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Polymyalgia rheumatica

Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is an inflammatory condition which involves many (poly) painful muscles (myalgia). It affects the muscles and causes pain and stiffness in and around the shoulder and upper arm areas, buttocks and thighs. Other symptoms include a high temperature or fever.

More information on Polymyalgia rheumatica

What causes polymyalgia rheumatica

The cause of PMR is unknown. It usually starts very suddenly with stiffness in the muscles – particularly in the mornings.

PMR is more common in people aged over 50 years and in women.

Symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica

In the early part of the day you may find it hard to move around because of the stiffness. You may also have pain in your hips, thighs or back and feel generally unwell.

Treatments for polymyalgia rheumatica

PMR responds very well to treatment so you should be able to carry on with normal life within a day or two. Your doctor will prescribe you steroids which you will need to take for around two years.

The Arthritis Care Helpline is available to answer any specific questions you may have on all aspects of arthritis.

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I don't think that I would ever have answered the leaflet about the rugby had I not come on a Joint Potential weekend. Putting yourself out there in one of the weakest areas that you have in your life, when your body doesn’t work the way it should, is hard. But it is the positivity that good things can come out of bad situations that they instil in you on the weekend that gave me confidence to go and give wheelchair rugby a go.

Jay, 19 at diagnosis, Dundee