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Polymyalgia Rheumatica

(PMR)

Pronounced: Pol-ee-my-al-ja Roo-MAT-ic-ah

 

Definition

Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is a disease that causes inflammation throughout the body. It results in muscle pain and stiffness.

 

Causes    TOP

The cause is unknown. Genes and things in environment around you may play a role.

 

Risk Factors    TOP

PMR is most common in people over 50 years of age. It is more common in women and people of European descent.

 

Symptoms    TOP

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
  • Fever
 

Diagnosis    TOP

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    TOP

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.

 

Prevention    TOP

PMR can not be prevented.

RESOURCES:

American College of Rheumatology
http://www.rheumatology.org

Arthritis Foundation
http://www.arthritis.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

The Arthritis Society
http://www.arthritis.ca

REFERENCES:

Polymyalgia rheumatica. American College of Rheumatology website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
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:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
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

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