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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Are lupus and ankylosing spondylitis related to fibromyalgia?

    Am I right in assuming that these conditions are inter related. I thought that they all stemmed from a problem with the immune system? Can somone please explain.
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    Jo Charge

    Exercise Physiologist, Yoga Teacher

    Jo is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) and qualified Yoga teacher who specialises in working with individuals living with chronic musculoskeletal conditions, including Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, … View Profile

    Lupus, ankylosing spondylitis and fibromyalgia are all types of arthritis. There are in fact 115 different conditions classified as forms of arthritis. The term arthritis means joint inflammation and includes conditions affecting the muscles, bones, tendons and joints.

    Lupus and ankylosing spondylitis (AS) are both conditions that are classified as autoimmune, which means the immune system has malfunctioned as has started to detect structures in the body that are healthy as foreign which leads the body to start to attack itself. In lupus along with joint structures being involved other organs such as the heart, kidneys and lungs may also be affected. Skin rashes are another feature of lupus. In AS the joints of the neck, spine and hips become stiff and inflamed.

    Fibromyalgia is not an autoimmune disease but falls into the category of arthritis as one of the main symptoms associated with fibromyalgia is widespread pain and tenderness in the muscles. People living with other forms of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, AS or osteoarthritis (which all include some experience of pain) may be at a higher risk of developing fibromyalgia as ongoing pain is a risk factor in the development of fibromyalgia.

    For further information on arthritis contact your local state arthritis office on 1800 011 041.

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