Modern Medicine: Treatment for Polymyalgia Rheumatica - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Modern Medicine: Treatment for Polymyalgia Rheumatica

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Panama City, Fla. - Doctors are learning more about a disease known as Polymyalgia Rheumatica, or PMR.  It's an inflammatory condition that can cause pain and stiffness in the shoulders, hips, neck, thighs and lower back.  While the condition can be serious, treatment is relatively easy.

Rheumatologist Dr. Amir Agha explains the pain patients experience, "It's a pretty significant kind of stiffness and pain where they're really sort of debilitated initially, and they have trouble moving...It typically gets better throughout the day as they move their joints and muscles."

Dr. Agha says PMR is prevalent in our community and can be treated by taking a daily steroid pill.

"It responds dramatically to medication.  That's the key.  When we start someone on the medicine within a day or two they say they feel 100 percent better, and their stiffness is gone," he explains.

Dr. Agha says treatment is so important because the condition can lead to other serious problems like Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Dr. Agha says PMR will usually go away within two years after starting treatment and usually doesn't come back.  He says research is continuing, and other medications are in development to help patients who can't take the steroids that are typically prescribed.