Polymyalgia is an inflammatory rheumatic condition.

It affects around 4 per 1000 people over the age of 50. The usual onset is after age 60, and both men and women are affected, women slightly more than men. Symptoms can start abruptly, or they can come on over a week or two. It’s common in Caucasians and rare in Asians and Afro-Caribbeans.

Causes of PMR

PMR remains a poorly understood condition, and in most cases causes are not known.

Symptoms of PMR

Usually abrupt pain and morning stiffness, mainly around shoulders and thighs, often patients cannot get out of bed without help and notice difficulty climbing stairsout help and notice difficulty climbing stairs.

In the most severe form of PMR, painful inflammation occurs in the arteries in the head, particularly around the temple area: this is called temporal arteritis (TA) or giant cell arteritis (GCA).

Diagnosis of PMR

Is made by blood test: the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and or the C-reactive protein (CRP) test.

Both of these blood tests give a broad indication that there is some inflammation going on in the body.

The main form of treatment for this condition are steroid medication which has to be taken for a period of time to help get this condition under control. The good news is that eventually this conditions goes away.