16 Mar Simple tips on treating Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR)
PMR is a very common condition and usually affects people over the age of 60. It causes aches and pains around the shoulders and hips and is usually symmetrical, ie it affects both sides equally.
Treatment is with oral prednisolone, which is a steroid.
Dosing of the prednisolone usually starts at 15 or 20 mg as this amount is all that is needed to make all of the symptoms go away. If higher doses are needed to control the symptoms, then that is a good indication that there may be something else going on and that PMR is not the cause of your symptoms.
Once the symptoms are controlled with 15-20 mg of prednisolone, your rheumatologist will put you on a weaning dose of prednisolone over the next 9-12 months. It takes time for this condition to settle down which is why steroids are continued for several months.
The condition can flare as the prednisolone is reduced and this is something that is personal for each person and their condition. If your condition flares when the prednisolone is reduced, don’t panic. It just means that your prednisolone doses need to be adjusted again and then reduced once more.
If your symptoms keep returning and the prednisolone can’t be reduced properly then this is a good indication that there may be something else causing your symptoms like a form of arthritis. This is why it’s important to keep in contact with your rheumatologist to make sure that nothing is missed and that the opportunity to put you on an appropriate medication is not missed.