Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is an inflammatory disease of the
muscles that causes pain and stiffness in the hip, neck, or shoulder area. The
cause is unknown, but polymyalgia rheumatica is the result of the body's immune
system reacting against itself, known as an autoimmune response.
Polymyalgia rheumatica usually begins after age 50. Pain and
stiffness are usually worse in the morning. Depression and weight loss may also
Polymyalgia rheumatica sometimes occurs along with a condition
called giant cell arteritis (GCA), which causes symptoms such as headache, jaw
pain, and loss of vision.
Polymyalgia rheumatica is usually treated with corticosteroid
medicine. This disease usually responds to treatment, with symptoms decreasing
within weeks. Medicine may be needed for 1 to 2 years or more to prevent symptoms from
April 13, 2011
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Stanford M. Shoor, MD - Rheumatology
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