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Pain in hands

Hi guys,

I am into my 7th year with PMR. I still read all the posts that come in and the great advice that is giving to help everyone.

I am at the stage where for 90 days I was on 2.9mg and reduced down for a further 90 days on 2.7mg. Throughout having PMR I have always had problems with my hands. The specialist has sorted my trigger fingers and carpel tunnel problem. But, he did tell me the pain I still get in my hands is not due to either of the problems I had. Also, I've have been tested for arthritis and it's not that either. So the question I need to ask is, can I take anti inflammatory now that I am at such a low dose of pred?

Best regards, Buenavista

10 Replies

Does it help? If so, ask your doctor if they approve of NSAIDs and pred, some do, some don't. I have hand pain - but I'm sure it is part of the PMR. It comes and goes and definitely reappears as I'm reducing the dose but if I ignore it it does go away again eventually. Suppose I'm lucky there!


My doctor has always said, not to be in pain and to take a liquid anti inflammatory. I would only want to take it for a short period. Do you guys think there is a problem taking it?


NSAIDs and pred can each cause gastric irritation, both together increases the risk and generally it is advised they shouldn't be used together on a regular basis. Some doctors are happy about it, others aren't. One lady ended up in A&E/ER after just 3 doses of ibuprofen, no pred - standard though, not liquid.


Buenavista, some time ago a lady who posts on another PMR/GCA forum was experiencing hand pain and she found that soaking her hands in a wax bath proved very helpful. I have found the following link which might provide more information:

As far as taking Ibuprofen is concerned whilst at low doses of Pred, I agree with PMRpro, best to get your doctor's advice, especially as it could mean you taking it on quite a long-term basis if, as your GP feels, the pain isn't PMR-related. I feel that is questionable, as my thumb joints in particular often were the first indication that my inflammation was about to flare. Be careful with the Ibuprofen if you do take it long term - it damaged my kidney function. Good luck with your continuing Pred reductions.


Thanks Celtic,

I'll look on that link. How I get relief at the moment, is by soaking my hands in very hot water first thing. It does tend to relieve them so I can get through the day. But when I finish work, then they stiffen up and become painful again.

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I also experienced very painful hands after being diagnosed. Numb and tingly....I was in so much pain at the beginning that I took 4 advil everyday for a few days! ......rheumi referred me to physical therapist at my request...and she had me do a contrast bath. 2 pans of water (or my double sink worked) one cold and one warm. You always start and end with the cold. Soak for a few minutes while opening and closing your hands slowly...then switch to the the same. Do this several times. I found it very helpful. I thought it was carpal tunnel, but it has gotten so much better with time..I now think it has everything to do with the PMR. I think you can look up contrast bath on YouTube. Hope it helps!


Thanks for your reply.

What dosage of pred were you on when you had a reduction of pain?

Best regards,



I think about the time I went to 10 it started to get better....I am still at 10 going down to 9 at the beginning of May. I'm anxious to see if anything changes. I couldn't even close my fist when this started. It didn't start at the very beginning, but a few weeks into the diagnosis....which made me wonder if the pred had something to do with it....but that really didn't make sense to me. I still have slight tingling, but no pain and my hand is functioning just fine. The tingling is also just in the three fingers that often are diagnosed as carpal tunnel. Not the ring and little finger. And only my right hand, although both hands are a little sore sometimes.

As many have said here before, the same amount of pred you are on can vary from person to person. Even though we are both on, say, our bodies metabolize the drug can be quite different.

So basically, I am in my 5th month.....2 rheumi appts, and one repeat blood test where my numbers were all normal after being sky high at the beginning. Hope you get some relief soon!


This is only a guess but I have hand thumb and arm pain and I've also had trigger finger which I had surgically fixed years ago. Not that that had anything to do with the pain I have now. But I assumed my problem was carpal tunnel so I had the nerve conduction done which only shows a borderline CT. Wearing a wrist guard only proved painful to my thumb oddly enough so at my rheumatologist suggestion I got a thumb support and found that as long as I wear it my pain is gone. So then I'm talking to a chronic pain friends who has a similar problem and she tells me she has something that relates back to her trigger finger. So I look it up. It's called DeQuervain. The.mayo clinic description says nothing about trigger finger but non the less it fit my description. So I plan to bring it up at my ortho appt next week.

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I completely forgot to mention (happens a lot lately😂) that I tried a wrist really didn't help, but I went to the drug store and bought a $17 thumb! That helped a lot. I wore it to bed every night and now don't need it. I keep it handy, though!


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