Polymyalgia rheumatica

From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history

Polymyalgia rheumatica, or PMR, involves widespread aching and stiffness.

Symptoms and onset[edit | edit source]

Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) involves widespread aching and stiffness, especially the upper arms, neck, lower back and thighs.[1] This is typically worse in the morning or after inactivity.[1] Joint pain can be involved, as well as disturbed sleep,[1] fatigue, mild fever, general feeling of unwellness (malaise), depression, and loss of appetite and unintended weight loss.[2]

Typically PMR affects adults over 50, with age 70 as average onset.[1] Women are two to three times more likely to develop PMR.[2]

Diagnosis[edit | edit source]

PMR often (but necessarily) presents with elevated inflammation levels in blood tests, particularly erythrocyte sedimentation rate ("sed rate") and C-reactive protein (CRP).[1] This is one way to differentiate PMR from fibromyalgia; however in some PMR patients, these tests may have normal or only slightly elevated results.[1]

PMR is diagnosed with a trial of low-dose corticosteroids, with the expectation that if the condition is present, symptoms will respond within two to three weeks and sometimes much sooner (even following the first dose).[1]

Treatment[edit | edit source]

Treatment involves tapering to the lowest comfortable dose of corticosteroids and some patients are able to discontinue within a year although others continued for two to three years and symptoms can recur.[1]

Typically PMR affects adults over 50 with age 70 as average onset.[1]

Studies[edit | edit source]

  • 1988, "Chronic Epstein-Barr virus infection" syndrome and polymyalgia rheumatica.[3] (Abstract)

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Sufka, Paul (March 2019). "Polymyalgia rheumatica". American College of Rheumatology. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Polymyalgia rheumatica". Mayo Clinic. June 23, 2018. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  3. Buchwald, D; Sullivan, JL; Leddy, S; Komaroff, AL (March 1988). ""Chronic Epstein-Barr virus infection" syndrome and polymyalgia rheumatica". Journal of Rheumatology. 15 (3): 479–82 – via PubMed.