What is Polymyalgia Rheumatica?

Muscle pain and stiffness, party of one. Name? Polymyalgia Rheumatica.

Polymyalgia Rheumatica, often times referred to as PMR, is an inflammatory condition that causes widespread muscle pain and stiffness, most commonly occurring in people over the age of 50. PMR symptoms typically develop quickly and are more severe during the morning, after hours of inactivity. The stiffness experienced can limit flexibility and even daily function, especially in the upper arms, neck, lower back and thighs.

Just how common is PMR? It’s estimated to affect around 59 out of 100,000 people over the age of 50 every year. PMR is also mostly seen in Caucasian women. It is the most common inflammatory disease to affect the elderly and is rarely seen in those who are under age 50. On average, the disease tends to develop in those 65 and older.

While we don’t know exactly what causes polymyalgia rheumatica, researchers have narrowed it down to two factors that appear to be involved in the development of this condition, genetics and an environmental exposure. What does that mean? Certain genes might increase your likelihood of developing PMR. As far as the environmental exposure goes, new cases of PMR come in cycles which has led researchers to believe that an environmental trigger, like a virus could play a role in its’ development.

While there is currently no cure for PMR, physicians at New England Research Associates are evaluating potential new treatment options for adults suffering from PMR. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with PMR, you may be eligible to participate in clinical research study. Qualified participants will receive study-related care and access to study medication at no cost, as well as receive compensation for time and travel. To learn more about how you can get involved, CLICK HERE.