Fibromyalgia and neuropathy each may cause common physical symptoms. Treatments for fibromyalgia as well as for neuropathy also tend to overlap in some cases. Despite the similarities featured by each, these conditions are completely separate things.
Neuropathy is a condition of the central nervous system. There are many different types of neuropathy, as well as different causes for this disorder, which often leads to debate over its definition in relationship to other diseases and conditions. For instance, individuals suffering from conditions such as diabetes, cancer and AIDS are also frequently plagued by nerve disorders. A few of the symptoms of neuropathy include numbness in the extremities, pain and tingling.
Likewise, fibromyalgia is also a condition of the central nervous system. It features chronic pain symptoms similar to those of neuropathy and a person affected with fibromyalgia may also experience nerve pain. It is shared symptoms, such as pain or tingling in the fingers and hands, which cause some to more closely associate the illnesses.
Fibromyalgia and neuropathy are also both chronic pain conditions that share some of the same treatment options. One example of such is that both conditions are sometimes treated with a specific medication called pregabalin, which interacts with the central nervous system to reduce the painful symptoms associated with both conditions. Health experts sometimes also recommend low-impact physical exercise for pain management for both conditions.
There are no known cures for fibromyalgia and neuropathy. Both conditions are chronic although often manageable over time. Each case is unique, but many with symptoms of both conditions do eventually find ways to manage pain in their daily lives. Doctors who specialize in the treatment of fibromyalgia, however, are also experienced in treating neuropathic conditions and vice versa.
A primary difference between fibromyalgia and neuropathy is that neuropathy is a clearly identifiable disease. Through testing, doctors find that the symptoms of neuropathy are measurable and can be traced to a distinct cause in the central nervous system. Fibromyalgia is a lot more difficult to diagnose, however. It is not uncommon for a patient suffering with fibromyalgia to report symptoms that cannot be traced to a common cause. Despite the neuropathic symptoms that accompany it, fibromyalgia is not widely considered to be a disease of the central nervous system since it cannot be traced to or defined by a single nerve problem.