Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is an inflammatory disorder of the muscles and joints that typically afflicts those over the age of 65. Closely related to giant cell arteritis (GCA), both inflammatory disorders can set in quickly and co-exist (many doctors actually believe they are different manifestations of the same condition), considering approximately half of patients with GCA develop PMR at some point. Both conditions do cause similar muscle pain and stiffness on both sides of the body, typically affecting the shoulders, upper arms, neck, buttocks, and hips.
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The cause of PMR is often linked to genetics, although a viral infection is thought to leave individuals more susceptible to PMR. The signs and symptoms of PMR typically strike and worsen within 2-weeks’ time.
Eight signs and symptoms of PMR are…
Achy pain in the shoulders is typically the foremost sign of PMR, followed closely by pain in the neck, upper arms, buttocks, hips, and thighs, as well as the wrists and knees in some cases.