Pain in the neck!

I am on 15mg having been diagnosed with Pred 2 weeks ago. It has taken away the pain in my hips and right across shoulders but an area at the base of my neck about the size of a saucer has a mild ache all day.

I am sleeping OK and it doesnt keep me awake. It's now 8am and I can feel the neck starting to increase in inflammation. I normally take the Pred around now which will mean the neck will settle down around 11am.

Do you think I should take Pred earlier in the day?

Is it common in PMR to have neck pain?

Any advice about whether to apply heat to the neck in a compress or is cold best for relief?

I seem to manage for most of th day on 15mg. I am going to see GP for a review in 2 weeks.


14 Replies

  • Hi cassie I am relatively new to PMR too and my neck and shoulder has been so bad for last two days. Got some ice power gel which has helped quite a bit....from amazon.. I am not expert enough to answer you ... There are some great people who will.. but just wanted you to know you are not alone with it x

  • Hi Admanaxx

    Thanks for your kind words - I will try the ice and try to keep busy -yes there are great people about here.


  • Cassie, yes, unfortunately, neck pain can quite literally be a 'pain in the neck' when suffering from PMR, especially when in the very early days of treatment as you are. I found an electric heated pad really comforting (available from some large pharmacies and from Argos if you are in the UK). Some people have also found that a TENS machine can help them. When my pain was at its worst, especially during my days of non-diagnosis, I also resorted to wearing a surgical collar for a short time - it helped to take the weight of my head off my neck and shoulders for a while.

    As to whether it will help to take Pred even earlier in the day, some people have said that if they wake really early in the morning, take their pills and then settle down for another hour or so, they do feel much more comfortable when they eventually get up. It's just a case of a bit of trial and error to find what works best for you - meanwhile do try and avoid either lifting heavy objects or lugging heavy items around, and I hope the steroids will do the rest!

  • Celtic

    Thanks for your reassurance that it is PMR symptoms having neck pain. maybe it will decrease as time goes on. I swam yesterday first time for 6 weeks and I was glad I had the confidence to do it but neck hurts more today - oh well! I will try some heat- its not that bad as the day wears on but just a dull ache which stays. I had a 8 hour train journey 2 days ago and you are right I just wanted to take the weight off my neck and shoulders.


  • When I read about your neck hurting more after your swim, I was about to ask if you have tried swimming just on your back but PMRpro has beaten me to it!. I have spondylolisthesis (slippage of the base of my spine) and the advice an orthopaedic surgeon gave me many years ago was to confine any swimming to back stroke only. I can't swim but that's another story! At the time, aquafit/aquarobics using the rubber floating tubes worked a treat though.

  • Hi Cassie, I found that I had an area in the middle of my neck where the pain did not go away. I found taking a hot shower after swimming helped also the jacuzzi and Canadian hot tubs. I also got one of those lavender things you stick in the microwave to heat up and used to hang it round my neck. I have found that recently the neck pain has improved though.

  • Hi Piglette

    Yes that neck area is exactly the same as what I am experiencing and I am reassured to know it is normal with PMR and I am glad your pain has improved. How long did it take to improve- slow I guess like everything else.

    I know what you mean with the lavender - I will have a look for one.

    I intend to go swimming twice a week if I can on a day I am not doing much else.



  • Cassie, I am glad you think I am normal! I cannot remember how long it took to improve, I suppose I do still get neck pain off and on but I do notice when in the shower that I am not looking for that heat relief nowadays and have not used my lavender thing for a while either.

  • There are various bits of PMR that will take longer to disappear than others so be patient for now.

    When you are swimming - what stroke? I couldn't manage breaststroke because that caused the same sort of pain you are describing and I detest crawl because I hate having my face in the water - side-stroke was much better and backstroke the best.

    I too loved the hot tub - sitting on top of one of the jets so it played on my upper back!

  • Hi Cassie

    Just to say I had the same problem which is much better after lowering Preds to 11

    mine appeared to be behind the right ear but lower than the ear .Still have it occasionally but not so bad .I asked GP as I think I can feel a lump in the same area GP says its a inflamed lymph node.

    I found arnica gel helped put loads on a towel and wrapped it around the painful area .

    Hope it sorts itself out soon


  • I have this and use thermal heat pads on my neck (not the ones with medication like neurofen) if I am going on long car or plane journeys . I have also learned never to carry heavy shoulder bags as it makes it worse.

  • Hi Cassie, Seem to remember that I experienced pain in my neck in the early days, and that I, too, posted about it. In my case, it was a referred pain probably from the pmr, because of the way I was holding myself as a result of the shoulder pain associated with pmr. In the end it was cured through shiatsu quite quickly, and, thankfully, has not returned.

    Hope yours sorts itself out nice and quickly.

    Good luck.

  • hi Charlie

    Thanks for your reassuring words - I will look into referred pain as for 9 months I have had a painful frozen shoulder having injections, physio etc and now I learn from here that it may have been the onset of PMR all along.


  • Just done a search as my constant neck pain is making me cry today. It's so persistent and I have been waiting some weeks now for an appt with an Osteopath. I have arthritis in my neck and have put the pain here down to that for many wondering whether this is not the case.

    I'm on 16mg at the moment, still tapering slowly although deciding to stick here for at least another week due to not feeling good the other day, I take Paracetamol but this hasn't really touched it today. I get OH to massage in a Immortelle Essential Oil mix which often relieves for a while and feels quite soothing,

    Back to Dr tomorrow morning to get stronger pain meds, another px for Preds (I hope) and maybe a referral for physio which has help the neck before...having said that, the fatty hump you get with steroids (which I can't really see but can feel) may be what is causing more pain.

    I so wish I could be back on 20mg....almost pain free....but worry so much about all the side effects.


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