Tests for polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) are necessary to determine if you are suffering from this inflammatory, autoimmune disease. Those over 50 may benefit from a PMR test, especially if they are experiencing aching muscles and joints. PMR test will confirm if they have the illness. Caucasians are the most affected by PMR and getting a test for PMR after experiencing PMR symptoms would be a wise thing to do.
Symptoms of Polymyalgia Rheumatica
The symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica are abrupt pain and stiffness particularly in the thighs and shoulders as well as in the neck and torso. The gravity of the pain makes it hard for patients to get out of the bed and climb stairs without any assistance.
Doctors can perform blood tests to confirm if a patient has PMR. Tests for PMR are important to correctly diagnose PMR especially when you are over 60, the age where many sicknesses occur. If you have shoulder pain on both sides, hip pain on both sides, morning stiffness, high levels of inflammation as seen in blood tests but without swelling in the small joints of the hand and feet and no evidence for rheumatoid arthritis then you have to see a rheumatologist.
ESR and CRP
One kind of test is the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) test while the other test is the C-reactive protein (CRP) test. Each of these blood tests can clearly provide a result or suggest if there is inflammation in one part of your body. However, results of both tests can be affected by different kinds of conditions. That is why other tests must be performed to cancel out those that are mistakenly linked to PMR. Polymyalgia can sometimes be diagnosed as a sign of rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, depression, muscle inflammation, underactive thyroid and even for Parkinson’s disease.
Another blood test to check for inflammation is plasma viscosity or (PV). This is essential especially if pain symptoms do not improve after steroid treatment. Different kinds of imaging may also be performed to diagnose PMR and help rule out other conditions. Ultrasound of the shoulders and hip can also determine if there is inflammation of the tissues.