Polymyalgia and fibromyalgia may sound similar (and even seem) similar, so how do we tell them apart?
Both polymyalgia and fibromyalgia symptoms display muscle pain, stiffness, and fatigue. However, there are significant enough differences between the two that you can tell them apart. Polymyalgia (or polymyalgia rheumatica PMR) is also a musculoskeletal condition, like fibromyalgia. However, with PMR, you would feel pain and stiffness in your shoulders, upper arm muscles, and hips. This soreness will be most prominent after resting or sleeping. Though fibromyalgia can cause pain in these areas, it is typically more widespread and severe (via Healthline). Fibromyalgia symptoms typically involve a longer list, such as extreme fatigue, sleep problems, brain fog, and gastrointestinal problems.
Older adults (65+) typically develop polymyalgia rheumatica, which is rare in people under 50 (via Healthline). However, fibromyalgia is less selective about whom it affects, and you are already familiar with a fibromyalgia diagnosis. Doctors mainly use an elevated inflammatory blood test to diagnosis polymyalgia rheumatica. That, and the symptoms of pain in the shoulders and hips. Oddly, medical professionals diagnose polymyalgia rheumatica more frequently in specific seasons. What does that mean? There could be a link between the two that scientists should research. If there is a potentially indicating an environmental factor, there could be a way to cure it, or better treat it.