I was diagnosed with PMR on March 13, 2017. I did 2weeks at 20 mg prednisone, felt like a new person, but worried about side effects and what the prednisone is masking, i.e. Too confident and not careful enough in pushing my body to the physical limits. DEXA scan shortly after revealed that I have advanced osteoporosis. Wanting to taper prednisone more quickly than rheumatologist recommended, at week 3 (15mg pred), I consulted with an acupuncturist/herbalist, who has been giving me 3-4 acupuncture treatments per week and am on a regular regimen of pain and anti-sweating herbs. I self-tapered prednisone down to 6mg within a week 's time after that initial consultation, but couldn't manage the pain that returned, even with huge, frequent herb doses. Acupuncture took care of bulk of gnawing pains for about 24 hours following each visit.
My question: if Chinese medicine is only addressing the pain through acup and herbs, where does that leave the inflammation getting addressed? Prednisone seems to make the actual inflammation go down. I have been staying away from caffeine, sugar and alcohol, and eating super healthy "anti-inflammatory " foods and supplements. Is this enough?
Also, when is someone in a "flare" versus just experiencing ongoing symptoms, like difficulty walking after sitting in a chair etc? Would that returning horrible pain at 6 mg prednisone be a "flare" ? Did I screw up my chances for healing because I self-tapered too quickly? And flared?
BTW, I am now taking 11mg prednisone-- since my 6mg "crash"--and this seems to be a stable dose for now --keeping the bulk of pain at bay.
My rheumatologist wanted me back on 20 mg for 2 weeks, then 15 for 2 weeks (basically to start the whole thing over) because of my returning pain, but I resist doing that to my body if not necessary. 11mgs gets me through the day. If someone out there had insights to help, please write! Thanks for listening.