Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is a disease that causes inflammation throughout the body. It results in muscle pain and stiffness.
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.
American College of Rheumatology http://www.rheumatology.org
Arthritis Foundation http://www.arthritis.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
The Arthritis Society http://www.arthritis.ca
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: https://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%5FInfo/Polymyalgia/default.asp. Updated May 30, 2016. Accessed October 4, 2019.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM
- Review Date: 10/2019
- Update Date: 10/04/2019