Giant Cell Arteritis, which can also be known as temporal arteritis or cranial arteritis, is a disorder that results in swelling and inflammation of arteries in the head (often the temporal arteries), neck and arms.
The swelling causes the arteries to narrow, reducing blood flow. If left untreated it can lead to serious complications including blindness or stroke.
Polymyalgia Rheumatica is a condition that is associated with muscle pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulder and some times the hip area. Stiffness being most noticeable in the morning. The cause is not known, but it could possibly be due to an immune abnormality. At times it may disappear without treatment in 1-3 years, but is often treated with corticosteroids.
For some unclear reason Polymyalgia Rheumatica and Giant cell Arteritis tend to be related, in as much as it is estimated that about 15% of people in the United States with Polymyalgia Rheumatica also develop Giant Cell Arteritis. This is not a large percentage admittedly, but is worthy of consideration.
The giant cell Arteritis can develop at the same time as the Polymyalgia Rheumatica or can develop after the symptoms disappear.
The usual orthodox treatment would be the use of Prednizone or a similar type of drug.
If the diagnosis of Polymyalgia Rheumatica is correct and you chose not to take the Prednisone then you do need to keep a very close watch for the symptoms of Giant Cell Arteritis arising.
The more common symptoms would include headaches, pain in the jaw or tongue muscles when eating or talking and tenderness over the scalp or temples. You could also use a more natural anti-inflammatory as a precaution and also to ease the symptoms of Polymyalgia if necessary.
Good results can be obtained in many cases of long term inflammation with the use of standardised White Willow bark and also with Quercetin used in moderate to high doses.
Perhaps also high dose Turmeric or Tart Cherry may help.
Up-dated Jan 2017