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Polymyalgia rheumatica


Polymyalgia rheumatica is an inflammatory arthritis, also known as Forester Certonciny's syndrome. Polymyalgia rheumatica usually appears in people over the age of 50 and affects women more frequently than men. This disease develops in stages and usually heals itself after a few years of evolution. Polymyalgia rheumatica is often associated with the presence of another disease, giant cell arteritis. GCA is a vasculitis - inflammation of blood vessels - which affects the arteries, especially those stemming from the external carotid, hence its other name of temporal arteritis.


Polymyalgia rheumatica causes the following symptoms:
  • inflammation of the joints in a typically symmetrical manner;
  • pain in the affected joints;
  • joints that are mainly affected are the shoulder, cervical spine and the hips;
  • stiff joints;
  • altered state with a general weight loss, weak appetite and fatigue;
  • sometimes, a mild fever.


Polymalgia rheumatica is diagnosed upon observance of the clinical signs mentioned above. At most, the suspicion will be strengthened through a blood test that confirms the presence of inflammation with levels of C-reactive protein.


The treatment of the polymalgia rheumatica is mostly done through the use of corticosteroids, in decreasing doses over a few days or weeks. Once the minimum effective dose is determined, it will be continued for at least one year. Furthermore, because of side effects due to long-term corticosteroid use, calcium supplementation and vitamins are frequently associated with the use of bisphosphonates to prevent osteoporosis. Other molecules can sometimes be used in place of corticosteroids, such as methotrexate.

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