Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer
Psoriatic Arthritis and Fibromyalgia

Psoriatic Arthritis and Fibromyalgia

I have to admit. I’m. So. Confused. Which, more often than not these days, seems to be a perpetual state rather than a temporary inconvenience. I have questions without answers and lost hours reading and researching. I’ve learned the subtle difference between causation and correlation. In fact, I feel like I’ve learned a whole new language. The language of fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia diagnosis

You see, in addition to psoriatic arthritis (and rheumatoid for that matter) I’ve now also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Given the fact that autoimmune conditions seem to “collect,” at first I (wrongly) assumed that fibromyalgia was just another autoimmune condition. However, it is not.

After a conversation with my rheumatologist, she made it very clear that current research suggests that psoriatic arthritis has a correlative relationship with fibromyalgia, rather than a causative one. Having psoriatic arthritis made it “more likely” that I would also have fibromyalgia, rather than one “causing” the other.

What does that even mean?

Correlative means that psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia are often found together. They are more likely to “co-exist” meaning that your chances of having both diseases are higher. It is not clear yet why this is the case, simply that it is. But the relationship between fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis is not causative. Meaning that, one ailment does not “cause” you to develop the other. Having PsA did not cause me to develop fibromyalgia or vise versa.

How did my doctor identify the differences between PsA and fibromyalgia?

After all, when it comes to pain, it can be difficult to tell the differences between psoriatic arthritis disease activity and fibromyalgia symptoms. Both can cause fatigue, decreased range of motion, numbness or tingling, and obviously pain. In my experience, having a great doctor really makes all the difference.

My rheumatologist explained that my extreme sensitivity to touch was a clear indication for her. I complained that my children had seemingly overnight become all knees and elbows. Everytime they wanted to sit on my lap or climb up for a quick hug, I found myself cringing in pain, anticipating the sharp jabs of little knees and feet.

Fibromyalgia symptoms verses PsA symptoms

Honestly, there were a few days when it felt like even the fabric of my clothes hurt. I suppose it was then that I began to learn that this pain was different. This pain, for me at least, feels different than the deep, hot pain of PsA. When I began to really look at the surrounding circumstances and nuances of the pain, it became a great deal easier to separate out what was PsA and what was fibro.

The upside of fibromyalgia (if it can be called that) compared to PsA is that unlike PsA, it doesn’t cause permanent damage to the body. Yes, it is painful. Yes, it is even debilitating. But the general consensus is that fibromyalgia is not a progressive disease in the same way that psoriatic arthritis is. Rather it tends to be more cycylical with times of flares and times of calm. Looking back, equipped with the knowledge and experience I have now, I can see where different aches and pains deviate between PsA pain and fibro pain.

Living with both PsA and fibromyalgia

There is a whole world to explore now. There are new medications to manage and symptoms to track. Most importantly, I hope to discover how the language of fibromyalgia fits into my psoriatic arthritis world. If you find yourself in the same boat as me, I’d love to know any tips you have for making the best of this new world. Together I think we can find our way.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Grace
    6 months ago

    I lost my health to PSA after losing my thyroid to cancer and I always thought these crazy pains were all PSA but honestly I think I also have fibromyalgia because nothing explains the crazy amounts of pain that I have just from being touched…I dread being touched. I also bruise from hardly any pressure and I take and Excedrine daily and inject with Cosentyx and still Im in pain almost every day.

    Anyone else bruise from PSA Or Fibromyalgia?

  • Leanne Donaldson author
    6 months ago

    Hello @grace, yes! I bruise all the time, everywhere, and from nearly any pressure at all. I used to give up wearing skirts or shorts because the bruising on my legs is so bad. But now, I guess I’ve given up and just don’t really care what people think and just wear what I want- lol! I haven’t been able to discern yet whether to chalk it up to PsA or fibro but either way, those darn bruises look pretty bad sometimes. If you are still in constant pain, you may want to consider talking with your rheumatologist about fibromyalgia. I thought a great deal of my pain was from the PsA (and that my medication wasn’t working well) and since I started Lyrica almost a year ago now, I can really differentiate between fibro pain and PsA pain. Lyrica has made a major difference for me at least. It may be worth a talk with your dr. Either way, it sounds like you have been through a great deal and really deserve a break! I sure hope you get a few “good” days in every once in a while! And I’m sending you many gentle hugs. -Leanne, Author

  • Lacson
    6 months ago

    I was diagnosed last February having Psoriasis Arthritis and as well having fibromyalgia.
    I found out that I have Psoriasis arthritic in 2016,
    I am active person. I go to the gym 3 time a week. I walk my dog every day .
    I have a high tolerance of pain .
    I work as nurse used to run around the ward Answering patient s buzzer.
    I’m off for 3 months now . I started oral tablets and I am injections every week. I still the on and off .
    I have day that I felt good no food few hours. Then pain starts again…
    It’s pain is like a A merry go round .
    From the soul of my feet tell my ankles to knees , elbow collar bone
    Hip. The Etanercept injection gives me a relieve for three days then I’m back again with lots of pain.
    I suffer from depression. I felt that I am going back ward. They are days I just cry with my pain.
    I take one day at a time now
    I have good
    I have a rheumatoid specialist that caring and very supportive me .
    I am looking forward of managing
    My prognosis well .i am hopeful one day I will be able to go the gym agin.

  • skrap
    6 months ago

    Yes. I bruise easily, and I have fibromyalgia. It just hurts everywhere to move. How was your PsA diagnosed?

  • Kath
    1 year ago

    I am glad to have this explanation. I have both and was never given much info on the fibromyalgia. I can relate to the feeling of cloths hurting. My son taps me in the arm and I say ouch. ‘Mum, come on, that can’t hurt.’ ‘But, light of my life, it DOES. Now, nick off.’ How do you make a towering 17yr realise that just touching you hurts. I have no ideas or medications that I can offer in the terms of help. I’m just looking for the same as you, ideas.

  • Poll