Polymyalgia rheumatica is an inflammatory disorder that causes muscle pain and stiffness. The pain and stiffness often occur in your shoulders, neck, upper arms and hips. Symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica (pol-ee-my-AL-juh roo-MA-ti-kah) usually begin quickly, within two weeks.
Most people who develop polymyalgia rheumatica are older than 65. It rarely affects people younger than 50.
Anti-inflammatory drugs called corticosteroids improve the symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica, but these drugs require careful monitoring for serious side effects.
Polymyalgia rheumatica is related to another inflammatory disorder called giant cell arteritis, which can cause headaches, vision difficulties, jaw pain and other symptoms. It's possible to have both of these conditions together.