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Frozen shoulder or pmr

I have had neck,Shoulder and arm pain since Christmas.had mri and saw rheumatologist last week.

She diagnosed frozen shoulder. I was hoping she was right but now I am not so sure.

She gave me a steroid injection which should last three months.

It lasted two days before the pain was back the same as before

The injection contained 40mg of methylprednisone acetate.

Does anyone have any experience of this.

First day wasgreat....i was back to my old self....nit grumpy with everyone cos I was in pain. Actually able to put on a jacket without pain. I didn't overdo it cos had to rest shoulder for 24 hours as directed and I stuck to that.

Next day I was out all day. But nothing strenuous. Next dayboom....it was back with a vengeance.i thought maybe it was sue to day out but three days later pain is back to how it was before.

9 Replies

Hi - I had what medical people said was a frozen shoulder before diagnosis with PMR six months later. I had an injection in my shoulder which pumped in water and this didnt give me relief. I had to cancel a holiday as I was in so much pain with my shoulder, I couldn't lift it up above waist height, not able to put on a jacket and my back was bad too.

Anyway when I was diagnosed with PMR I went on to 15mg Pred (now on 3mg 2 years later) and the pain went overnight This makes me think that I never had frozen shoulder at all as the pain went and has not returned. I went through so much pain with my shoulder, it was agony for many months.

Every case is different I know but I can only tell you my experience.

I hope you feel better soon as I know that shoulder pain was terrible.


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I just noticed the injection I had, had prednisone in it so maybe that could explain the short-lived relief that I had.

I cancelled my holiday this year too because of shoulder pain.

I will go see gp and see what happens from there.


Thanks interesting about the pred in injection. I must say my symptoms were like frozen shoulder regarding pain and lack of movement so I can understand the diagnosis but yes it is worth discussing with your GP to save months of treatment and physio.

I really thought I had frozen shoulder and went through that injection in hospital, loads of exercises but now I dont think I had it at all!

I hope you get good advice and that the pain subsides.



"She gave me a steroid injection which should last three months."

Well really? It MIGHT, if you are lucky and she got it in the right place and you have what she thinks. Or it might just work as long as the local anaesthetic that is injected with the steroid is working. Which is what it sounds like has happened for you.

All steroid injections are methyl prednisolone as that is the soluble form but it is exactly the same in effect as prednisone and prednisolone, just injected.

It is quite common for PMR to present like frozen shoulder and is isn't unusual for one shoulder to start before the other. Your response to the injection suggests to me that it is more likely you have PMR than frozen shoulder. A trial of oral pred at a sensible dose (15-20mg) might help shed some light on things.



Think you need further investigation.

I was treated for a frozen shoulder for the best part of 18 months (including physio and 3 injections which did nothing) unfortunately it wasn't, and despite other factors, head pains, fatigue etc no other diagnosis was considered.

I was eventually diagnosed with GCA after I lost sight in one eye. I know my case is extreme, but it would appear that unfortunately some doctors are still getting it wrong!

I knew nothing about PMR or GCA at the time - you are aware, so badger until you get a more realistic diagnosis.

Good luck.


Hi there I too was diagnosed as having frozen shoulder on one side and something "catchng" in the other - with possible carpal tunnel in both wrists. Fortunately, an eye test followed by referral to eye consultant led to diagnosis of GCA and PMR. High dose of pred led to immediate relief of all pains. Talk to GP and tell him/her you suspect PMR. Good Luck xxx

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Gp initially suggested pmr months ago but then changed his mind after seeing x-ray results.

But blood results didn't show one so he wanted mri to see if it was arthritis in neck


I am curious, fibrosandie, if your pain is continual, or if it varies throughout the day. I ask because I had pain/weakness/immobility in varying degrees for about ten months before PMR diagnosis, and had been approaching it as a musculoskeletal problem since I had no other frame of reference. What never made sense was all of this occurred from about 3 to 4 am to midday, and then no matter what I did, nor how well I felt by bedtime (sometimes even pain free), the cycle started all over that night.

When I was referred to a physical therapist, with no improvement over several visits, it was she who first suggested PMR, with a referral to a rheumatologist. She is my hero. I had never heard of PMR, but started learning everything I could at once. With blood tests high for inflammatory markers, and that first "miracle" dose of Prednisone, the diagnosis seemed clear. My saga continues.

Best of luck to you. I'm glad you found this forum.


Hi cctraveller

My pain gets worse about 3am. I have constant pain but worse if I am try to use that arm. And gradually gets worse during the day. Evenings are bad pain wise.

I am currently taking 500mg x 2 co codamol x4 times a day and still in pain. Which is what was taking before the injection. So it clearly hasn't worked.


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