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Acute knee pain

Good Morning,

Three years in and down to 5mg normally I have very little pain.

Last week I went to the UK from France, to visit my son and family. I took things quietly and don't believe I overstretched myself.

Towards the end of the week my right knee swelled up and the pain was pretty bad. Walking was difficult and definitely needed to use my walking stick. Didn't walk any further than necessary.

Thankfully I had booked assistance on the flights otherwise don't think I could have got back.

Fortuitously I had Rdv with my rheumatologist on Monday pm. He said that it was a rheumatic problem allied to the polymyalgia and gave me an injection of cortisone into the knee. No suggestion of increasing the dose, thankfully.

Since then it has improved considerably with only mild pain if I stand or walk too far.

Should I be doing more or should I continue resting until it improves further?

I am really beginning to wonder about the diagnosis! Yes, I am often quite tired. The pain has never been really severe, apart from this knee problem and any pains I have had have always been on the right hand side not bilateral. Any pains are not helped by taking painkillers so rarely do so. There have been times in the first couple of years when walking more than 20 minutes or so was difficult.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Many thanks, Dee.

18 Replies

perhaps it was the journey, and your knee was in one position for a long time, just a thought.


Don't think so, pain came on about five days after the journey there.


Good Morning Deemar,

My only thought apart from interest in our shared knee problem ( mine untreated) is the response to Prednisalone when you were first diagnosed. If it was fairly dramatic then the chances are PMR was present. When we have multiple conditions it is hard to isolate symptoms belonging to one condition. If you do have PMR it may well be completely under control. A number of people have reported on here that their PMR symptoms are not typical. My PMR symptoms were only clearly bilateral in the very early ( untreated) days.

Was the knee injection helpful? Mine are always slightly swollen and I get sharp pain coming down stairs.


Yes, so difficult to sort things out, so many people and so many varied symptoms. Injection has been a massive help. No pain when sitting but can't put too much weight on leg when standing walking, it sometimes feels as if it may give way.


Know exactly what you mean about feeling it could give way - very disconcerting!

Knees can be very problematic - mind they do take a lot of Pounding through life! You may have done something quite innocuous to set things off, but glad to hear the injection has helped.

The advice is usually not to rest it too much, it just becomes stiff, and more painful when you actually do need to walk.

I have arthritis in both knees (left worst) and all the advice I get is walk as much as possible (not easy - like you when upright very painful).

I've got exercises from physio, Pilates teacher and internet (arthritis sites) to strengthen the leg muscles, and have to admit they have made things a bit easier in the long term, but you need to stick with them! Have also just got a sit down leg exerciser, which I try and use daily.

You can reduce swelling with cold therapy treatment, but if mine are really bad in the evening I resort the the good old fashioned hot water bottle!

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Thankyou for the reply. Will try and walk some more now. He did say that it was rheumatic as opposed to arthritic though. Will look online for muscle strengthening exercises.


Yes okay,

But I guess the exercises will be similar with the aim to increase the muscles above and below the knee.

Hope they help!


Thank you.


Steroids can cause a maybe the extra effort by the knee plus the steroids..hopefully it will settle when back to normal routine


Yes, seems like that could be it. Hopefully can now get back to normal routine.


I have found that taking Turmeric paste provides incredibly effective pain relief for my hip. A friend finds it very effective for her back and also uses it for her arthritic dog who has found a new lease of life and is dashing around like a puppy - her words!

Further details and recipe here... ...... if you are interested. Do try it - it doesn't taste as disgusting as you think it might and it can be mixed with other things, like yoghurt or banana.


Hi Deemar-

Like Sennetta, I've been recently recommended turmeric paste as well for pain-- but have not had an opportunity to try it yet. I had pretty severe knee issues at first with PMR onset (Feb/March 2017) but this has gotten better with time and attention. If knees are swollen, I use cold packs. Swelling down, I use heating pad and hot corn packs plus heat gels/lotions. I put my legs up whenever sitting too, and I've been faithfully taking anti-inflammatory supplements/herbs for a month or so -- the main ones being Curcumin (main property of turmeric which addresses inflammation), black pepper corns for body to absorb the curcumin, and Rutin. I eat anti-inflammatory fruits and veggies, with lots of ginger in everything! This is all for combatting PMR in general too --TRYING WHATEVER I CAN!!

When exercising, I'd suggest keeping the "weight bearing " to a minimum. At first I was carrying heavy loads everywhere to help strengthen bones to combat my advanced osteoporosis, but realized that I'm in a Catch 22 with PMR needs. I only do walking now with no extra weights, because knees were becoming more sore, swollen and aggravated by the heavy loads.

Regular acupuncture sessions have helped me so much with my knee pain as well. A massage therapist had recommended I stop my vigorous knee rubs (to get them to cooperate!) and see her more often for slow moving gentle massage which has helped so much. (I'm lucky to work in a massage, acupuncture and chiropractic teaching clinic so all of these are very accessible and affordable). She said to "hold knees firmly" myself when in pain, if away from the home remedies So grateful that I have these "work" mentors helping me out.

(Im also fortunate to get weekly Chiro adjustments which really helps my PMR back and neck symptoms).

I am told By GP that I have an "arthritic" left knee, but not sure what 's been egging on my right knee --possibly just the PMR

I rebel against a total gluten free diet but did read (re best anti-inflammation foods) that, If you must eat carbs, do the whole grains" --so I do, and I try to consume gluten free when possible, and will do so especially more now, in light of all these recent testimonials to the effectiveness of such a regimen.

Honestly didn't mean to get so long winded here! All the best to you as you find the most helpful ways to bring healing and ongoing maintenance for your knees!!



Hi Joanjo -

I, like you, am blasting myself with every possible appropriate nutrition, which includes negligible carbohydrate, grassfed organic meat, anti-inflammatory organic veg juice etc etc, exercise (mainly walking between 4.5 and 6 miles a day) plus assorted dietary supplements. I feel great, but get tired as I am also working. I want to start reducing the pred in a couple of weeks, if I can. Interestingly I was taking circumin oil capsules and wasn't sure if it was making any difference. I cooked up my turmeric paste and there was a difference the same day I started consuming it so I would recommend giving it a go if you are interested.



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Thank you. I am eager to try it out, especially after hearing about your good results. JJ


Weill definitely try the turmeric paste with my daily yoghurt. Thank you.


I hope it works for you Deemar and Joanjo. You might find this page an interesting read..

The cooking seems to the key which is probably why the circumin capsules weren't working for me.

Although for purchasing you might be better here...

Cold pressed organic coconut oil is readily available in leading supermarkets with the other oils but tends to be high up - not great for someone with PMR!


I thought I would leave a note because your problems sound very similar to yours. Nearly 2 years ago - after 2 years of having PMR and feeling much better (& on 5 mg of prednisone), one morning, my right knee felt very sore and I couldn't bend it properly. I waited a week or so to make an appointment with my rheumato, by then my knee was very swollen and I was given a cortisone injection (after the excess synovial liquid in the knee had been extracted). I felt so much better. I had this done again 6 weeks later then the left knee started playing up : another cortisone injection. My rheumato explained that it was very likely that my PMR had changed into RA (apparently this happens quite a lot) ... we increased the prednisone to 15 mg again. The blood test was negative for RA but the liquid was sent to a lab and it showed an inflammation which could only be linked to RA. The prednisone kept the knees in control for a while but on the advice of my rheumato I started taking methotrexate 4 months later - she was worried that I had been on steroids for too long & should not continue. This was 18 months ago and - touch wood - since then I've had no real problems with my knees and I'm now down to 1 mg of prednisone. I've been going to the physio to strengthen the muscle in my knees and walk as much as I can.


Thank you for this. It does sound very similar so will keep it in mind. Only a week in after the injection but still can't walk very far without knee becoming painful . Think I'm in a wait and see situation for another week or so.


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