Inflammatory Muscle Disorders

Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) and Temporal Arteritis (TA)

PMR is a commonly encountered condition occurring over the age of 60 and characterised by muscle pain in the upper arms, shoulders, neck, thighs and low back. It's an inflammatory problem, so symptoms are typically worse at night, in the early mornings and after periods of inactivity. A patient may feel fatigue and lose some weight. A small number of patients may also have headaches, visual disturbances and jaw pain- an associated condition called temporal arteritis. The cause of these conditions remains unclear but they may remit over 18-24 months. They respond extremely well to steroids and it's important to start with the correct dose and not to over or under treat the patient. Many patients are over treated, leading to unnecessary exposure to potential steroid side effects.