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Is it PMR or OA pain weight baring?

This is my first post but I am not sure if I am struggling. With PMR or osteoarthritis hip and leg pain?

I was diagnosed in March 2015 and 15 mg pred eased the PMR pain quickly still had trouble with the hip/leg but it resolved so I reduced to 10 mg by end of June felt pretty ok but a month ago started having pain in left hip/groin and thigh when weight baring. An ex-Ray in March indicated mild OA in hip.

I tried going back to 15 but it hasn't helped pain killers, physio, acupuncture hasn't helped.

Has any one gone higher than origins dose with success?

Also I don't have pain any where else.

Thanks for any help or ideas.

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In general if the pain is just one side in the hip and groin it is more likely to be OA. If it is bilateral pain both sides it is more likely to be PMR. If 15mg worked well for the PMR I don't think I would go higher than that, as it does not look like it is the PMR you are fighting. What does your GP say? What painkillers are you taking that are not working? Also you have to be careful when having physio if you have PMR as you really need a physio who understands the idiosyncracies of PMR or they could cause you pain. I personally have found accupuncture has no effect on the pain for me at all.


Thank you for responding I was pretty sure it wasn't the PMR. But I am wondering if the PMR exascerbates the discomfort because the OA is inflammation isn't IT?

With gratitude

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Hi Zany,

My understanding is that OA is not caused by inflammation as PMR is. OA is when the joints don't repair as they should, sometimes after an injury, or just normal wear and tear, and so the edges are roughened and not smooth as they should be, so when you put pressure on them i.e. when standing, the knee is painful.

I've had OA all time I've had GCA, and apart from when I was on very high doses (and all pain is obliterated), the Pred does not make any difference to the OA.

As piglette says, I would be inclined to think your pain is OA related rather than PMR.

I was prescribed Cocodamol for my AO when it was really bad, but have now given those up for the moment, have just had second steroid injection. I know it sounds ironic a steroid injection when already on steroids, but they do work in different ways.

Don't know what painkillers you are on, but remember you cannot take ibruprofen with Pred.

Hope you manage to find something that does help, I know how debilitating continual pain can be.


Sorry I didn't answer your questions about Gp and pain meds. My GP wasn't much help had blood tests that were normal so she indicated that it wasn't a flare.

I am taking extra strength Tylenol helps a little but I can't walk, it's a struggle to move around indoors.


Zany, get yourself a walking frame for indoors and one with wheels for outdoors. It feels silly ar first but if you can get the weight bearing off your legs, it really helps and you are less likely to fall.

All the best


Hello Zany

I have had PMR/GCA for nearly a year. Correction - I have had them for 3/4 years but diagnosed for nearly a year.

About 3 months ago I started with the glute, point of hip, adductor muscle, thigh muscles back an front, pain running down outer leg to just above ankle. I was sent for x rays on ?? Knees. Slight wear and tear OA. Same as xrays taken 9 years ago after a road accident. So no change in OA. I am positive that it is a PMR pain. ~~One sided, Doctor doesn't know, Rheumy doesn't know and ignores it and unless you actually experience this pain which is awful, then there is no answer. I believe it will go away by itself, which is what PMR does. Question is when.

I too will look into trochanteric bursitis which will undoubtedly take ages for my doc to pronounce let alone do something about.

Ahhh, wait, I see the hospital's "13 year old" Physio on Friday, who has never heard of PMR and insists on giving me impossible to do exercises at home. I will mention trochanteric bursitis to her!

Hope yours improves Zany.

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Your hip and leg pain sounds much like mine, it is brutal when weight bearing. I agree it is very frustrating dealing with a medical system that knows little about PMR/GCA.

I will take your advice get at least a cane to take the weight off my left hip/leg.

I am grateful for this forum. I hope you feel better soon.

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I was sure I'd replied here - but no sign of a post so either it got lost or I'm going mad!

I had pain in my hips/groin when weight bearing that I thought might be OA - one rheumy had said I had OA and didn't recognise PMR so it seemed a reasonable idea. However, after about 4 or 5 months at about 15mg pred and just under it had faded and I could walk without pain again. Nearly 4 years ago I had a major flare - back at 20mg and things weren't much better. Eventually when I was seeing a medical specialist at the hospital for atrial fibrillation/high BP, I asked what pain relief I could take for the hip pain that had returned given the medication I was on. Nothing really, she said and had a closer look. She felt it was most likely to trochanteric bursitis and sent me to the orthopaedic department for cortisone injections. They agreed, gave me the injections and the pain was much improved within a week or two. I needed another pair of injections about 3 months later and since then I have had almost no problems though I felt it starting up last summer and one injection sorted it out.

It is something that is common alongside PMR so it would be worth asking your doctor to examine you for the pain and tenderness that is typical of this sort of bursitis.

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Thanks so much everyone for responding to my queries. It is so reassuring to hear from friends with the same issues and experiences.

I will follow up on the possibility that this could be trocanter bursitis issue the discription fits my symptoms.

Hopefully I will beable to get a steroid injection since pain killer on top of my 13 mg of pred is not working.

I am grateful for your kindness and wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving from Canada


In case you haven't heard, there is a movement afoot to get a Canadian support group up and running. So don't go away - the people who really know what is happening will post at some point.

Look at this post:

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