Fibromyalgia Intensifies Ankylosing Spondylitis Symptoms

Fibromyalgia and its comorbidities

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a relatively well-known musculoskeletal disorder with widespread pain, tiredness, and problems with sleep. But few know its comorbidities. In combination with ankylosing, spondylitis and axial spondylarthritis (axSpA), psoriatic (PSAs), and rheumatoid arthritis, frequent pain and other symptoms normally associated with FM may also be exacerbated.

An analysis of data obtained from several publications and research papers has been published by Rheumatology in order to assess both the prevalence of FM among RA patients, AS, AxSpA or PSA and to what extent co-orbid FM (FM that exists simultaneously with another medical condition) affects their disease activity.

Ankylosing Spondylitis

“Ankylosing spondylitis is one type of spondylarthritis, a condition that inflames bones in the body. Theodore Fields, MD, Professor of Clinical Arts at the Weill Cornell Medical College and director of the rheumatology faculty practical plan at the Special Surgery Hospital in New York City, says spondylarthritis all tend to have a single genetic marker.

Psoriasis can also develop psoriatic arthritis, another type of AS-like spondylarthritis. Therefore, Dr. Fields recommends that you ask the doctor to look for psoriasis, which is characterized by red, itchy, scaly skin patches if you have ankylosing spondylitis.

You should also check for psoriatic arthritis if you are also diagnosed with psoriasis and develop back neck, or joint pain. Topical medication, phototherapy, systemic or biotherapy, or the combination approach may be used to treat psoriasis.

Ankylosing Spondylitis and Fibromyalgia

While symptoms may be similar, spondylitis and fibromyalgia ankylosing are different. Fibromyalgia involves muscle pain and soft tissues, including ligaments and tendons, and has no inflammatory signs.

As it involves a major inflammation on the other hand. The spine and other joints may also be affected. Further research is required to identify whether there is a linkage between fibromyalgia and ankylosing spondylitis. No genetic marker for fibromyalgia has yet been identified. This means that the conditions cannot currently be genetically connected.

But sleep is a possible connection between AS and fibromyalgia. “Sleep deficiency appears to contribute significantly to the development and aggravation of fibromyalgia,” says Fields. Fibromyalgia may be treated with pain management medications or antidepressant drugs, which may cause pain, such as spondylitis, that can interfere with sleeper and predispose you to fibromyalgia.

Ankylosing Spondylitis and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Ankylosing Spondylitis can also be associated with inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Individuals with inflammatory bowel disease that develop neck and back pain typically have the same genetic indicator as individuals with psoriatic arthritis.

Ambo-salicylates, corticosteroids, immunomodulators, antibiotics, or biological therapies are commonly treated with inflammatory bowel disease. Tell your doctor if signs or signs of inflammatory bowel disease such as chronic diarrhea or blood in your stool are present.

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Finally, FM is far more common in RA, AS, axSpA, or PsA patients than in patients without. FM also leads to the higher activity of the disease and in most cases the symptoms worsen substantially. This study also showed the potential failure of using DAS28 as a guideline for treatment and management of illnesses due to the lack of statistically significant changes in the objective clinical and laboratory measures (ESR, swollen joints and CRP) as a major feature of the subjective data provided by the patient which can vary per patient. This should therefore be considered when a treatment routine is established.


Fibromyalgia can be diagnosed in many ways. The most important thing is to talk to the patient. When the patient is listened to at the clinical meeting, you get a sense that fibromyalgia is a problem, how the patient describes pain, and the symptoms.

Following are the most important things you think somebody has fibromyalgia. First of all, the pain lasts a long time. The pain is also generally common. The back, upper limbs, lower limbs, and sometimes the chest and abdomen are affected. And there are pain characteristics that make fibromyalgia very suggestive.

The pain is relaxed. After exercising it is worse but the activity is somewhat improved. The patients describe the pain they use a lot of colors is also strongly associated. They often describe it dramatically–stabbing, burning, unendurable–and they frequently use what we call pain neuropathy. Patients will say that it is burning, tingling, something slightly different from other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis that lack such aspects as neuropathy.


A range of drugs and any other conditions arising from are available for treating AS. Your doctor’s communication is crucial. Petros Efthimiou, MD, an assistant medical professor at Weill Cornell Medical College, and associate chief of the Rheumatology department, New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, says, “Tell your Doctor of all medications you take for ankylosing spondylitis and other medical conditions to prevent overtreatments and alert you for potential drug interaction.”

Fields also propose that you keep a list of medicines you tried in the past as future treatment options will be influenced by what you used to take. You can help to ensure that your treatment with ankylosing spondylitis is safe and effective by considering other related conditions.

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