Fibromyalgia and Lupus: Their Similarities and Differences


Fibromyalgia and lupus are often associated with one another. They may share typical symptoms, but these two chronic conditions have distinct characteristics. This article will tackle the differences between these two conditions and their signs and symptoms. 

Disclaimer: should any of your family member experiences any of these conditions, it is best to consult a medical professional for an assessment. 

Fibromyalgia: Signs and Symptoms 

Fibromyalgia is a disorder wherein a patient experiences chronic pain involving tender joints and sensitivity to touch. Patients with fibromyalgia may experience widespread pain throughout the body. In addition, they can experience tender points in the joints and muscular tissues, difficulty concentrating, numbness on the arms or legs, pelvic pains, and irritable bowel symptoms. 

Lupus: Signs and Symptoms

Lupus is an autoimmune condition wherein antibodies attack tissues in the body. Skin rashes, inflammation, and joint pains are some of its signs, including sudden weight gain or weight loss. Patients may deal with fatigue, severe headaches, skin lesions or bruises, shortness of breath, and chest pain. 

The Similarities Between Fibromyalgia and Lupus

Both fibromyalgia and lupus cause joint or muscle pain, cognitive issues, fatigue, and headache. This somewhat explains why many people mistake them as the same. In addition, both disorders can develop at any age and are more common in women.

The Differences Between Fibromyalgia and Lupus

Despite their similarities, fibromyalgia and lupus are different in a couple of ways.

1. Nature of Pain

The pain in lupus until treatment or medical intervention happens. However, the pain in fibromyalgia is transient and may come and go at any moment. 

2. Skin Symptoms

Fibromyalgia does not cause rashes or nose and mouth ulcers like lupus. However, people with lupus would have rashes on the cheeks and nose during a flare-up. 

3. Level of Fatigue

With lupus, fatigue is common during a flare-up, but it would disappear once the attack is over. However, in fibromyalgia, fatigue is chronic and less likely to go away, making patients feel very exhausted most of the time. 

4. Inflammation

Since the body’s immune system attacks the organs and body tissues in lupus, it causes inflammation throughout the body that would appear in lab imaging and tests. On the other hand, fibromyalgia does not have signs of inflammation.

Steps to Relieve Both Fibromyalgia and Lupus

Pair medical management with a healthy lifestyle and proper diet, and you can help manage the severity of both conditions. 

Have an Exercise Routine

Regular physical activity or therapy can help in managing the symptoms of fibromyalgia and lupus. Exercise can help improve trigger hormones, which can ease cognitive issues and enhance the mood of the patient. 

Get Enough Sleep or Rest

It is necessary to have an adequate amount of sleep when diagnosed with either of these diseases. According to Health Science, having at least seven or nine hours of sleep every day would benefit patients. 

Maintain a Diet Plan

Having a proper meal plan or diet is a perfect partner in managing the symptoms of both fibromyalgia and lupus. Consult a nutritionist or dietitian to have a healthy eating plan that can boost the body's immune system. 

Try Self-care and Therapy

Some patients schedule a therapy session to manage their symptoms. Patients with fibromyalgia and lupus can enroll in a meditation class or have massage therapy. Other patients also get upper cervical chiropractic care, which helps minimize pain in tender points of the body, such as the neck, head, and upper back. 

Make Some Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes and medical care can help manage or lessen the debilitating signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia and lupus. Health care professionals often advise patients to quit or minimize the following: 

  • Smoking 
  • Eating unhealthy food
  • Some outdoor activities
  • Stress-triggering activities

Fibromyalgia and Lupus Relief is Possible

Case studies involving fibromyalgia and lupus patients revealed one interesting fact — an upper cervical subluxation is common in patients of both conditions. More importantly, patients obtained relief of these conditions by correcting the upper cervical misalignments. 

The C1 and C2 vertebrae at the base of the skull are prone to misalignment. Anything from car accidents to sports injuries and a minor head or neck injury can cause any of these bones to misalign. This is why upper cervical chiropractors focus on adjusting the C1 and C2 vertebrae to move them back to alignment. 

Upper cervical chiropractic involves very precise measurements and adjustments of these vertebrae. Over time, it gives the body time to heal from the damage of the subluxation. As a result, patients can experience health benefits such as less severe symptoms of fibromyalgia and lupus.

To know if an upper cervical misalignment is the root cause of your fibromyalgia or lupus, schedule an appointment with one of the upper cervical chiropractors near your area. An upper cervical doctor can offer patient-centered care for fibromyalgia and lupus relief.

Find An Upper Cervical Doctor in Your Areato schedule a consultation today.

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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.