How is polymyalgia rheumatica diagnosed?
Pmr polymyalgia rheumatica is diagnosed by a combination of factors. Blood test will be used to look at inflammation markers. The sed rate or erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein are commonly used tests. Both these test are abnormally high in PMR but in a small percentage of cases they may appear normal or only slightly increased.
How is pmr polymyalgia rheumatica treated?
After a diagnosis of pmr polymyalgia rheumatica is made the normal course of treatment involves a trial course of low dose corticosteroids, a typically used one is prednisone. A normal expected response is relief from the stiffness. Some people may experience a dramatic response but for others it may take a little longer. If symptoms have not been relieved after 2-3 weeks then there is justification to question the original diagnosis. Other medication like non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs are ineffective in treatment during the initial phases of pmr polymyalgia rheumatica.
When symptoms are under control, the dose of corticosteroid should be decreased to a maintenance dose. The goal is to find the lowest dose that keeps the symptoms at ease. This low dose may be discontinued after a year or for some people they may stay on it for a few years to keep their symptoms of stiffness under control. It is common to have recurring symptoms.