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Is this a flare

I have been doing really well, reducing very slowly and this last week have reduced to 6 mgs from 6 and a half. I have felt twinges in my lower back a few times, but yesterday my lower back was really painful, into my left buttock and down my left leg. Can't walk this morning it is so painful. I thought it was a back problem but as I haven't done anything to cause it I am thinking it maybe a flare and not sure what to do.. I was diagnosed with PMR 21 months ago

8 Replies

It sounds like you have Sciatica to me...not sure it is connected to PMR or flare.

Maybe an osteopath can help relieve the pain.

Good luck.


Hi Patricia,

Would be inclined to think it's not PMR - that usually involves bilateral pain, not just one-sided, although never say never!

Could be myofascial pain, or as Idasmum says sciatica. You can use ibruprofen gel, sparingly. If that helps then it's probably not a flare. Suggest you also consider trying Physio or Bowen therapy.

Until you get it sorted, don't think about reducing anymore. Obviously if it turns out to be a flare then you'll have to increase the Pred, but hopefully not.


Yes - I agree with DL and Idasmum - sounds like a low back problem causing sciatica. Andof course my usual suggestion here is that it could be myofascial pain syndrome which is often found alongside PMR. Higher doses of pred often help it - but as you reduce it can resurface. DL's suggestions are what I'd suggest trying first too - and don't reduce any further until it has improved.


As the others say it sounds like sciatica. In fact several people say they think sciatica can be a side effect of PMR or pred possibly. I had it at the beginning of the year. I tried all sorts of pain killers which really did not work. I then went to a physio which did help. There are stretching exercises you can do too which are probably on the internet. I was talking to a friend over a coffee who demonstrated them for me in the middle of the tea room by sitting on the floor. No one raised an eyebrow amazingly.


Thank you for your thoughtful advice. I have had a really horrendous day. I am really hoping this is not a flare. I am not sure it is sciatica as the pain is not following the route of the sciatic nerve. My whole leg seems to be painful, so bad I can't walk. I am taking ibrufen and Solpadein but it is not touching it. Only comfortable when I am lying down, so hopefully it may be better in the morning. I think I should up my Pred tomorrow. Thinking of going up 2 from 6 to 8 and see if that helps.

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If it is just one leg then I think it is not very likely to be the PMR - though never say never, You really should check with your doctor as it could be something that needs to be dealt with properly. You cannot blame everything on PMR!


Thank you. I think I shall make an appointment with the doc. tomorrow if it is no better. I couldn't get to the doctors at the moment though as I am finding it difficult to put any weight on my leg.


If you can't get to the doctor because the pain is that bad you DEFINITELY need to see one. And if you can't get to the mountain - perhaps the mountain will deign to come to you! Or maybe he might request an ambulance - because I'd think that at least an x-ray might be in order.


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