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What is the medical condition polymyalgia rheumatica?
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What is a geriatric inflammatory disorder of the muscles and joints?
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Temporal arthritis, This disorder may exist alone or at the same time as or following polymyalgia rheumatica. This disorder characterized by the sudden development of pain and stiffness in the pelvis and shoulder muscles. About 25% of those with giant cell arthritis experience polymyalgia rheumatica as well For more information on this illness Go to the related link (temporal arthritis) in the related link below the inflammation that is a part of Rheumatoid arthritis can have a degenerative effect on the blood vessels of the brain leading to serious consequences,It can also have simar effect on the eyes as well as rheumatoid nodules in some cases.
Definition Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is an inflammatory disorder involving pain and stiffness in the shoulder and usually also the hip. Causes, incidence, and risk factors Polymyalgia rheumatica is a disorder that almost always occurs in people over 50 years old. The cause is unknown. PMR may occur alone, or with or before giant cell arteritis (also called temporal arteritis), which is inflammation of blood vessels (usually in the head). Symptoms The most typical symptom is pain and stiffness in both shoulders and the neck. This pain usually progresses to the hips, and there isfatigue too. It becomes more and more difficult for patients to get around. Other symptoms include: Anemia Appetite loss, which leads to unintentional weight loss Depression Fever There are no specific joint symptoms. Some people with PMR also have giant cell arteritis. This far more serious disease can cause: Heart attack Stroke Sudden blindness Signs and tests Lab tests cannot diagnose polymyalgia rheumatica. However, most patients with this condition have an elevated sedimentation rate (ESR), a blood test that can show certain kinds of inflammation. Other test results for this condition (as well as for giant cell arteritis) include: Abnormal proteins in the blood Abnormal white blood cells Reduced hemoglobin and hematocrit Signs of anemia These tests may also be used to monitor patients' progress. Treatment Although there is no cure for polymyalgia rheumatica, treatment can help prevent patients from becoming disabled. Low doses of corticosteroids (such as prednisone) can relieve polymyalgia rheumatica within a day or two. The dose can then be slowly reduced to a very low level, but the treatment will need to continue for a long time -- around 2 - 6 years. Corticosteroids cause a variety of side effects that must be carefully monitored and managed. Expectations (prognosis) Polymyalgia rheumatica usually goes away by itself after 2 - 6 years. After this time, treatment can be stopped. Complications Polymyalgia rheumatica can cause serious disabilities if untreated. Calling your health care provider Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have persistent weakness or stiffness of the shoulder and neck area, especially if you also have symptoms of general illness, such as fever or headache. Prevention There is no known prevention. References Unwin B, Williams CM, Gilliland W. Polymyalgia Rheumatica and Giant Cell Arteritis.Am Fam Physician; 2006; 74(9):1547-1554. Reviewed By Review Date: 02/03/2011 Michael E. Makover, MD, professor attending in Rheumatology at the New York University Medical Center, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.