Polymyalgia rheumatica is a type of arthritis that affects the muscles. It does not affect the bones, or the joints. It causes muscles to become stiff, tender and very sore and inflamed.
Even though the muscles are sore they do not become weak. Polymyalgia rheumatica affects the muscles of the neck, shoulders, lower back, hips and thighs. It is believed that the pain is caused by the swelling and inflammation of blood vessels in the muscles. The name polymyalgia rheumatica actually comes from Greek words. In Greek, ‘poly’ means ‘many,’ ‘my’ means ‘muscle,’ and ‘algia’ means ‘pain’ (many muscle pain) and ‘rheumatica’ refers to ‘muscle and soft tissue. Women develop polymyalgia rheumatica more often than men. It most often appears in women over the age of 50. There is no known cause, but stress, poor nutrition, trauma, toxicity, and infection all seem to play a role as potential underlying causes to this condition.
A naturopathic approach to treating someone with Polymyalgia rheumatica quite often starts with minimizing the side effects of common medications prescribed for this condition. Polymyalgia rheumatica in some cases can be so debilitating aggressive medications such as prednisone, NSAIDS are prescribed to help manage the symptoms which then leads to other medications such as proton pump inhibitors and sedatives or anti-anxiety medication. Naturopathic medicine tries to get to the underlying cause of the polymyalgia rheumatic and put health back into the body, supporting the blood vessels, muscle tissue, immune system adreanals, and clinical nutrition and botanical medicine to help quiet down inflammation and minimize pain.