Polymyalgia rheumatica and giant cell arteritis facts
- Polymyalgia rheumatica causes pain and stiffness in muscles and joints.
- Polymyalgia rheumatica is diagnosed by characteristic symptoms associated with abnormal blood testing for inflammation.
- Polymyalgia rheumatica is treated with low doses of cortisone medications.
- Giant cell arteritis is a result of inflammation of arteries.
- Giant cell arteritis can lead to blindness and/or stroke.
- Giant cell arteritis is detected by a biopsy of an artery.
- Giant cell arteritis is treated with high-dose cortisone medications.
What is polymyalgia rheumatica?
Polymyalgia rheumatica is a disorder of the muscles and joints characterized by muscle pain and stiffness, affecting both sides of the body, and involving the shoulders, arms, neck, and buttock areas. Patients with polymyalgia rheumatica are typically over 50 years of age. Polymyalgia rheumatica is abbreviated PMR.
Because both polymyalgia rheumatica and giant cell arteritis sometimes occur in the same patient, both diseases are reviewed here.