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Arthritis and PMR

I have had PMR for two and a half years. I have come down fairly uneventfully from 15 to 4 mg. I have never had arthritic tendencies but in the last month or two I have developed some stiffness in the fingers and some slightly tender bony lumps. Also one on my big toe. I assume this is osteoarthritis but am wondering if there are any known links between PMR, or prednisolone, and arthritis. Incidentally I have also developed what I assume is carpal tunnel syndrome in my left wrist. Thank you all for your wisdom and advice.

6 Replies

I had arthritis in knee and shoulder before I was diagnosed with GCA. The main link is that they are both auto-immune diseases and the pain caused by inflammation. No sure there's any proven link that if you have one you will necessarily have the other - other than your own immune system peculiarities.

Sure if there is a proven link someone will advise.


Are your bony lumps Heberden's or Bouchards nodes? Heberdens appear on the finger joint nearest to the nail, Bouchards the joint nearer the hand. They are common alongside joint wear and tear as we age - although mine first appeared in my early 30s and I have no other signs of OA. Both big toe joints developed them too. Long before pred - but possibly in the early stages of unrecognised PMR.

Carpal tunnel is associated with PMR and the fact you are developing stiffness in your fingers as well makes me wonder if you have reduced your pred dose a bit too far and you are getting breakthrough symptoms.


Thanks for your reply PMRpro. We can always rely on you! They seem to be a mixture of the two! That's a good point about the carpal tunnel. I'm seeing my lovely rheumatology senior nurse (she's much better than the consultant!) on Friday so I'll discuss it with her.



I have just had x-rays and arthritis confirmed in Knees and shoulders - nothing obvious before this condition. My GP said the preds may not have helped..... I have no idea what has caused this but I knew it was a different pain to PMR.

I have been on Arcoxia as a steroid sparer and anti inflammatory - which helped. However, I was diagnosed today with a stomach ulcer, so will rely on paracetamol in future. On more meds now for my ulcer.

My fingers and toes often ache so I daresay there are arthritic changes in some of my other joints so listen to your body, you know it the best.

Best wishes

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You really shouldn't have been encourage to take Arcoxia and preds together - NSAIDs and pred are contraindicated although I know there are doctors who pooh-pooh it and say it is fine. Possibly - until you develop an ulcer.


To be fair my GP wasn't keen- hence I knew what to look for when I became increasingly poorly. My consultant insisted itceiukd help ........ he also insisted on methotrexate that didn't work out well either.

Not sure how long before my tummy will be better

Thanks for your comments always appreciated.


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