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Polymyalgia rheumatica can cause shoulder and thigh pain. We look at its symptoms and available treatments for polymyalgia rheumatica.
When diagnosing the condition, the doctor may first wish to conduct a diagnosis of exclusion, as the symptoms of PMR can be similar to other conditions. For patients, for example, who do not respond to treatment, the doctor will consider other causes.
The condition is also considered part of a spectrum of illness with polymyalgia rheumatica at the milder end of the spectrum and a condition called "giant cell arteritis" at the more severe end. In giant cell arteritis or temporal arteritis, the patient experiences inflammation of the blood vessels not just in the arms and the legs, but also in the blood vessels carrying blood to the brain and the back of the eye, so it characteristically presents with headache, and unfortunately patients can lose their sight because of the involvement of the blood vessels which supply the eye.
At present research is still being conducted to test for their effectiveness, but the clinical trials are looking very promising. Physiotherapy can also be helpful in reducing pain and maintaining mobility.