FAST FACTS: Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR)


Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) is an inflammatory condition causing muscle pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulders, upper arms, hips and thighs. PMR can start quickly and generally affects people over the age of 65 and is rare in people under 50.  PMR affects females twice as often as males. Caucasians are more often affected than African Americans.  Stiffness usually occurs early in the morning following nighttime rest. The pain may become worse with joint movement and can be severe enough to limit activity. PRM is related to and may appear with Giant Cell Arteritis another inflammatory disease that causes headaches, jaw pain and visual impairment. Patients with PMR may also have anemia.

  • Possible Symptoms of PMR
    • Impaired Range of Motion
    • Low fever
    • Pain in shoulders (often first symptom), neck, hip or thigh
    • Fatigue (tiredness, weakness, low energy)
    • Loss of appetite
    • Unintended weight loss

  • Possible Interventions
    • Physical therapy
    • Healthy diet
    • Regular exercise
    • Assistive devices

  • What Caregivers can do to help their loved one with PMR
    • Encourage healthy diet and regular exercise
    • Schedule an appointment with Healthcare provider for evaluation
    • Write down and share information about your loved one’s pain with provider
    • Use a Pain Diary to note important information useful to the provider

Revised 3/2020

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