Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is an inflammatory disorder that causes muscle pain and stiffness, especially in the shoulders and hips. Signs and symptoms of PMR usually begin quickly and are worse in the morning. It is a common cause of widespread aching and stiffness that affects adults over the age of 50. Because PMR does not often cause swollen joints, it may be hard to recognize. It may occur with another health problem, giant cell arteritis. The average age when symptoms start is 70, so people who have PMR may be in their 80s or even older.

It sounds serious, even ferocious, but it responds to proper treatment.
  • Symptoms
  • Difficulty moving shoulder

    • Occurs or worsens in the morning or after being inactive for a time

    • More than 45 minutes


    Shoulder pain

    • Both shoulders

    • At rest


    Difficulty moving neck

    • Occurs or worsens in the morning

    • More than 45 minutes


    Back neck pain



    or Depression

    or Poor appetite

    or Weight loss

    or Fever

    • Less than 38°C (100. 4°F)


    Difficulty moving hip

    • Occurs or is worse in the morning

    • Less than 30 minutes


    Joint pain

    • At hip

    • Knees

    • At wrist


    Joint stiffness

    • Difficulty moving knee, Difficulty moving wrist

    Sensitive scalp

    or Headache

    • In the temporal region

    or Jaw pain

    Weakness of hand

    or Numbness or tingling in hand

    • Palmar aspect, Occurs or worsens at night, Radiates to fingers, Occurs or worsens with activities that involve sustained flexing or extending the wrist

    or Pain in arms

  • Risk factors
  • Family history of Polymyalgia Rheumatica

    Giant cell arteritis

  • Treatment
  • Steroid medicine is the main treatment for polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR). A type of corticosteroid called prednisolone is usually prescribed. It works by blocking the effects of certain chemicals that cause inflammation inside your body. It does not cure polymyalgia rheumatica, but it can help relieve the symptoms.
  • Recommended specialist
  • If you have Polymyalgia Rheumatica, then a visit to a rheumatologist is highly recommended.

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