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Infra Red Lamps

Good morning everybody. It is quite a while since I entered a post. My brief history is that I was diagnosed with PMR in November 2012. It only affected my shoulders and arms, thank goodness. I have been GP managed all this while. Started at 20mg Prednisolone and slowly but surely, I have been able to reduce, with GP guidance, to my present dose of 1mg per day. I am due to stop completely on the 12th January. All this while the Prednisolone has kept the pain and stiffness at bay although I have been plagued with severe fatigue. However, over the last couple of weeks, I have been experiencing some pain in the upper arms/shoulders. It is certainly not severe enough to up the dosage - which I do not want to do. My question to everybody is - has anybody received benefit from using an Infra Red Lamp? It is advocated for the relief of muscle pain. A few weeks ago, I strained my lower back (entirely self induced I hasten to add) and I found using the Infra Red Lamp absolutely wonderful and in a few days, my back was vastly improved. Anybody's thoughts would be much appreciated. In the meantime, a Very Happy Christmas to everybody and please, a Healthy 2014 for all of us.

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If you are starting to develop symptoms you must keep in mind that there may still be a low level of the autoimmune disorder present - and the fatigue also suggests that. Although 1mg is a low dose, if it is slightly too low the inflammation could be starting to bubble up again - like a tap dripping into a bucket with a hole in it it isn't apparent it is a problem until the dripping tap is adding water faster than the hole is letting it out and eventually it will overflow. The run-up to Christmas is also stressful and I have no doubt you have been doing more - that could also cause problems. And while 1 or 2 mg may seem very little - your body is used to it. If you still decide to stop in January - don't go from 1mg to zero from one day to the next. Spend a bit of time taking it on alternate days - because I know of at least 4 or 5 ladies who did stop by dropping from 1mg to nothing and had flares needing a return to anything from 5mg to 15mg. And having got down to such a low dose (which has virtually no side effects anyway) it would be a shame to spoil the ship for a ha'porth of tar wouldn't it?

As for the infra red lamp - there is a difference between straining a muscle and having pain and having muscle pain because of inflammation. If it is inflammation heat is likely to make things worse not better. You could try it - but don't be afraid of going back to 2mg for a while if it doesn't work.


Hello. Thank you so much for this invaluable advice. I take on board all you have said and think I will not use the infra red lamp - I wasn't thinking straight, in that PMR IS inflammation of the muscles so why would I use more heat? Also the advice on dosage was so helpful. On the 12 January I will probably take 1mg every other day for the rest of January and see how that works out. Thanks again.


You could try a cold gel like Biofreeze or a magnesium spray (we are often very short on this mineral) - I have found both extremely useful. The other option, but it would depend entirely on your circumstances, is exercise. Swimming is best, but if this is not possible, gentle arm and back exercises are good - but must not be done until you have GP's agreement and if possible a physio's advice, as it will depend on where your pain is, exactly. Exercise does hurt a bit to begin with, but with gentle and regular practice, after the initial discomfort you should have some relief from pain. If it is inflammation lurking and you haven't already done so, don't forget that what you eat and drink can affect you, as well as stress. If you still have caffeine and sugar in your diet I would try to remove them to see if you experience any difference. I didn't want to - but the gritting of teeth and getting on with it has paid dividends - I am so impressed I won't be going back onto either, even when off the drugs - it is a way of life now and I feel so much better!!

I do hope that with all the advice you can find something there, rather than resorting to extra Pred. Am really impressed and very happy to hear of your progress pjsmum. I hope that it continues........

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