Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Rheumatology Medical Center

Dr. Ritika Narula, DO

Rheumatologist located in Weston, FL

Do you have pain and stiffness in your shoulder or hips? Is your pain more severe in the morning or getting worse over time? You may have polymyalgia rheumatica. At Rheumatology Medical Center in Weston, Florida, Ritika Narula, DO, and the team specializes in inflammatory conditions like polymyalgia rheumatica. Taking a patient-centered approach to care, they can diagnose and treat your problem to alleviate symptoms and improve your quality of life. Call the office or book an appointment online today.

Polymyalgia Rheumatica Q & A

What is polymyalgia rheumatica?

Polymyalgia rheumatica is an inflammatory condition that most often affects the muscles in the shoulders and hips. It commonly develops in older adults and may co-occur with other health problems like giant cell arteritis.

Giant cell arteritis is an inflammatory condition that affects the arteries’ lining, most frequently affecting the arteries in the temple.

The exact cause of polymyalgia rheumatica is still being researched. However, researchers theorize that the inflammatory condition may develop from a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

What are the symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica?

Signs and symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica develop quickly and unexpectedly and are most severe in the morning. 

Some of the symptoms you might experience with polymyalgia rheumatica include:

  • Aching or pain in the shoulders, neck, or arms
  • Aching or pain in the buttocks or thighs
  • Stiffness and limited range of motion in the affected body parts
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Depression

Unlike other inflammatory conditions, you won’t have swollen joints with polymyalgia rheumatica, making it hard to get an accurate diagnosis.

If you’re experiencing pain and stiffness in your shoulder or hips, the team at Rheumatology Medical Center can help. 

How is polymyalgia rheumatica diagnosed?

Polymyalgia rheumatica is hard to diagnose. However, rheumatology experts like Dr. Narula and the Rheumatology Medical Center team understand diseases that affect the joints, muscles, and bones and can recognize the symptoms of this inflammatory disease. 

During your visit to Rheumatology Medical Center, the team conducts an in-depth clinical exam. They ask detailed questions about your symptoms, medical and family history and perform a physical. To confirm a diagnosis, the team runs blood tests to look for inflammation.

How is polymyalgia rheumatica treated?

If the team at Rheumatology Medical Center suspects you have polymyalgia rheumatica, they prescribe a low-dose corticosteroid. Most patients with polymyalgia rheumatica experience a significant improvement in symptoms soon after they start treatment, which helps the team confirm your diagnosis. 

If your symptoms fail to improve within a few weeks after starting corticosteroids, then it’s improbable that you have polymyalgia rheumatica.

Once your symptoms are under control, Dr. Narula and the team slowly taper your corticosteroids until they find the lowest dose possible that provides the most symptom relief.

Polymyalgia rheumatica may be the source of your neck or hip pain. Call Rheumatology Medical Center for a consultation or book an appointment online today.  

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