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Updated on October 20, 2020

Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) is an auto-immune inflammatory disorder which is characterised by widespread muscle aches and joint stiffness especially neck, upper arms, lower back and thighs.  The hands and feet may also get affected. It is more common in women especially over the age of 50 years. 

Click to view MayoClinic video on PMR

Symptoms

  • Fatigue, poor appetite and weight loss
  • Mild low-grade fever or mood changes (usually depression)
  • Aches on both sides of your body including low back pain
  • Aches and pains are worse in the mornings and get better as the day progresses
  • Being inactive makes the stiffness worse
  • Difficulty putting on socks or trousers
  • Difficulty to lift arms over your shoulders such as combing your hair or putting on a shirt
  • Difficulty getting out of the car or a chair after seated for a long time
  • Around 15% get Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA)

Diagnosis

Blood test (markers such as ESR and CRP are usually elevated)

Treatment

Treatment focuses on reducing inflammation to ease pain, stiffness, tiredness and fever. Treatment involves a combination of

  • Anti-inflammation medication
  • Steroids
  • Gentle low-impact exercises (such as swimming and walking)

Remember to keep your follow-up appointments and do your blood tests regularly to help keep your disease in remission

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Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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