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Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR)

Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) is a chronic, systemic inflammatory disease characterized by aching and morning stiffness in the neck, shoulder, and pelvic girdle in people older than 50 years of age.

The cause of PMR is unknown, although genetic and environmental factors are thought to contribute to disease susceptibility and severity.

It can come on suddenly and usually responds to steroidal medication prescribed by a GP.

In many cases PMR is a self- limiting condition which will get better within a few years but for some it can become a long- term condition.

15-20% of people who have PMR can develop another condition called Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA), which is characterised by: abrupt onset of temporal headache, tenderness in the temple, disturbance of vision (loss of vision, double vision, loss of colour), jaw or tongue claudication (pain within minutes of chewing). Due to the risk of loss of vision, the development of these symptoms need urgent medical attention; ring NHS 111 or go directly to A&E.

Please see the links below for more information on available support groups and charities relevant to this condition.

What Can I Do To Help Myself?

Many rheumatological conditions are classed as long- term conditions meaning that either you will live with them for many years or in some cases indefinitely.

 While medical science continually works hard through research to find improvements to medical treatment for these conditions, we know that there are many ways in which you can help yourself.

Have a look below at some information leaflets through the links to help with your self-management.

Coping with Flare Ups

Coping with Flare Ups - PDF

Getting A Good Night’s Sleep

Getting A Good Night’s Sleep - PDF

Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation Techniques - PDF

Mindfulness video

Tips For Stress Management

Tips For Stress Management - PDF

Pacing And Setting Baselines

Pacing And Setting Baselines - PDF

Goal Setting and Action Planning

Goal Setting and Action Planning - PDF

Managing A Set-Back

Managing A Set-Back - PDF

When to seek advice

If you have severe pain affecting your sleep and daily activities, if you have had a serious injury or you have symptoms that have not improved with self-management, you should contact your GP practice. If you have a red, hot swollen joint please ring 111