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I am new to polymyalgia

Been diagnosed by GP with fibromyalgia but a friend who has poly says it sounds more like poly, due to severe pain in the neck and shoulders. I will talk to the GP about this. My other symptom is extreme fatigue. But am confused as blood has been taken and many tests done at the Rhumatology clinic and think they found no sign of inflammation. checks were done to feet and hands only though. Have also been suffering many years with osteoporosis and collapsed vertrebra. Due to pain of this have been for several years now on various pain meds and currently on 10mg of morphine painkiller, which does not very much for the neck/shoulder pain. Its difficult to know where to start again but would be good to know if this is polymalgia since then I would at least see if steroids would help my symptoms.

2 Replies

I have also replied to your other posting. I have suggested that you go to our Charity website as there is abundant information there. However, it is possible to have PMR without raised inflammation markers, but it usually presents with muscle pain and stiffness in other areas too. Do have a look.


About 1 in 5 patients with PMR (and GCA) do not have raised blood markers showing inflammation so they aren't that significant. This is because some people simply don't develop the reaction, no-one knows why, it is just so.

"would be good to know if this is polymalgia since then I would at least see if steroids would help my symptoms"

Other way round - ask your GP if you could try a week of 15-20mg pred and see if it helps. Experts in PMR would look for an approximately 70% global improvement in symptoms (stiffness in particular, some improvement in pain soon but not 100% needed) within a week or so, returning in a similar time frame if you stop the pred immediately (perfectly safe).

But the crux is: if it improves in response to a moderate dose of pred, it definitely is NOT fibromyalgia. Fibro does not involve inflammation so does not respond to steroids. PMR does. There are several overlaps in symptoms between PMR and fibro so it can be confusing - and it is perfectly possible to have both.


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