Poly myalgia rheumatica (PMR) is a type of inflammatory disorder that affects the muscles and joints, causing pain and stiffness. It usually affects individuals over the age of 50, and is more common in women than in men. In this article, we will discuss the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment options for PMR.
The symptoms of PMR can come on suddenly or gradually over several weeks. The most common symptoms include:
1. Pain and stiffness in the shoulders, hips, and neck
2. Fatigue and weakness
3. Loss of appetite
4. Low-grade fever
5. Weight loss
These symptoms are typically worse in the morning and can make it difficult to perform everyday tasks, such as dressing and grooming.
The exact cause of PMR is unknown, but it is believed to be an autoimmune disorder, where the immune system attacks healthy tissues in the body. Genetic factors may also play a role in the development of PMR.
Diagnosing PMR can be challenging, as its symptoms can be similar to other conditions, such as fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. Your doctor may order blood tests to check for inflammation levels and may also conduct a physical examination to look for tender points and joint stiffness. Imaging tests, such as X-rays and MRI scans, may also be used to rule out other conditions.
PMR is typically treated with corticosteroids, such as prednisone, which help to reduce inflammation and relieve pain and stiffness. The dose of corticosteroids is usually gradually reduced over time as symptoms improve. In some cases, other medications, such as methotrexate, may be prescribed to help manage symptoms.
In addition to medication, physical therapy and exercise can also be helpful in improving muscle strength and flexibility, and reducing pain and stiffness.
PMR is a chronic inflammatory disorder that primarily affects older adults, causing pain and stiffness in the muscles and joints. While there is no cure for PMR, early diagnosis and treatment with corticosteroids can help to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. If you are experiencing any symptoms of PMR, it is important to speak with your doctor to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.