Is it spinal stenosis and/ or PMR flare

I am in my 3rd year of reducing the PRED to nearly 11mg-been reducing on a 7-8 wk cycle. Generally doing OK and then diagnosed with Spinal Stenosis -thought at first to be Sciatica. A lot of pain killer but then 2mths ago fitted a STEN machine. Helped a great deal But then just as I am about to go to 11mg,Back pain kicked in again, but added over the last five days disturbed sleep, 'feeling like death warmed up' tired in the day with a couple of 1- 1.5 hour sleeps- just there one minute and gone the next. Had to return to medium dosing of strong pain killer. My bloods and BP etc are good .Good people-anybody else as had similar symptoms? I do not know which one is which or is one playing on the other .80 just ,still swim a doz. lengths on a Friday but forget the grass cutting/hedge cutting and car washing -I miss those. John 

6 Replies

  • I have what I believe is sciatica, I was on 7mg and eventually increased to 15mg. Whenever I tried to reduce 1mg the sciatica is unbearable. I have been offered paracetamol, co-codamyl, naproxen and tramadol. I have been going to a physio. My GP has suggested I see an orthopaedic surgeon. Night time is awful I just cannot get comfortable. I can only lie on my back not my side.

  • Thank you Piglette, that makes sense to me as I suffer the same way- I am due for an Epidural - I have to believe that will help. 

  • Just a thought, John. When you swim, do you swim on your back or your front? I ask because I have a slipped vertebra (Spondylolisthesis), and have so far avoided surgery, instead following one orthopaedic surgeon's helpful advice to swim but only on my back. As it happens, I can't swim (mis-spent youth!) but I joined an aquarobics class and had the opportunity to swim on my back with the aid of a water woggle noodle - great exercise and good fun. 

    It does cause confusion though when such problems arrive whilst battling through PMR. 

    If you were at first suspected of having sciatica, then I assume the pain was travelling down your leg, in which case Bowen therapy can help.  A Bowen therapist gave a talk at of our PMR/GCA support group meetings a few months ago, and one of our members had a complete resolution of his sciatic pain after just 3 sessions.

  • Thank you Celtic, I swim on my front, crawl, but do not lift the head, just turn it . swimming does me the world of good, as soon as I drop in the water pain goes- I has been a diver 45 years, swam miles under the water and on top but PMR finished that 4years ago. I must try the Bowen therapy, It is either that or try the 'water, woggle, noodle', good for you, I just don't think so for me -chuckling-besides when I swim on a Friday it is mainly Ladies-and I am their  'STAR' swimmer!!!!!!!!!!! -John

  • John, it is often "mainly Ladies" with their water woggle noodles in the aquarobics class, too!!! 

  • Just an FYI post about sciatic pain.  I developed pain in my right hip that my GP thought was sciatica but when assessed by physio she wondered if it was avascular necrosis (AVN).  An xray didn't show anything but an MRI showed not AVN but a large tear in the tendon of a gluteal muscle.  I have suffered for months with this and some days I can't put any weight on that leg.  And it is extremely painful to lie on in bed.  AVN can be caused by Prednisone and apparently so can a muscle tear and I doubt it's going to get better until I get the Prednisone dose lower.  The pain has made me give up my walking which I always enjoyed so much.  In the summer I can swim in the lake two blocks away but unfortunately there's no pool nearby for the rest of the year.


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