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HOW IS POLYMYALGIA TREATED

By Anonymous April 2, 2010 - 3:18am
 
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HI CAN YOU TELL ME HOW POLYMYALGIA IS TREATED. WHAT CAUSES IT AND HOW TO TREAT AND LIVE WITH IT ?

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon - Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is an inflammatory disorder that results in muscle pain and stiffness in the body. It especially effects the shoulders, arms, hips, and thighs. Often, many people who have PMR (about 15%) also develop another syndrome called giant cell arteritis (GCA). GCA results in inflammation and swelling of arteries, most commonly in the head. If not treated quickly, GCA may cause permanent blindness.

There is some evidence to suggest that certain viruses could be responsible for the onset of the disease. The exact causes and relationship between PMR and GCA are unknown. Both are inflammatory conditions, and therefore are due to some kind of immune system dysfunction. Genetic factors contribute to their development as well.

In terms of treatment for Polymyalgia Rheumatica, the symptoms will disappear without treatment within several months to years. However, treatment leads to dramatic improvement within 24-48 hours. Treatment usually consists of:

* Corticosteroid medication
* Anti-inflammatory drugs

GCA must be treated before blindness occurs, because blindness is irreversible. Treatment is usually a high dose of corticosteroid medication for about one month. This is then tapered to a smaller dose for maintenance therapy, usually for at least 1-2 years.

The American College of Rheumatology has a good patient education page on this:
http://www.rheumatology.org/practice/clinical/patients/diseases_and_conditions/polymyalgiarheumatica.asp

Here are some additional resources for information:

EmpowHER Reference Page:
http://www.empowher.com/media/reference/polymyalgia-rheumatica-and-giant-cell-arteritis#definition

American College of Rheumatology
http://www.rheumatology.org

Arthritis Foundation
http://www.arthritis.org

Please let us know if this information is helpful, and if you have additional questions. Take care, Pat

April 2, 2010 - 5:55pm
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Polymyalgia Rheumatica

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