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Cold weather pain

PMR diagnosed in Oct 2013. Am currently holding at 6 mg pred. With the recent return of Pacific NW cold weather, I have experienced the return of mild shoulder and arm pain.

Question: are barometric pressure and winter weather factors in PMR discomfort? This is mild pain compared to original onset of PMR, but miserable nontheless. I am reluctant to increase Pred unless there is risk that this transient pain is indicator of a flare. (Weather induced?).

I appreciate the wisdom of you who have gone before.

7 Replies

No question in my mind that colder weather fluffs up PMR! It has done so right from the start and now I also have osteoarthritis (among several other medical conditions) I'm facing a double whammy.

We are getting some medics here agreeing with this. My own previous Rheumy admitted one very cold winter that she thought there was now no question about it - said she had PMR dxd patients crawling out of the woodwork!

I've been very lucky over the last few years. Last winter was one of the mildest (and wettest) winters on record and so far this year we've had a very mild autumn, but I feel that is about to change so am busily finding my legwarmers and thermal vests (and that's just for indoors!)


Hi polkadotcom. I chuckled at your term "fluffs up".

Thank you for your response to my cold weather issue. We have had a break in our weather, and my symptoms have settled down again. I have boosted my Vits D &B, and that helps also.

Regards, purplecrow


The short answer is YES. It actually applies for many people in all forms of rheumatism/arthritis.

There are even studies that confirm the effect of various types of weather on medical conditions. In Germany some of the TV channels include a "Bio weather" forecast which warns patients with various illnesses when to be careful or to take advantage of the conditions. It varies from region to region and sometimes also between morning and afternoon.

However - don't regard even a temporary episode of being made to feel miserable as acceptable. If taking a small amount more of pred makes you better then it is worth a try - and go back to where you were when the weather improves.

If it is extreme cold that is causing the trouble then the tiny blood vessels supplying the muscles are probably even narrower because of the cold - if there is a small amount of inflammation present that may reduce the diameter enough to restrict blood flow enough to lead to pain. And wrap up more warmly, even in the house.


PRMPro, thank you for your response to my question.

You are so right.

Regards, purplecrow


Undoubtedly, the cold can have an effect. Last winter I bought some long-sleeved underwear and didn't really need it. However, it is still there in readiness for the first cold snap of this winter. I expect it will be needed to protect my shoulders at some point.


Annodomini, thanks for your reply to my query. I have a favorite flannel lined shirt for keeping my shoulders warm.

Hope you dont need your long-johns this winter either!



So far so good, Purple. I am about to connect the two parts of my all-seasons duvet, so shouldn't have much trouble from now on! Let's hope that this winter is as mild as last, but not so wet.


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