Painful spasms in forearms: Is it common to off and... - PMRGCAuk

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Painful spasms in forearms


Is it common to off and on have throbbing pain in forearms? It eventually radiates into hands and fingers. I constantly fight myself from thinking I'm becoming a hypochondriac! I know I'm a very level headed person but now I doubt myself because I can't believe the all encompassing totality of this disease. Bad day I guess😢

8 Replies

It's not in your head.

This thing seems to get everywhere, and where it doesn't actually get may start aching anyway because you're trying to compensate for where it is.

It may not work for you, but I found alternating hot and cold packs helped my hands, wrists and ankles when I was havng troubles in those areas. I also found that although it hurt, gently and slowly flexing and stretching helped a lot.

I do hope you find some relief soon.

I think that the nature of this disease makes you doubt yourself. I found that I had a tendency to moan a lot ( out of fear and lost confidence in my body) mostly to my husband. I would sometimes hear him whistling not long afterwards, so I don't think it got him down at all.

Your forearm and hand pain does sound like the kind of misery PMR would dish up. However we do have weakened muscles from steroid use, so are you doing anything repetitive that could be causing this specific pain? Like keyboard work.

This disease does seem to swallow you up - distraction is very good. I am a serial reader - always a book on the go - but this can cause pain and awful eye strain, so I need to chop and change what I do. Walking helps me, even if I really, really don't want to go.

How long have you had PMR? What dose of Prednisalone are you on? Have you mentioned this pain to your doctor?

I think Carpal Tunnel syndrome can be associated with PMR symptoms, not sure how it presents.

Have you read Kate Gilbert's book on PMR ? Available on Amazon.It is helpful to learn as much as you can about this condition, you will be stuck with it for a while.

This is a good place to let off steam and ask questions.

Could be tendonitis for the same reasons said already about Pred and repetitive over use. If the tendons are not happy near the elbow at the top end of your forearm, it can radiate all the way down; I've had it. Is it tender up there, especially when you wiggle your fingers or grip? Have you had any antibiotics recently?

Pain in my forearms was the first place I had PMR Pain way before getting diagnosed.

It stopped me doing many household tasks and came back recently during a flare.

You're not imagining it.


Have you been using your hands a lot? Makes it worse.

I developed what I thought was RSI - afecting the tendons in my forearms from the outside of my elbow to the inside of my wrist. Wasn't RSI, it was PMR. Also caused synovitis and tendonitis in various fingers - pains like being stabbed if I moved a digit the wrong way. Comes back occasionally as one of the earlier signs of a flare. I ignore it at my peril.

For me, yes, forearm pain/weakness is definitely PMR related. Before diagnosis, in addition to the more typical neck and bilateral shoulder pain and immobility, I had left wrist and forearm pain and weakness (untouched by pain med or exercises). The weakness was so bad and so persistent that I was worried about developing contractures in my hand. At diagnosis (ten months later) I was assured that pain below the elbows, especially unilateral, couldn't possibly be PMR related. Fast forward to present: the left wrist pain went away with the PMR pains, is definitely Pred responsive, and, in fact, is my most reliable indicator of how a taper is going. I just don't mention it to my Rheumy anymore, cuz he doesn't get it. Good luck on your journey.

in reply to cctraveler

I wish they would listen to patients - the numbers of us who have things that they insist "CAN'T" be PMR is very telling.

in reply to cctraveler


Your comment that you don't mention it to your rheumy anymore because he doesn't "get it" is soo true!!!! (always feel kinda like - unless you have walked a mile in my shoes) Isn't it a sad commentary for what we endure? At least we have each other to validate what we know to be true. I love my Dr but find her ability to really understand it is a lesson in futility. Part of the problem is the brochures and published medical articles describe PMR as "stiffness in the morning" and resolving during the day. So how can anyone take the condition very seriously? Hardly touches the misery most of us live with! This whole condition needs so much more recognition for what it really is! Otherwise how are we ever to be understood by the medical community or friends and family? Sorry to rattle on😟

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