Pronounced: Pol-ee-my-al-ja Roo-MAT-ic-ah
Michelle Badash, MS
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
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
Long term steroids can cause bone loss. Supplements may be given to stop bone loss.
PMR can not be prevented.
American College of Rheumatology
http://www.arthritis.org CANADIAN RESOURCES:
The Arthritis Society
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:
. 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