How can you tell you have polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)? Typically, polymyalgia rheumatica symptoms initially appear on one side of the body only. As the condition progresses, the same symptoms appear on the side other of the body.
What Is Polymyalgia Rheumatica?
PMR is a medical condition classified as an inflammatory disease that causes muscle pain and stiffness. Both pain and stiffness are felt on the shoulders, upper arms, neck and hips. Symptoms of this disorder usually happen quickly within a two week span. PMR is similar to another inflammatory disorder known as giant cell arteritis. Its main symptoms are vision difficulties, headaches, and jaw pain.
Pain and Stiffness
Initial polymyalgia rheumatica symptoms are aches experienced on the shoulders. Other symptoms are aches on the neck, buttocks, hips or thigh and upper arms. Stiffness in the affected parts of the body usually happen in the morning and manifests after being inactive for an extended period of time like after a long car ride. There is also a restricted range of motion in the painful areas. Pain and stiffness can also be felt in the knees or wrists but these are not the usual symptoms.
Other Polymyalgia Rheumatica Symptoms
Some PMR symptoms which are general in nature are fatigue, loss of appetite, mild fever, depression and even unintended weight loss.
It is advisable to see a doctor when the aches, pain, and stiffness that you feel is a new feeling and they are severe enough to prevent you from sleeping or they disrupt your sleep. It is also time to consult the doctor if the aches and pains caused by PMR prevent you from performing your daily or usual activities such as dressing up and going through the stairs.
Causes of PMR
There is no exact cause for PMR but genetics and environmental exposure are the most popular culprits for this medical condition. Some genes and changes in your genes may increase the risk of having polymyalgia rheumatica PMR.
This condition may also have been developed based on the season which suggests that it may be triggered by a virus. However, no specific virus has been blamed for the occurrence of this illness.