other signs of arthritis you can look for . I have constant clicking of the joints and grinding sounds in my knees when I bend them as far as I know people with Fibromyalgia on its own don't have this. CT scan with injection will show arthritis, this is how mine was finally diagnosed. If you are already diagnosed with both I'm not sure that it makes any difference knowing which condition is causing you the most pain. It's all trial and error with the treatments and drugs anyway . you just gotta keep trying different things until you find some thing that helps.
Ibuprofen and aspirin took the arthritis pain before fibromyalgia took over my body, I'm still trying to find something to take the fibro pain away. ...so I say take pain meds and if it stops it was arthritis, if it just gets less then it is both and if it doesn't effect the pain @ all then it's fibromyalgia