Is calf trouble 'to be expected' with PMR/Pred?

I see in the archives that others have discussed this circulation issue. With the onset of PMR I didn't have calf problems, unless they were overshadowed by shoulders and hips so I didn't notice! I've wondered if the discomfort might eventually just go again if I ignore it (have walked through it and covered miles at a time with rests here and there). No pain, swelling etc., just the feeling like cramp might be coming on, or having all round shin splints. It goes when I stop so I just stop now and again. Doctor wants to do pulse tests etc. Anyone else currently with this experience and advice on next steps (hehe no pun intended!)?

Have gone from 15mcg Pred ->12.5 ->10 since diagnosis in May '16.

Thoughts and comments gratefully accepted!

9 Replies

  • Hi

    I went through a period where calf's hurt if I walked to fast worried about it for a few weeks but it went off and no longer bothers me.

    You say you walk for miles you may be doing to much .

    Don't be in a hurry to reduce to quick 4 months does seem a quick reduction to me

    Best Wishes


  • Thanks, Rose54. That's right - it's if I'm on a purpose it comes on, not if I'm just ambling about.

    I'm in no hurry to reduce too quickly, you're right. Without having had any other pain since starting the Pred or during reductions I was wondering if this was the prompt to slow it down I'd been waiting for, or just the start of something entirely new.

  • BuzzyB, as Rose has suggested, you might be walking too much at this stage. Our muscles can be intolerant of too much exercise and take longer to recover if we overuse them, cramp being one of the results. On the other hand, you might simply be deficient in magnesium and a supplement might help. However, if you suddenly experience any calf pain, particularly whilst at rest, then do seek medical advice.

  • Morning buzzybee. Have had similar problem with calves, but only able to walk short distances. Cut a long story short, had tests at the hospital and diagnosed with intermittent claudication. Now on a blood thinner and trying to build up walking by stopping when painful, then carrying on, as you are doing. Don't wish another problem on you, but best to get checked. Take care.

  • Thank you for taking the time to reply Celtic, Soosie56. Advice taken on board re magnesium and tests and to ease up on activities a bit, Rose54. 👍

  • I had calf pain for a year before being diagnosed. Saw orthopedics and they did x-rays and MRI but showed nothing. They acted like I was crazy. Also went to physical therapy - at times could not lift my left leg - that is when the therapist suggested I see a rhuemitologist. Since the predisone - no calf pain.

  • Your GP is quite right to want to check pulses - the signs are of claudication: the blood supply to the muscles isn't quite enough when they are being asked to do more, i.e. when you are hurrying "on a purpose..." But it doesn't always mean it is anything more serious than you are trying to do more than PMR is willing to allow. So it needs to be checked - and some people struggle to get their GPs to listen...

  • GP appointment is coming and will include results of latest blood test. Reading other posts I feel really fortunate that at my surgery I had instant PMR diagnosis and that having just asked about this calf issue another of the doctors actively wants to check it out. I do think I'm probably trying to do too much under the current circs in that having had the pain removed by Pred I've carried on life pretty much as normal. Thank you PMRpro.

  • If the PMR lets you there is no reason not to carry on as normal - but you do have to be aware and listen to what your body is saying. It may not hurt - but it may be too tiring to function perfectly. That in itself brings other problems - if you are tired you are not always able to make rational decisions and may end up in situations that put you or others at risk. Then you must be "sensible" - boring I know but...

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