What exactly is Polymyalgia and what, if any, are the treatments?What exactly is Polymyalgia and what, if any, are the treatments?

Answers from our Doctors

Dr. Justus Fiechtner says:

Polymyalgia Rheumatica is an inflammatory disease which may occur suddenly in older persons with symptoms of extreme morning stiffness and pain especially in the shoulder and/or hip regions of the body. The pain is usually not associated with joint swelling or tenderness and is nearly always relieved dramatically with the treatment of 10-15 mg of prednisone daily. Laboratory tests done by a physician will reveal increased levels of inflammation as noted by the "erythrocyte sedimentation rate" or the "C-reactive protein" tests. The disease usually lasts for several months to a year and the symptoms may return as the dose of prednisone is reduced over time. Sometimes the doctor will add other medications for the symptoms including "non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs" or "disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs" to allow for a more rapid reduction of the prednisone dosage, as long-term prednisone therapy can lead to reduction of bone mass and increase the risk of fractures.

Answered on: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - 17:39


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