What is polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)?

Updated: Sep 03, 2020
  • Author: Mythili Seetharaman, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is a clinical syndrome characterized by aching in the proximal portions of the extremities and torso. Diagnostic criteria include aching and morning stiffness lasting half an hour or more in 2-3 commonly affected areas (eg, neck, shoulder girdle, hip girdle) for at least 1 month in a person aged 50 years or older. Aching and stiffness are also worse with exertion, and may be severe and incapacitating.

In PMR, muscles may be tender, disuse may lead to atrophy, and contractures may develop. Muscle strength is usually normal but is often difficult to evaluate because of pain.

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