The Difference between Fibromyalgia and Polymyalgia
One major difference between fibromyalgia and polymyalgia is the fact that the two are treated in very different ways. Polymyalgia can be treated effectively with NSAIDS and corticosteroids to control inflammation. Conversely, fibromyalgia itself is not inflammatory in nature, so NSAIDS and corticosteroids show little, if any benefit in patients.
While the American College of Rheumatology estimates that 2 to 4 percent of the population has fibromyalgia, primarily women of child-bearing age, but including men, adolescents and children; polymyalgia is considered rare and usually only appears in individuals who are age 50 or older, the average age being 70.
Fibromyalgia is considered chronic, which means that it may last for the lifetime of the patient. Polymyalgia, conversely, can be effectively treated and usually only runs for two years in patients.
Fibromyalgia does not result in fatalities or the development of dangerous conditions, but polymyalgia may result in the development of giant cell arteritis, which is a dangerous inflammation of the arteries leading to the head.