Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is a disease that causes inflammation throughout the body. It results in muscle pain and stiffness.
The cause is unknown. Genes and things in environment around you may play a role.
PMR is most common in people over 50 years of age. It is more common in women and people of European descent.
Symptoms of PMR may include:
- Muscle pain and stiffness in the hip, shoulder, or neck
- Pain that spreads to the elbows or knees
- Low energy
- Morning stiffness lasting longer than 30 minutes
- Weight loss without a known cause
The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. PMR will be suspected if symptoms are there for more than 2 weeks.
A blood test may be done to rule out other causes.
Treatment often leads to rapid relief. Steps may include:
- Corticosteroids—may be used for up to 2 years at low doses
- Anti-inflammatory medicine
Long term steroids can cause bone loss. Supplements may be given to stop bone loss.
PMR can not be prevented.
American College of Rheumatology
Polymyalgia rheumatica. American College of Rheumatology website. Available at: http://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Polymyalgia-Rheumatica. Updated March 2017. Accessed October 4, 2019.
Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116138/Polymyalgia-rheumatica-PMR. Updated February 8, 2019. Accessed October 4, 2019.
Questions and answers about polymyalgia rheumatical and giant cell arteritis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Polymyalgia/default.asp. Updated May 30, 2016. Accessed October 4, 2019.
Last reviewed October 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM Last Updated: 10/4/2019