Facts About Polymyalgia Arthritis
Arthritis affects millions of individuals around the world today. There are over 100 different types of arthritis, however, a handful of these make up a majority of the cases. A rare variation is called Polymyalgia
Rheumatica(PMR), this is a unique type because of its affects on the muscles and not the bones. Because of its scarcity it is poorly understood, usually affecting people over the age of 50 years.
Women are more commonly affected at a ratio of 2 to1. The disorder is also largely focused on the western world. Over 100 years ago it was recognized but named Senile Rheumatic Gout. It has gone by many names until 1957. During this period an association to Giant cell Arteritis also called Temporal Arteritis was found.
This correlation lead to the discovery that PMR was more common than initially believed, and the relationship between the two diseases was strengthened by the finding that each disorder commonly occurred in the absence of the other.
The most common symptoms of Polymyalgia Arthritis include the following: stiffness and aching around the upper arms, lower back and thigh area. It is not uncommon for symptoms to arise overnight, but usually a period of several days and even up to a few weeks. The symptoms are on both sides of the body without a predilection for either the right or the left.
A common disability that arises is the ability to raise both arms above the shoulder. Mornings can be a particularly tough time, when the aching and stiffness are at the worst. Any periods of inactivity will also result in that problem, the aching may improve as the day progresses. Some people experience quite severe pain at night. Manual activity may be very difficult first thing in the morning or when you arise from a seated position. Occasionally aching may be present in the distal extremities like the hands and wrists.
Polymyalgia arthritis is now the most commonly diagnosed rheumatic condition for people over 50. Despite its prevalence it is still poorly understood, with no known cure and only small clues as to is cause. Although the disease may eventually go away, those that acquire it suffer some very uncomfortable symptoms either from the disease or its treatment medication.