Harvard Women's Health Watch

Aches And Pains: Polymyalgia rheumatica

Aches And Pains

Polymyalgia rheumatica

Getting out of bed in the morning can be a challenge — especially for the many people who have this inflammatory condition.

Anyone over age 50 may be accustomed to a little joint stiffness and muscle soreness the morning after a challenging workout or some heavy gardening. Generally, a hot shower, massage, or good night's rest will put us right. But for women with polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR), those common remedies don't suffice. PMR may not be life-threatening, but it can seriously limit a woman's daily activities and take a heavy toll on her sleep and well-being.

PMR may come on gradually over days or weeks, but it often appears suddenly. A woman may feel fine one day but wake up the next morning feeling as if her health has inexplicably deteriorated. Left untreated, the condition may last for months to years before gradually subsiding. However, with proper diagnosis and treatment, the symptoms can be eased almost as quickly as they appear.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »