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Polymyalgia rheumatica is an inflammatory condition that causes pain and stiffness in muscles, mainly in the hips, neck, and shoulders. Pain and stiffness are usually worse in the morning. Your doctor will treat you with medicine to reduce the inflammation, which helps your symptoms. Your symptoms should get much better in 1 to 3 days and go away in 2 to 4 weeks. Treatment is usually needed for about a year.
Some people who have this also get giant cell arteritis (temporal arteritis). This causes swelling of some blood vessels in the head. Tell your doctor if you have any headaches, jaw pain, or tightness or tenderness along the temple or scalp. This condition can cause blindness if it is not treated. Tell your doctor if you have problems with your vision, including blurring or seeing double.
For more information on polymyalgia rheumatica, visit Alberta Rheumatology – Polymyalgia Rheumatica.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter M396 in the search box to learn more about "Polymyalgia Rheumatica: Care Instructions".
Adaptation Date: 9/6/2023
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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