Sciatica Pain Vs. Fibromyalgia Pain: What Are The Differences?

Last Editorial Review: 1/11/2018

Ask the experts

I'm a 23-year-old female. My doctor told me a year ago that I had sciatic nerve inflammation, but nothing he seemed to try and do for me has worked. The pains are getting much worse. I've noticed especially in the mornings, it feels like all of the muscles in my body are sore. It usually takes a couple of hours to feel normal again. Here the past couple of weeks I've noticed that I'm having more difficulty getting up and walking. I walk like I'm 100 years old and I may have only been sitting for 10 minutes. Last November my doctor also diagnosed me with IBS. I recently read an article on fibromyalgia and I think I seem to have all the symptoms for it. At first, I didn't think so until I saw that IBS is a symptom of fibromyalgia. Could there be a chance do have fibromyalgia? And if so, what should be the first step I take? Would any lab work I have done show anything? Thank you.

Doctor's response

The pain of sciatica is very different from the pain of fibromyalgia. Sciatica is a pain that radiates along the distribution of the sciatic nerve of the lower extremity. Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by tender points in the soft tissues, particularly in the upper back and neck.