Polymyalgia rheumatica (musculoskeletal manifestations)

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 29 Jan 2021

Musculoskeletal manifestations of polymyalgia rheumatica are the commonest presentation of polymyalgia rheumatica.

Polymyalgia rheumatica is the most common inflammatory rheumatic condition in older adults 1.

Patients typically present with 1:

  • shoulder or pelvic girdle aches lasting over 2 weeks
  • morning shoulder or pelvic girdle stiffness
  • raised inflammatory markers (e.g. ESR)

Although usually not required ultrasound may commonly show 2:

Treatment is usually low dose corticosteroids which most patients respond well to 1

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