Polymyalgia rheumatica is an inflammatory disorder that causes muscle stiffness and pain, usually in the shoulder, neck, hips, and the upper arms. Symptoms start quickly within two weeks. Polymyalgia rheumatica occurs in people older than 65, but seldom affects people below 50 years old. Polymyalgia rheumatica has similarities with other inflammatory disorders called giant cell arteritis which causes headaches, vision difficulties and pain in the jaw.
If an individual is suspected with the condition, it is best to schedule an appointment with the doctor so that proper assessment can be carried out.
Symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica occur on both sides of the body along with the following:
- Usually, the first symptoms includes aches and pain in the shoulder
- Aches or pain can be felt on the neck, upper arms, buttocks, thighs or hips.
- Stiffness of the affected areas, usually in the morning or being inactive for a long time such as riding a car.
- Sometimes, there is stiffness in the wrist or the knees.
- Reduced range of motion of the affected areas.
- Mild or low grade fever
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of weight
Causes of polymyalgia rheumatica
The two factors that can cause the development of this condition include certain genes and variations that increase the susceptibility of an individual to develop polymalgia rheumatica and exposure to virus.
Complications of polymyalgia rheumatica can affect the ability of the person to perform everyday activities as well as the health of the individual, social interactions, physical activities, sleep and general well-being such as the following:
- Bathing, combing hair, and some task related to personal hygiene
- Getting out of bed, standing up and getting out of a car
- Getting dressed and putting on a coat
Treatment of polymyalgia rheumatica
- Eat a healthy diet which includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low fat meat and dairy products.
- Limit the intake of salt or sodium in order to minimize buildup of fluid and high blood pressure.
- Exercise on a regular basis to help maintain an ideal weight and strengthen muscles and bones.
- When doing grocery, always utilize luggage and grocery carts, reaching aids and other devices in order to make the task easier.
- If possible, wear low-heeled shoes to help reduce the risk of falls.
- Use a cane or other aids for walking to help prevent falls or other injuries.
Other natural remedies of polymyalgia rheumatica
- Limit the intake of sugar, caffeinated drinks and colas as well as tea and coffee.
- Increase the natural steroid production of the body by eating foods rich in Vitamin C, A, B to help with the natural steroids called glucocorticoids.
- Take Omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids to help minimize the inflammation of the body.
- Bromelain which is an enzyme found in pineapple can help minimize the inflammation and joint pain.