Polymyalgia rheumatica is an inflammatory disorder that causes muscle pain and stiffness, especially in the shoulders. Symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica (pol-e-my-AL-juh rue-MAT-ih-kuh) usually begin quickly and are worse in the morning. Most people who develop polymyalgia rheumatica are older than 65. It rarely affects people under 50.
You may receive symptom relief by taking anti-inflammatory drugs called corticosteroids. But relapses are common, and you'll need to visit your doctor regularly to watch for serious side effects of these drugs.
Polymyalgia rheumatica is related to another inflammatory disorder called giant cell arteritis, which can cause headaches, vision difficulties, jaw pain and scalp tenderness. It's possible to have both of these conditions together.