Polymyalgia rheumatic symptoms and treatment

The rheumatic polymialgia rare. The disease affects only the patients of elderly and senile age, causing intense pain and muscle stiffness. If untreated, the disease process lasts for years and deprives the patient of self-help skills, leading to depression and personality disorder. Timely therapy helps to get rid of the problem and eliminate the symptoms for many years.

What is this disease?

The rheumatic polymialgia is a systemic inflammatory pathology with unknown etiology. The disease is characterized by the appearance of rheumatic pains, stiffness in the muscles and other symptoms. Found in patients after 50 years, rarely younger. Incidence peaks at 60 – 65. The female pathology develops several times more often than men.


The causes of the development remain to be elucidated. In the etiology a role to play in genetic predisposition, stress, chronic and acute infectious diseases. In the study the muscle structure under the microscope fails to reveal significant changes that could cause such symptoms. Beginning many cases of polymyalgia rheumatica associated with previously transferred to respiratory infections, in particular influenza virus. Therefore, in the etiology of the disease important role withdrawn infectious factors.

Clinical symptoms

Consider the main symptoms of the disease:

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  • Pain. Overwhelming numbers of patients the process starts suddenly with the appearance of intense pain. The location of the pain is of some diagnostic value. So, patients complain of pain in the neck, shoulders, buttocks and thighs. The character of the pain may vary: some are pulling and tugging, others sharp and piercing. The pain intensity depends on the stage of the disease.
  • Stiffness in the muscles. Such stiffness usually occurs in the morning. Most of all she is exposed to those groups of muscles that perform a serious workout. When adopting a convenient posture, pain and stiffness gone – this is another diagnostic feature of this disease.
  • The limited mobility of most joints (neck, shoulder, hip, etc.). Due to this, the patient is difficult to perform the simple actions of self-care (brush teeth, make bed, get dressed). Can change in gait due to stiffness and pain in the hip and knee joints.
  • Of arthritis (inflammation of joints): pain in joints, rise of temperature etc.
  • General signs of illness: weakness, lethargy, loss of appetite, emotional decline, headaches, etc.
  • Sensitivity: a feeling of pins and needles in the body, numbness, chilliness, etc.
  • The development of disorders of cerebral circulation and impaired vision. These symptoms are associated with the development of inflammatory edema of the vessel walls.
  • At a palpation region of the affected muscles and joints the patient complains of increased pain syndrome.
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    The disease can occur in two phases. During the period of active inflammation all the symptoms are expressed most clearly, and in the remission period of the patient concerned rare dull pain and slight muscle stiffness in the morning.

    Diagnostic criteria

    For diagnosis using a number of clinical and laboratory signs of:

  • The patient’s age 50 years and older.
  • Pain syndrome typical localization (neck, shoulders, hip joints).
  • Pain concerned about in the period of exacerbation of the disease, they are double sided.
  • The rise in ESR over 30 mm/h In this pathology ESR keeps around 50 – 80 mm/h.
  • The duration of illness over 2 months.
  • Common symptoms: weakness, fever, weight loss, temperature rise, etc.
  • Further explore the biochemical analysis of blood, there can be observed the increase of C-reactive protein, antistreptolysin, globulins and other proteins of acute phase of inflammation. If necessary, a biopsy (examined area of the muscle under the microscope). Important! There are latent forms of polymyalgia rheumatica, in which there is no pain, and there are only General symptoms of illness: fever, lethargy, depression.

    Principles of treatment

    The main treatment is the use of glucocorticosteroids (Prednisone and others). They are administered in individually selected doses depending on the stage of the process, the intensity of pain and level of ESR. Hormonal therapy is carried out under the supervision of clinical and laboratory parameters. With the normalization of the ESR and a decrease in pain patient is transferred to a single dose of tablets means. Such treatment may last several months, in rare cases, several years. If some time after the symptoms they returned, the scheme of treatment is repeated again.

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    Additionally can be assigned a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs a short course, as well as drugs that improve blood circulation and nutrition of tissues of the brain. The prognosis for recovery is favorable, especially if the process is not already complicated by temporal arteritis (inflammation of the temporal arteries). With early detection of pathology and its treatment patients heal quickly. If untreated, the disease progresses, and in order to get rid of it, you may need many years.

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