Polymyalgia Rheumatica

What is Polymyalgia Rheumatica Disorder?

Polymyalgia Rheumatic (PMR) is an auto-inflammatory rheumatic disorder that causes inflammation of the muscles, in particularly the shoulders, hips and neck leading to sever pain and stiffness. It is more frequently seen in adults over the age of 50, with more women being affect than men. The onset is usually over a period of a couple of weeks, and begins as flu like symptoms that progressively get worse.

As a result of the inflammation, those suffering may find there is an impact on daily activities, such as, dressing, washing, climbing stairs and sometime even getting out of bed. Individuals often find that long periods of rest or inactivity will exacerbate the symptoms, therefore it can be found that increasing activity levels can actually help reduce symptoms.



Ø  Aches or pain in both shoulders, that are worse first thing.

Ø  Aches or pain in your neck, upper arms, hips or thighs.

Ø  Stiffness in affected areas that progressively worsen after inactivity

Ø  Reduced range of motion through shoulders and hips.

Ø  Weakness

Generalised symptoms:

Ø  Fatigue

Ø  Fever

Ø  The feeling of being unwell

Ø  Unintentional weight loss

Ø  Depression and anxiety


What causes PMR?

The condition is not well understood so it’s exact cause is unknown.  It is thought to be a combination of genetics and environmental factors. Another disorder that shares similar symptoms with PMR is a disorder known as giant cell arteritis. Giant cell arteritis causes inflammatory effects along the lining of the arteries, there is a close link to people with this disorder also having PMR. It can be characterised by aching muscle pain in the shoulders, pelvis, and neck; however this can mimic other rheumatic disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and polymyositis. When the body is dealing with the inflammatory effects of PMR, many people believe they are experiencing a different disorder. To that point, getting a clear diagnosis can sometime be difficult.

Why Chiropractic can help with PMR

Chiropractic can be used to help manage the symptoms by addressing the underlying musculoskeletal issues. Spinal adjustments can help to alleviate pain and stiffness that is associated with PMR. As a result, it can also improve joint mobility, increase blood flow, reduced inflammation and promote optimal nerve function. Many individuals who incorporate chiropractic care to help manage musculoskeletal symptoms associated with rheumatic disorders like PMR can be pain-free.

If you or someone you know is living with PMR and you would like to discuss with me, you can find our contact details here https://www.topchiro.co.uk/contact/


Dr Amy

Dr Amy Champion DC


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Ø  Michet, Clement J, and Eric L Matteson. “Polymyalgia Rheumatica.” BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), BMJ Publishing Group Ltd., 5 Apr. 2008, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2287267/.

Ø  Acharya, Saurav, and Rina Musa. “Polymyalgia Rheumatica – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 21 June 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537274/.

Ø  Milchert, Marcin, and Marek Brzosko. “Diagnosis of Polymyalgia Rheumatica Usually Means a Favourable Outcome for Your Patient.” The Indian Journal of Medical Research, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, May 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5644293/.