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HELP my Mum please!

My Mum is going through an extremely tough & painful time. She's 68 & her GP, after countless appointments & prescription changes & test, has told her she may have fibromyalgia. However, she is now being referred to the pain clinic & being tested for polymyalgia rheumatic. She's in constant daily pain & would really appreciate someone to talk to or meet a group near her hometown of Havant, who's going through the same or similar. She also as rheumatoid arthritis & pernicious anemia! Can someone local please help, or anyone advise the best meds. Obviously we're all different so what works for 1, may not for another, but any help or advice anyone can give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

2 Replies

Hello Emma, and welcome on behalf of your Mum, who I'm sorry to hear is struggling to get a diagnosis for her pain.

There is no test as such that confirms Polymyalgia.  There are two blood tests that can be carried out to check for inflammation (ESR and CRP) but these aren't foolproof because 1 in 5 patients have markers that remain stubbornly normal in spite of having PMR.  So it really is a diagnosis of exclusion of other possible inflammatory conditions of which there are many. 

If your Mum hasn't had a Vit D blood test, she should request one as any severe deficiency can lead to pain in similar areas to those of PMR.

If PMR is suspected, many doctors prescribe a short trial of the steroid, Prednisolone, and if the patient's pain improves by about 70% within a few days or so, then that is very often taken as proof of diagnosis and the medication can be continued.

It would seem that the nearest PMR/GCA support group to your mother would be the one that meets in Worthing, and you can find all details on the following link:

I hope this helps, but please wish your Mum good luck from us in the meantime.


Your poor mother. Does she have pain in both shoulders and or hips? PMR tends to be muscular pain rather than joint pain such as rheumatoid arthritis. In fact it really is debilitating, you can have real problems getting out of bed, combing your hair, getting dressed etc. Extreme fatigue and loss of weight can also happen. Are these the type of symptoms she has? 


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