Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) is a chronic inflammatory condition, autoimmune in origin, characterized by muscle stiffness and pain that typically affects the hip and shoulder region. The cause of PMR is unknown, however, it is perceived to be mediated by inflammatory mediators and proteins’ activity against the body’s healthy tissues. Genetics and environmental exposure are some of the other contributing agents.
The statistics suggest that the elderly are susceptible to developing this disease as opposed to the rest of the age groups. You must seek medical advice from the Best Rheumatologist in Lahore if need be. Read on to know better about the symptomatology of PMR and hence the right time to get a consultation on your health status.
Age is a common risk factor associated with the incidence of PMR. This condition is more likely to develop in those over the age of 50 and up to 80 with a highly recorded female predisposition. Mayo Clinic establishes that women had a two- to three-fold higher risk of developing this illness. Several other prevalent risk factors include smoking, sun exposure, and certain infectious diseases.
Signs and Symptoms
PMR is comprised of a set of clinical manifestations that is predominantly:
- Shoulder pain and stiffness and pelvic girdle pain. It typically occurs bilaterally and may progressively expand to other areas as well. Rigidity typically lasts longer than 30 minutes and is particularly noticeable in the morning or after a period of inactivity.
- Weakness, lethargy, low-grade fever, malaise, weight loss, anemia, depression, and a restricted range of motion among other typical symptoms.
Treatment for PMR focuses on the symptoms. The management is planned to alleviate pain, inflammation, and muscle stiffness primarily by the administration of corticosteroid therapy. Prednisone stands as a drug of choice for PMR. The symptoms can be effectively treated, and the former musculoskeletal function can be recovered with the use of low-dose therapy.
Occasionally, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen can be used to treat mild cases of PMR. However, NSAIDs frequently prove incompetent when administered alone; for this reason, they may be used with the corticosteroid maintenance dose. Because extended use of corticosteroids frequently causes negative side effects including osteoporosis, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, etc., this aids in reducing their excessive use. To reduce the chance of any adverse effects during therapy, the doctor may even recommend vitamin D and calcium supplements concomitantly. If you have been on corticosteroids for more than three months, supplements are frequently advised.
Along with taking their prescribed medications, PMR patients must also embrace exercise and/or physiotherapy in their routines under the keen supervision of medical professionals. Regular physical activity improves joint flexibility, muscular tone, and function. To preserve optimum health, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and meat is highly recommended.
The prognosis of PMR is excellent with early identification. Compliance with a low-dose corticosteroid therapy as per prescription produces dramatically improved results. Despite the accompanying side effects, such as osteoporosis and diabetes mellitus, extended corticosteroid therapy may be necessary to achieve full functional restoration.
Refer to a Rheumatologist in Karachi for the best consultation and appropriate treatment if needed.