Tenderness under arms, could this be PMR related ... - PMRGCAuk


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Tenderness under arms, could this be PMR related or something else?


I've had PMR for four years and am down to 4mg of prednisolone and an anti inflammatory each day. For the past few days the sides of my body, under my arms, near where my bra goes have got quite painful. I think there are lymph nodes in that area. I thought it was time to get a new bra but maybe it is something else? I'm not having the best of days with sore knees and ankles as well. Has anyone else had this symptom and should I see my GP?

8 Replies

Not sure if it helps, but I do get very painful hard muscle knots in that area, like you I first thought I needed a new bra!

I treat them with an ibuprofen gel massaged in very gently and heat packs. You could see if this works for you?

Loco99 in reply to polkadotcom

Thanks very much, I'll give it a try.


Hi Loco99,

Personally, I have had pain beneath the arm pits in the past and would say it was certainly due to my bras not fitting as well as they should. This area is very easy to aggravate as it is where the glands are situated. I always wear wired bras and if the wires are digging in at all then there will be trouble - tenderness.

If you think your pain might have been caused by your bras, then could you wear a 'sports bra' for a few days and see if it helps?

There is another possible cause of the pain - are you wearing the right size bra? Too small! There will be pain. M&S offer a free 'bra fitting' service. I took advantage of it and now I wear a different size.

Best of luck,

Pats. PS. Congratulations on getting down to 4mg. I'm on 6mg-6.5mg myself and it's a real slog!

Loco99 in reply to Hidden

Hi Pats, I think a badly fitting bra may be the problem, I'm one of those people who wear things until they are completely worn out, I think I need a new properly fitted bra and will go to a specialist shop, as our M&S equivalent here doesn't offer a bra fitting service. If that doesn't work I'll be off to my GP. Today I'm not wearing a bra, it's a good thing it's winter here : ) I've tried the iboprufen gel and that is helping.

I've got down to 4mg but I feel I'm right on the edge and still have good and bad days. I tried to get down to 2mg but that was a bit of a disaster.

Thank you to you and polkadot for the responses.

I had the same symptoms not long after I first contracted PMR, first it was just tenderness as though it was my glands playing up, then a few weeks later I bent forward and experienced terrible pain as though my chest was being ripped off!. I had to wear a bra constantly day and night to give my chest support and had to be very careful leaning forward to pick things up or put them down. A couple of good support bra's would help i'm sure. Thankfully the symptoms gradually ease off, hopefully your symptoms won't become as bad as mine were.

I finally went to my Rheumy because the pain wasn't getting any better, he said the pain was PMR related but not typical, he also made sure it wasn't pleurisy which has similar symptoms. I went up to 16mg of pred briefly and the pain completely disappeared. I have now tapered the dose back down to 4mg. I have been given extra pred and will be able to control the dosage myself which is an excellent idea as I only see my Rheumy every six months. I won't be tempted to take too much pred, I'm very aware of its long term effects and will try to remain on 4mg but it is nice to have a bit extra in case of flare ups.

I also forgot to mention, I treated myself to a really good bra, it's so comfortable I don't even know I'm wearing it. I will have to get used to the idea that as I'm getting older a good bra and shoes are a good investment.

I went to bed one night in January 1999 with no health problems, only tenderness to buttocks, hips (which I thought was for a bad back). On arising next day I couldn't move my arms. The muscles In my upper arms were just not strong enough for me to lift them and the pain and tenderness was awful, then over time I developed lumps under the skin. So for the next 12 years I was poked & prodded, even going as far as a muscle biopsy. Different consultants gave me different diagnosis, eventually coming up with CHRONIC IMPINGEMENT SYNDROME....which I don't think I have personally. So I just lived with the pain until two years ago when I was diagnosed with POLY after taking Azathioprine which left me hospitalised and which bought on the POLY. I was given steroids straight away which also cured my arms, the relief I felt was unbelievable, I could move them, the pain had gone, but unfortunately not the tenderness (but you can't have everything) So my question is to all those consultants, doctors out there, If I have CHRONIC IMPINGEMENT SYNDROME when I finally come off steroids for my POLY will my arms return to how they were? Or have I simply had Poly in my arms since 1999 and no one as picked up on it and taking the Azathioprine two years ago just made my Poly worse by taking my legs? Will shall see......

I did another post a few minutes ago in answer to another blog, I have had tenderness in buttocks, hips for twenty years, slight touch and I go through the roof....am I mad?

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