Skip to main content

How to Treat Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Polymyalgia rheumatica is a disease that causes pain and muscle stiffness in certain body parts, such as the neck, shoulders, and pelvis. Polymyalgia rheumatism can cause the sufferer difficulty in activities and work. Therefore, how to treat polymyalgia rheumatica must be done immediately.

How to Treat Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Polymyalgia rheumatica is often experienced by the elderly, especially women. Symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica can appear due to inflammation. However, until now, the exact cause of the inflammation that triggers the pain in polymyalgia rheumatica is still unknown.

However, there are several factors that are thought to increase a person's risk for polymyalgia rheumatica, including heredity or genetics, the aging process, immune system disorders, and autoimmune diseases.

Usually, the symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica will subside and heal if treated properly. However, if left untreated, polymyalgia rheumatica can persist for a long time and will further disturb the comfort of the sufferer.

Polymyalgia Rheumatica Symptoms

The typical symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica are pain and muscle stiffness on both sides of the body in the morning or after a long period of immobility.

Pain from polymyalgia rheumatica is often felt in the neck, shoulders, upper arms, pelvis, buttocks, or thighs. Even so, sometimes the pain due to polymyalgia rheumatica can also be felt in the hands and feet. These symptoms can appear suddenly or gradually and last up to about 30–60 minutes.

In addition to causing pain in several parts of the body, polymyalgia rheumatica can also cause several other symptoms, such as:

  • Feeling unwell
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Weight loss for no apparent reason
  • Depression

The symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica can be severe enough that the sufferer has difficulty performing daily activities, such as getting out of bed, dressing, or standing from a chair.

Symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica that appear sometimes can also be accompanied by other symptoms, such as jaw pain, headaches, and visual disturbances. It is possible that the appearance of these symptoms is due to temporal arteritis. If not treated immediately, this condition can lead to stroke or blindness.

How to Deal With Polymyalgia Rheumatica

We recommend that if you experience the symptoms above, immediately consult a rheumatologist for a proper diagnosis and treatment. To confirm the diagnosis of polymyalgia rheumatica that you suffer from, the doctor will perform a medical examination which includes a physical examination and supporting examinations such as blood tests, X-rays, ultrasound, and MRI.

If the results of the examination show that you suffer from polymyalgia rheumatica, the doctor will provide treatment in the form of:

1. Medications

How to relieve polymyalgia rheumatica pain the doctor will prescribe corticosteroid medication, such as prednisone to reduce inflammation and pain due to polymyalgia rheumatica. Usually, the doctor will prescribe this medication in the long term to relieve the perceived symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica.

In addition to corticosteroid medications, the doctor may also prescribe methotrexate medications to reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms that arise due to polymyalgia rheumatica. Usually, this medicine will be given by the doctor if it is unable to use corticosteroids or if the perceived symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica do not subside with the use of corticosteroids.

2. Calcium and vitamin D supplements

Long-term use of corticosteroids can cause various side effects, such as bone loss. To prevent these side effects, doctors will usually also prescribe calcium and vitamin D supplements.

In addition to supplements, usually it will also be recommended to consume foods and drinks that are high in calcium, such as milk, seafood, yogurt, and green vegetables, such as mustard greens, spinach, and broccoli.

3. Physiotherapy

Symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica usually subside after using corticosteroid medicines for some time. However, if you still find it difficult to move because your symptoms haven't subsided, maybe your doctor will advise you to undergo physiotherapy and stay active.

Some of the treatment steps above may not completely cure polymyalgia rheumatica, but they can overcome the symptoms you feel so you can return to activities comfortably.

During the course of treatment, it is best to regularly go to the doctor to ensure that the dosage of the medicine used is appropriate and can reduce the risk of side effects from the treatment being undertaken. Thus an explanation of how to treat polymyalgia rheumatica, hopefully this explanation can be useful.

Comment Policy: Please write your comments according to the topic of this page post. Comments containing links will not be accessed until they are approved.
Open Comments
Close Comments