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What is Polymyalgia Rheumatica?

What is Polymyalgia Rheumatica?


Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) is a condition which can entail sudden onset of symptoms for unknown reasons. It is an inflammatory condition which affects the muscles in the shoulder and upper arm area. It can also affect the thigh and buttock area. There is no known cause for polymyalgia rheumatica, which can cause severe pain in sufferers. At Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic we work with sufferers of PMR to help alleviate the pain associated with the condition. What are the symptoms of PMR?

Symptoms of PMR

  • Severe and painful stiffness and inflammation, often worse in the morning. This is usually concentrated in the shoulder and thigh area. Some sufferers report symptoms after a flu and the condition is more common in the over 50 age bracket.
  • The pain may often become worse on movement initially but may lessen during the day. Pain can also be present at rest.
  • Pain may disrupt sleep at night.
  • PMR may be accompanied with a slight fever and a general feeling of being unwell.
  • Some patients may experience weight loss.
  • There may be some inflammation around the shoulder or hips.
  • In a small number of cases headaches may be present which can affect vision.

Some sufferers of PME may work with both a doctor and a chartered physiotherapist to manage symptoms, perhaps using a combination of medication such as corticosteroids and physiotherapy to address symptoms.

How Can Physiotherapy Help?

It is important to stress that the experts in Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic have experience of working with clients who suffer from PMR and we are aware of the pain and mobility issues associated with the condition. With this in mind we work with clients in a range of ways.

  • Gentle stretching can ease pain. Physiotherapy can help in this regard. Your practitioner will work carefully with you to help, taking into account your own limits and ongoing pain you suffer.
  • Massage can help. Again, our chartered physiotherapists will work closely with you to make sure that you get the benefit of massage.
  • Mobilisation and work on getting you moving is something which your physiotherapist can help with, taking into account the need to minimise pain.

It is important to talk to your physiotherapist about your PMR, your pain levels and your ability to move around. Working closely with you, the staff at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic will help you to manage your pain and also give you the tools to move and rest easier.

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