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Fibromyalgia and PsA: Is There a Connection?

Fibromyalgia and PsA: Is There a Connection?

A new study causing a buzz this month explores the connection between psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and fibromyalgia. The study was a cross-sectional study that took place between September 2014 and April 2015, and it demonstrated that individuals with certain rheumatic diseases, such as PsA or connective tissue diseases, tend to have higher rates of fibromyalgia as well. The study included 691 individuals that had a variety of rheumatic conditions. The conditions were organized into three groups: rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis (PsA was in this category), and connective tissue conditions (such as scleroderma and myositis). There were 451 women and 240 men, and the mean age was 55.8 years-old, with a median condition duration of 11 years.

Fibromyalgia study details

All patients were evaluated for the prevalence of fibromyalgia concomitant with their rheumatic condition and the diagnoses were divided into two groups: those who were diagnosed by a physician who specializes in treatment of fibromyalgia, and those who were diagnosed by the American College of Rheumatology’s 1990 guidelines for diagnosing fibromyalgia (ACR-90). For the 97 individuals in the physician diagnosed group, 7.7% came from the RA group, 17.5% came from the spondyloarthritis group (the PsA group), and 28.2% came from the connective tissue disease group. A similar trend was found for those diagnosed by the ACR-90 formula. A total of 55 individuals were in this group, and it was made up of 7.7% of those with RA, 11.1% from the spondyloarthritis group, and 11.3 from the connective tissue condition group.

The results

It was apparent that the ACR-90 contributed to fewer of the diagnoses of fibromyalgia than those from a specialized physician; however, for both groups, the authors concluded, “concomitant fibromyalgia is prevalent in inflammatory rheumatic disease, especially in spondyloarthritis and connective tissue disease.” Other studies have supported these results, such as one performed in 2013 and published in Arthritis that demonstrated specifically that those with PsA had a much higher chance of also developing fibromyalgia than their healthy counterparts, regardless of the diagnostic method.

While it may come as no surprise to hear about more studies indicating a link between fibromyalgia and rheumatic conditions, it does further enforce the idea that those with PsA could benefit from screening for fibromyalgia as they continue to develop their treatment plans!

Smith, Andrew. “Study Bolsters Link Between Psoriatic Arthritis and Fibromyalgia.” MD Magazine. 8 Nov 2016. Available from:


  • Shannonpi314
    9 months ago

    I have now seen 6 different Rheumatologists in my 35 years on this planet. I’ve been diagnosed with every different thing out there, that it’s hard to remember what I do truly HAVE and what’s been ruled out. Now, I didn’t leave these doctors. They all worked in the same practice and it was kinda like you got shuffled to the next Dr when one decided to leave. So, I’ve been told that I have Fibromyalgia by at least a half a dozen professionals. And I know that I definitely have PsA. I’ve got some messed up CAT Scans to prove along with my scales on my feet and elbows (sorry to be gross).

    I get through though. I try to get by each day.

  • Mr Benn
    2 years ago

    Have been reduced to week, feeble human by Oesteoarthritis (1976), Fibromyalgia (1991), Borderline Personality Disorder (1993 dx), Short term memory loss (2002 noticed), Psioratic Arthritis (2012), Food intolerances 99.9% (2013), Severe psychotic events x2 (2018).

    Have had to stop eating, Grain (all), Dairy (all), Nuts (all), Herbs (most), Adulterated Meats (All), Unadulterated Meats (Some), Fruit (most) & Vegetables (most). Have not tried insects.

    Pain constant between 4/10 and 9/10. For which going to hospital was a complete waste of time. NHS (UK) is totally incompetent in this area! They rather lock you up in a Psych ward (Section 8), because you can’t have so much internal pain??? Duh!

    What’s helped? Eating the most basic of foods to not make internal organs swell.
    For pain : Methotrexate was advised but, I cancelled it as what’s the point of taking a drug that is likely to kill you. Replacing one problem with another is not advised or even sensible unless the condition is has a final cure. In this case and with Humira it is not. The pain does not outway the cost!

    If this was a perfect world which it isn’t we could all get medication for free and there would be no party that gets nothing. So, in my case I’d rather see Cancer patients get the money for their medicine whilst I suffer in pain for them to be able to get a chance of a cure. Logic prevails.

  • Rebecca moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Mr. Ben- I’m so, so sorry to hear you are going through this! It sounds like you have really been through it all! And the impact of pain on our mental health cannot be underestimated, of this I am sure. Please know we’re here for you.

  • forpaws
    2 years ago

    since fibromyalgia is literally just nerve/fibro pain and is another one of those imaginary, catch-all diagnoses that is incurable and essentially untreatable why so much hoopla? I AM being somewhat facetious and a lot sarcastic and I’ll tell you why…My rheumatologist diagnosed me with fibro many years ago and he, as well as all the other doctors and PAs I’ve seen, use this to account for a lot of my pain complaints (except, and only after, for the times when the EKG showed acute MI’s), in addition to several other “conditions” (inc. PsA and possibly SLE) that ALL cause chronic pain. Tell a “doctor” you’ve been diagnosed with fibro and you instantly become a “full-of-sh*t-pain-in-the-a**” (sometimes you can even see them roll their eyes)…Even the “pain management clinic” my PCP referred me to said “we can’t treat fibromyalgia (even tho I told them I had other conditions) so we can’t treat you” end quote. >:( Ask me if I trust, or even seek out, any medical services…

  • Eileen B moderator
    2 years ago

    I absolutely understand your frustration, @forpaws. There’s nothing more upsetting (exasperating!) than a doctor that’s dismissive of your pain. If you’d like to learn more about alternative treatments, we have a lot of information at What are Ways to Manage PsA Symptoms Naturally?

    I know you’re at a point where you’ve lost trust in healthcare, but there ARE caring doctors out there that truly listen and help. Many community members find it helpful to get second opinions when their doctor isn’t providing them with the care they need and deserve. If this isn’t an option for you, this article on communicating with your rheumatologist might be helpful?

    I hope you find some relief very soon! Please keep us posted if you can, I’ll be thinking about you. Hugs. -Eileen, Team

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