Polymyalgia Rheumatica Symptoms

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.

  • High CRP and What It Means for PolymyalgiaC-reactive protein (CRP) is a blood test marker that your doctor might test for if he or she suspects that you have an inflammation or a chronic inflammatory disease, such as polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR). Learn what the CRP test is and what its results could mean to you as a polymyalgia sufferer.
  • How Stress Can Trigger PMRStress is a way that our body responds to any kind of threat or demand. Learn how stress can trigger PMR and what you can do to reduce frequent stress.
  • What CBC Reveals About PolymyalgiaThe results of complete blood count or CBC help a rheumatologist to detect polymyalgia rheumatica. Symptoms of PMR, such as fatigue and anemia, are revealed in CBC.
  • MRI to Diagnose Polymyalgia RheumaticaPolymyalgia is not easily diagnosed. Learn how a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test can confirm whether or not you have polymyalgia and if there is inflammation in your joints and tissues.
  • How Polymyalgia Rheumatica Is DiagnosedDiagnosis of polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is accurately done by a rheumatologist. Physical examination, ESR and CRP tests, CBC, ultrasound, and biopsy help confirm PMR.
  • Swollen Hands: A Common Polymyalgia SymptomSwollen hands are one of the symptoms that typically appear in patients with polymyalgia rheumatica. PMR patients develop fluid retention or swelling, not only of the hands but also of the ankles, wrists, and feet.
  • Tests for PMRDoctors can perform two blood tests to confirm if a patient has PMR: the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) test and the C-reactive protein (CRP) test. Learn more about these two PMR tests.
  • 3 Common Polymyalgia SymptomsMost autoimmune disorders, especially polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR), are characterized by swelling or inflammation of blood vessels. Learn how to tell if the symptoms you are experiencing are signs of PMR.

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