The answers during your history exam, the physical exam findings and the results of your tests can help your doctor determine if cause of your pain and stiffness is pmr polymyalgia.
Your doctor will perform an examination to check your health in general, pinpoint any possible causes and rule out certain diseases. They may move your joints and limbs to see how much your symptoms affect your range of motion.
A blood test will most likely be performed. This will involve drawing some blood that can be used for a range of test to check certain things.
Common things to check for on the blood test will be to rule out viral infections or any changes in hormone levels, which may indicate another condition or lead to a diagnosis other than pmr polymyalgia rheumatica.
The most specific tests for pmr polymyalgia rheumatica include:
- ESR or sed rate, measures the distance in a test tube that red blood cells have fallen in one hour. This is directly related to inflammation – the further the distance the higher inflammatory response of your immune system. This is due to the changes in red blood cells in response to inflammation.
- The C-reactive protein test measures the amount of c-reactive proteins in your blood. This protein is released by the immune system when it starts an inflammatory response. Therefore, increased inflammatory activity equals a high concentration of C-reactive proteins.
Sometimes the use of ultrasound can show inflammation in tissues of the shoulder and hip of people with pmr polymyalgia. The ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images of muscles and other soft tissues, the images can help support or rule out other causes of your symptoms.