Aches in arm/shoulder: I am currently on 10 mg pred... - PMRGCAuk


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Aches in arm/shoulder


I am currently on 10 mg pred for GCA and am not in any immediate hurry to decrease the dose during the winter as I think we are too susceptible to infections at this time. Last winter I had massive shoulder ache which travelled up and down my arm and it eventually disappeared after patience and a session of physio and acupuncture. The aching returned before Christmas and I tried the physio bit again but nothing has improved. I was wondering whether it's a pmr type thing or just rusty muscles and, if it is pmr, would not my current dose of pred have it under control. Answers please clever people...

7 Replies
DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer


If you've got similar pains to last year - is there anything you may have done again to trigger them. Long shot, but in run up the Christmas -carrying heavy, unwieldy objects, decorating etc?

Could be PMR, but in only one arm less likely, and if your dose last year didn't clear it, then unlikely this time around (presumably lower) will either.

It's very easy to blame every little niggle on PMR, but sometimes it's other things. Would be inclined to think you may have something else going on - try a bit more patience and TLC! As you say could be winter as well.

Hmmm.........PMR pain is *usually* bilateral, although you don't say which arm is affected. I know that my left side is the weaker so for me pain tends to start in that area first. My instinct would be to increase the steroid dose for a few days to see if that helps. Any increase used for a short time is usually easy to taper or just drop down again.

'Rusty muscles' is a delightful description of my arms - they are not only rusty but wrinkled!


I get a sort of ache across my right bicep - worse in the winter. I suspect it is mouse-ache combined with a draft...

Like you - I find non-pred approaches more effective although enough pred will soothe it.

Thanks so much for your replies and advice. I am loathe to up the pred as it took aaaaaaages to reduce to 10 but am relieved to hear that it probably isn't pmr (as well). Carrying grandchild in run up to/during and after Christmas could definitely have contributed plus attempting to knit... us aged grannies!!! Hey ho.

And yes, patience, winter and tlc

DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer in reply to tgca

Hopefully next Christmas you won't need to carry grandchild!! Long time to wait though to see if that was the problem!

Take care.

tgca in reply to DorsetLady

Nothing like a bit of patience eh?!


If its mouse-ache I can recommend the free software Workrave which you can individually program to give micro and macro rests when it freezes the screen and at some breaks suggests exercises .

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