A syndrome characterized by pain, stiffness, and tenderness of the proximal muscle groups including the shoulder, pelvic girdle and the neck. There is no muscle atrophy and muscle biopsies do not reveal pathologic changes. Additional signs and symptoms include low grade fever, fatigue and depression.
A syndrome in the elderly characterized by proximal joint and muscle pain, high erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and a self-limiting course. Pain is usually accompanied by evidence of an inflammatory reaction. Women are affected twice as commonly as men and caucasians more frequently than other groups. The condition is frequently associated with giant cell arteritis and some theories pose the possibility that the two diseases arise from a single etiology or even that they are the same entity.
Polymyalgia rheumatica causes muscle pain and stiffness in your neck, shoulders and hips. It is most common in women and almost always occurs in people over 50. The main symptom of polymyalgia rheumatica is stiffness after resting. Other symptoms include fever, weakness and weight loss. In some cases, polymyalgia rheumatica develops overnight. In others, it is gradual. Polymyalgia rheumatica sometimes occurs along with giant cell arteritis, a condition that causes swelling of the arteries in your head. Symptoms include headaches and blurred vision. Doctors often prescribe a medicine called prednisone for both conditions. Polymyalgia rheumatic usually responds to treatment. Without treatment, it usually goes away after a year or more. Untreated, giant cell arteritis carries a small risk of blindness or stroke. nih: national institute of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases