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Diseases > Polymyalgia Rheumatica | PMR > Symptoms | Polymyalgia Rheumatica | PMR

Symptoms | Polymyalgia Rheumatica | PMR

What are the Signs and Symptoms of PMR?

Polymyalgia rheumatica tends to come on suddenly, sometimes overnight. One day you feel fine, and over a few days you develop intense pain and stiffness in the shoulders and hips. The stiffness tends to be worse after a period of rest and in the morning, which can make getting out of bed and getting dressed a real challenge. In some people, the stiffness gets better once the joints have had a chance to get “worked out.” In other people, the pain and stiffness can last all day. This not only affects daytime activities, but it can also make sleeping uncomfortable. Most people who develop PMR also suffer from significant fatigue.

The good news is that in about half of people who get PMR, it’s a self-limited disease. That means it goes away by itself after a few months to a couple of years. But in other people, PMR is more chronic (long-term) and can linger for much longer.

Polymyalgia rheumatica can also occur with another condition called temporal arteritis. About 15 out of every 100 people with PMR also have temporal arteritis. People with temporal arteritis have inflammation of the arteries along one or both sides of the head (along the temples). This can lead to headaches or twinges of pain along the temples. This area can be very sensitive to the touch. That can make brushing or combing the hair around the temples painful. In the worst cases, the arteries leading to the eyes can be affected. When this happens, people can have blurry vision and even vision loss. Let your doctor know if you have any of these symptoms.

Work and PMR

The pain and stiffness caused by PMR can sometimes limit people’s normal activities, including work. But there are things you can do to lessen the impact of PMR on your work and daily routine. Adjusting features of your workplace can help make working with PMR easier. For example, adjusting the position of chairs and desks for proper posture can help. You can also make adjustments to the seat of your vehicle to make driving more comfortable and reduce the stress on your shoulders and hips.

Travel and PMR

Traveling is still possible when you have PMR. It is best to be organized prior to your trip to ensure a smooth, comfortable, and enjoyable time. Be sure to pack an extra supply of prednisone in case you have a flare of PMR while away. See our travel check list.

Read more – Treatment of Polymyalgia Rheumatica