Older Adults_Bars-Geriatric Pain

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. 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.

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 Else You Should Do

  • Eat a healthy diet and participate in regular exercise
  • Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider for evaluation
  • Write down and share information about your pain with your healthcare provider
  • Use a Pain Diary to note important information useful to the healthcare provider
  • Try a non-drug treatment and document the impact on your pain in your Pain Diary


  1. Mayo Clinic.  June 18, 2020, Polymyalgia rheumatica, accessed 2,21.2022. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/polymyalgia-rheumatica/symptoms-causes/syc-20376539#:~:text=Polymyalgia%20rheumatica%20is%20an%20inflammatory,are%20worse%20in%20the%20morning.

Revised January 2022

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