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Polymyalgia rheumatica causes pain and swelling in joints and muscles, mainly in the hips, neck, and shoulders. Pain and swelling may be worse in the morning. This condition can occur quickly and often lasts for a year or two. Your doctor will treat you with medicine to reduce swelling. Your symptoms should get much better in 1 to 3 days and go away in 2 to 4 weeks. Still, you may need to take medicine to prevent it from coming back. You may be on the medicine for 1 to 2 years or longer.
Some people who have this also get giant cell arteritis (temporal arteritis), which 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.
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 call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: April 30, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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