Definition of polymyalgia in US English:


(also polymyalgia rheumatica)


  • A disorder of the connective tissue characterized by pain and stiffness of the muscles, often occurring in association with temporal arteritis (in which the arteries supplying blood to the head become inflamed or damaged)

    ‘liver function tests show mild abnormalities in patients with polymyalgia rheumatica’
    • ‘The usual presentation is with fatigue, pain in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen, and polymyalgia or arthralgia associated with abnormal results of liver function tests.’
    • ‘In patients with polymyalgia rheumatica, symptoms may develop abruptly or insidiously.’
    • ‘If your polymyalgia is slow to respond to steroids, you might want to try one of these alternatives.’
    • ‘Polymyalgia is not a benign disease, but correctly treated it can be controlled.’
    • ‘A trial of a corticosteroid given in a low dosage may be helpful, because rapid relief of symptoms is characteristic of polymyalgia rheumatica.’


1930s: from poly- ‘many, much’ + myalgia ‘pain in a muscle or muscles’.