Polymyalgia Rheumatica Symptoms and Treatments - Rheumatology Consultant London | Rheumatologist London | Dr Stephanie Barrett



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Polymyalgia Rheumatica, also known as PMR, is a common condition that generally affects people over 70. However, people in their 50s can begin experiencing symptoms. What, though, are Polymyalgia Rheumatica symptoms and treatments?

How is Polymyalgia Rheumatica diagnosed?

There is no specific test for Polymyalgia Rheumatica. The diagnosis comes from discussions with a doctor, specialist Consultant or Rheumatologist.  They will ask patients a series of questions to understand symptoms. In addition, blood tests can measure whether there are high levels of inflammation and x-rays or ultrasounds can show joint damage.

What are Polymyalgia Rheumatica Symptoms and Treatments?

Polymyalgia Rheumatica symptoms and treatments include:


People who suffer from Polymyalgia Rheumatica feel pain and stiffness in their neck, shoulders, hips and thighs. The pain is different from that you might experience through exercise while the stiffness can stop a person dressing, washing or going about their day to day lives. The pain and stiffness can increase after a period of rest. In addition, it can get worse over time. As a result, people may struggle to sleep or find themselves feeling low, anxious or depressed.


The main treatment for Polymyalgia Rheumatica is a steroid medicine. Of these, the most common is Prednisolone. However, no medication can cure Polymyalgia. Instead, they work to reduce the symptoms by reducing inflammation. As a result, they may need to be taken long-term at a low dose.  It’s worth remembering there are potential side-effects to steroids.  Because of these, people should have regular follow-up appointments with their GP or specialist. In addition, doctors may suggest patients make lifestyle changes, adopting a healthier diet, for example, or taking up regular, gentle, exercise.

Support managing Polymyalgia Rheumatica

To understand the treatment combination that could work for you, contact Consultant Physician and Rheumatologist Dr Stephanie Barrett today on 020 7730 8508 or enquiries@drstephaniebarrett.com.