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:

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:

These symptoms may indicate a more serious condition called temporal arteritis.

Page last reviewed: 23 April 2023
Next review due: 23 April 2026