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Diseases That Mimic Polymyalgia Rheumatica

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Diseases That Mimic Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Diseases That Mimic Polymyalgia Rheumatica: Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) causes symptoms similar to several other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and fibromyalgia. Because of this, doctors can misdiagnose it.

RMP causes generalized muscle stiffness, aches, and pains that are often worse in the morning or after long periods of inactivity. It also affects both sides of the body and is common in people over 50.

Other symptoms of RMP include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • weightloss
  • fever
  • depression

This article examines the diseases that mimic PMR, including their similarities and differences. It also explains how doctors distinguish between these conditions and make a diagnosis.

Diseases That Mimic Polymyalgia Rheumatica

What Are Diseases That Mimic Polymyalgia Rheumatica?

According to the American College of Rheumatology, PMR is a condition that causes widespread pain and stiffness in the body’s joints. It often affects:

  • arms and shoulders
  • neck
  • the hips
  • loins
  • the thighs

The average age of onset is 70 years. PMR can affect anyone, but it occurs more often in women than in men and is more common in white people. The reasons for this are not clear. Doctors don’t know what causes PMK, but it appears to be due to inflammation.

PMR usually lasts 1 to 5 years before resolving independently, but it can vary. During this time, people can control symptoms with medicine, exercise, and rest.

About 15% of people with PMR also develop a potentially serious condition known as giant cell arteritis, which causes narrowing or blockages in the large blood vessels around the head, neck, and arms. Symptoms of giant cell arteritis include:

  • headache
  • visual difficulties, such as double vision or vision loss
  • jaw pain when eating
  • scalp tenderness or pain around the temples

What Diseases Mimic Pmr?

Polymyalgia rheumatica shares many symptoms with a variety of other conditions, including:

  • rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
  • tendinitis or bursitis
  • infections
  • fibromyalgia
  • Lyme’s disease
  • spondyloarthropathy
  • lupus
  • vasculitis
  • Cancer

Diseases That Mimic Polymyalgia Rheumatica What Diseases Mimic Pmr?


Lupus is another autoimmune disease. However, instead of the immune system attacking the joints, it attacks various tissues and organs. The main symptoms are joint and muscle pain, a rash on the nose and cheeks, and extreme fatigue. Aside from the butterfly-shaped rash on the face, lupus can look very similar to PMR.

Other symptoms of lupus can include:

  • mouth ulcers
  • headache
  • high temperature
  • Hair loss
  • loss of appetite and weight loss
  • sun-sensitive skin

Can other illnesses mimic polymyalgia rheumatica?

Some other illnesses that may be confused with polymyalgia rheumatica include Rheumatoid arthritis. Infections. Inflammation of blood vessels (vasculitis)

Polymyalgia rheumatica is a rare inflammatory condition that causes pain or stiffness in large groups of muscles, especially around the shoulders and hips. Polymyalgia means “a lot of muscle pain.” Rheumatica means “change” or “in motion.”

What are the symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica?

The symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica tend to develop quickly and, in addition to muscle pain, other symptoms can include:

Stiffness around the shoulders and hips, especially in the morning and after rest.

  • Soft spot
  • Tired
  • Feeling generally unwell
  • Mild fevers (occasionally)
  • Weightloss


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