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Painful joints

The following is from the Vasculitis Foundation. I find it very interesting that there's no mention of muscles. They talk about the joints. I personally feel that PMR starts in the joints and the pain radiates out to the muscles. That's how it feels with myself. Any thoughts?

"Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is an autoimmune disease that causes an inflammatory reaction affecting the lining of joints, especially the shoulders and hips, and sometimes the arteries and some major branches of the aorta."

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I thought medicine had moved beyond thinking of PMR as a joint issue since it had come to be understood as a vasculitis, affecting blood vessels. I think I've read here that the inflammation in the blood vessels blocks circulation to muscles so slower muscle repair, and pain. Same reasoning could apply to joints I suppose.

If I have it wrong someone please set me right.


I've always wondered if they ever spoke to someone with PMR before writing that! I'll grant you it often starts in shoulders and hips as bursitis but to say it starts in joints is very un-representative of most people. If you do the right imaging there is what is called extracapsular inflammation and synovitis - but not in all patients.

Vasculitis UK (not in its current form, the forerunner) weren't interested in representations made from the founders of the PMRGCA charities - they alleged it wasn't know to be a vasculitis. It is now certain GCA is a vasculitis but they are still swithering about PMR and, as usual, disagreement reigns! However, there is evidence that GCA is due to a problem in the tiny capillaries supplying the wall of the temporal artery and that could be the link with PMR.


GCA is recognised as the largest member of the vasculitis family (one of the 800 orphan illnesses most of them in the auto-immune spectrum).

PMR was always thought of as a 'sister' illness, as much more research has and is being undertaken people involved in that research are now coming around to the thinking that they are more than sisters.....................however as PMRpro points out 'much swithering' at present.

During the past ten years has seen a rise in research in both PMR & GCA. This is mainly down to 25 people who met on 14th March 2008 and decided that awareness and support needed to be raised. Today 3 Charities and many Support Groups (we need more) three very active forums in the UK and patient representatives on many projects.

PMR was described to me as 'impaired oxygen supply' to muscles many years ago.

However, nothing is ever set in stone.............we live and learn.

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I'm absolutely positive they are one and the same - just at opposite ends of the spectrum. Wonder when they'll decide! ;-)


They will, it just takes us to keep on being vocal - where are those emoticons??


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