Pain and Stiffness can be Associated with the Functional Status of Patients with Polymyalgia Rheumatica

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Pain and Stiffness can be Associated with the Functional Status of Patients with Polymyalgia Rheumatica

A recent study shows the association of polymyalgia rheumatica with pain, stiffness and functional instability. Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is a class of rheumatic disorder related to stiffness and musculoskeletal pain in regions like shoulder, neck and hip. However, how newly suffered people from PMR about different pain levels, stiffness and functional status of patients is uncertain.

Scientists conducted an inception cohort study to evaluate this relationship. A baseline analysis was done. The patients with newly diagnosed PMR, of age ≥18 years, were taken for the examination. These patients were enlisted from 382 English general practices. These patients got a mail of a baseline questionnaire which contains a question on their capability to raise their arms above their head, separate pain and stiffness manikins and numerical rating scales (NRS), and the modified Health Assessment Questionnaire (mHAQ) to explore participants' functional status. To evaluate its relationship, linear regression analysis, reported as regression coefficients (95% confidence intervals (95% CI)), was used. Initially, this was unadjusted which later adjusted for gender, age, BMI, deprivation status, anxiety, depression and smoking status.  

A total of 650 patients reported to the baseline survey. The majority of these patients said mild or no problem in functional status. However, those who were feeling severe pain or stiffness generally showed significant functional instability in doing daily activities. These patients may worth to get an additional focus on primary care. The adjusted linear regression analysis exhibited that increased functional impairment related to high (NRS ≥8) pain or stiffness ratings, with stiffness and difficulty in elevating arms above head, and with an increasing number of sites of pain or stiffness and shoulder pain.


Clin Rheumatol. 2017 Jun 20.

Link to the source:

Original title of article:

Association between characteristics of pain and stiffness and the functional status of patients with incident polymyalgia rheumatica from primary care


Cawley A; et al.

Diagnostic, Pain, Shoulder, Neck, Hip, Cohort study
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