The most common symptom of polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is pain and stiffness in the shoulders, neck and hips, which develops quickly over a few days or weeks.
Both sides of the body are usually affected.
The stiffness is often worse first thing in the morning after you wake up. It usually starts to improve after about 45 minutes as you become more active.
Some people with polymyalgia rheumatica can also:
- feel very tired
- lose their appetite
- lose weight
- have depression
When to get medical advice
See a GP if you have pain and stiffness that lasts longer than a week. They'll investigate the cause.
When to get immediate medical advice
Contact a GP or call NHS 111 immediately if you've been diagnosed with polymyalgia rheumatica (or it's suspected) and you have:
- a new or frequent headache that usually develops suddenly (your scalp may also feel sore or tender)
- pain in your jaw muscles or tongue when eating or talking
- problems with sight, such as double vision or loss of vision in 1 or both eyes
These symptoms may indicate a more serious condition called temporal arteritis.
Page last reviewed: 23 April 2023
Next review due: 23 April 2026