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Conditions With Symptoms Similar to Polymyalgia Rheumatica or Giant Cell Arteritis

Conditions With Symptoms Similar to Polymyalgia Rheumatica or Giant Cell Arteritis

A number of conditions have symptoms like those of polymyalgia rheumatica or giant cell arteritis .

Polymyalgia rheumatica

Medical conditions affecting joints and muscles that may cause symptoms like those caused by polymyalgia rheumatica include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis , an inflammation of the membranes or tissues lining the joints . Symptoms include painful, swollen, and stiff joints.
  • Polymyositis, an inflammatory muscle disease. Symptoms include muscle weakness, joint pain, trouble swallowing, fever, fatigue, and weight loss.
  • Spondyloarthropathy, diseases of the spinal joints. Symptoms include pain, morning stiffness, and fatigue.
  • Fibromyalgia . Symptoms include widespread muscle and soft tissue pain and tenderness, especially in the trunk, neck, and shoulders.
  • Joint problems such as bursitis and tendinopathy . These problems usually happen in one joint but sometimes can be on both sides of the body, such as in both shoulders.
    • Bursitis is an inflammation of a bursa , a small sac of fluid that cushions and lubricates areas where tissues rub against one another. Symptoms include pain and swelling.
    • Tendinopathy is an injury to a tendon . Symptoms include pain and tenderness.
  • Osteoarthritis . Symptoms include pain, stiffness, and sometimes swelling.

Other medical conditions that may cause symptoms like those caused by polymyalgia rheumatica include:

Giant cell arteritis

Medical conditions that cause symptoms like those caused by giant cell arteritis include:

  • Stroke , often caused by atherosclerosis . Symptoms can include:
    • Sudden vision changes.
    • Sudden numbness, tingling, weakness, or loss of movement in your face, arm, or leg, especially on only one side of your body.
  • Vision problems, such as macular degeneration or a detached retina . Symptoms can range from blurred vision to sudden blindness.
  • Inflammation of blood vessels ( vasculitis ) of the central nervous system . Symptoms are similar to those of a stroke , such as loss of vision, inability to use an arm or a leg, or trouble speaking.
  • Takayasu's arteritis, a disease that affects the aorta and the arteries in the lung. Symptoms include vision problems.
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Stanford M. Shoor, MD - Rheumatology
Last Revised April 13, 2011

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