Polymyalgia rheumatica ("PMR", sometimes called just polymyalgia) is a syndrome or condition. It causes pain in the joints and muscles of the upper body. Most people with PMR have pain during the morning. Sometimes the pain is in the late afternoon or evening. About 15% of people having PMR may also have temporal arteritis.
One blood test usually performed is the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) which measures how fast the patient's red blood cells settle in a test tube. The faster the blood cells settle, the higher the ESR value, which means inflammation is present.
Prednisone is the drug of choice for PMR. Treatment duration is often more than one year. If the patient does not experience dramatic improvement after three days of 10–20 mg oral prednisone per day, the diagnosis should be reconsidered. Sometimes relief of symptoms occurs in only several hours.
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