Polymyalgia Rheumatica and Giant Cell Arteritis

Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) is an inflammatory condition which leads to shoulder and hip muscles. The stiffness is usually worse in the morning and improves after approximately an hour. It is usually diagnosed in patients over 60 years old. In addition, blood tests may show high levels of inflammation.

Giant Cell Arteritis

Giant Cell arteritis (GCA) is caused by inflammation of the medium and large arteries mainly of the head and neck.

Common symptoms include:

  • Headaches in the temples
  • Jaw or tongue ache on chewing
  • Visual loss

Treatment of PMR and GCA is usually with corticosteroids, which reduces inflammation rapid. The steroids may need to be continued for 18 – 24 months. In addition, you would also need to be prescribed treatment to strengthen your bones, and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.