Intermittent shoulder, calf pains.: Hello everybody... - PMRGCAuk

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Intermittent shoulder, calf pains.


Hello everybody, I hope this finds most of you doing well! I would like to ask a question of suffered who have been afflicted longer than I have, about a year now, with winter coming on, here on the west coast of the U.S. I am suffering from some shoulder and calf, pains! I am on 5mg's of Pred, which seems to holding me steady, but I am wondering if it could be a minor flare?

I have not contacted my doctor, due to this, as wonder with weather getting colder could be the cause of these, ( not severe ) pains, but niggly, a rub with Ben Gay an anelgesic pain cream here in the U.S. seams to help.

Any advice would be welcomed

Good luck to all!

Kentishgirl Girl

12 Replies

The fact you're getting the pain in your shoulders as well as your calves makes me wonder if you are indeed in need of a bit more pred. But before you do that, why not try either taking a magnesium supplement or, if you're like me and don't tolerate the capsules well, a nice long soak in a bath with Epsom salts. There is also a form of magnesium you can buy which you rub into the skin. You could find that simply doing this, plus staying nice and warm, eases the problem. Also, are you sure your vitamin D level is good?


I agree with Heron - it is a question that must be asked, ar eyou on enough pred?

Is it both shoulders? And what are the calf pains like? Do they start with activity and go when you stop only to return when you restart the activity? And is it calf or more the back of your ankle?


Ah, Aspercreme. My new body lotion.

I find it helps with stiffness and with the aches I get in the "good" places" when I'm compensating for the "bad" places

But what I have now is not pain, really. It's minor aches and "tightness".

Hi Good Grief, yes your kinda like me, I have not tried Aspercreme, I do have a shelf full of such creams, my Pneurologist, suggested a cream called Bio Freeze, it does work well, I switch off one for another, thinking the body may get used to one, used long term?

Thank's for info, Stay Carm, And Carry On!


Hi Kentish Girl,

I consider my shoulder pain to be my personal “canary in the coal mine”. When my shoulders begin to ache, it’s indicative of either a precipitated flare (too much activity) or a real flare, (too low on prednisone). Therefore, after using the earlier mentioned biofreeze, etc., if the pain continues and/or increases, then I increase my prednisone a couple of mg for a week or so...then resume my measured taper.

I’ve been diagnosed with PMR for 4+ years, and am nearing the extinguish of the disorder. (I hope). That being said..., I remain cautious about the appearance of old pain syndrome, and treat it mindfully.

My difficulty with calf pain is managed with magnesium and potassium supplements, via daily quality vitamin mineral supplements and frequent use of sports-type drinks, which help balance electrolytes, including potassium. When I began to pay attention to my fluid consumption, it became obvious that I dont drink enough liquids! Therefore, using the sports drinks has really been helpful... just sayin’.........

Kind regards, Jerri

Hi! Jerri, thank you for your insight, I hope you can come off your meds and get this millstone from around your neck!

I too, take supplements, which include magnessium, bone health capsules, D3, and I drink four cups a day, of Greek Mountain Tea, which is high in anti oxidants and anti inflamatories, which I firmly believe have helped me to fight these little buggers.

Right now, my problem is very mild, pains are low, just iritating!, my husband has urged me to go up one milligram of pred, to test the waters, so to speak? as the weather is now turning colder, (snow last night in places locally ) I will watch my progress, if I find the cold increases the pain, I will try home remedies first, but if that doesn't work, then I will take the advice of many, who like you suggest it is a flare!

Thank you so much for your advice, good luck with your own problem,



I have had similar aches/pains on and off tapering from 20-9/8.5 over the last 10 months. I have found a hot shower or a heating pad, to be quite helpful. Counter intuitively I have mild exercise seems to help. I've found keeping up with my qigong exercises (see set 1) has helped me feel better. At first I stopped doing them when things hurt. That seemed to make the worse. Now I do them, slowly, mindfully, and avoid anything that causes pain. It took me a while to be able to tell the difference between a stretch or movement that was helpful and one that might be hurtful, but for now I seem to be on the right track. Even when I made a mistake, the hurt has resolved in a day or two.

I am anything but very disciplined about exercise. But these I follow faithfully, including the self massage and slapping (yeah, don't laugh, I know that sounds weird). After almost every movement there is some self massage or slapping or rubbing. I think those things are really helpful. Don't understand the biology, but it helps so I do it. Some days I seem to spend more time rubbing and slapping than doing anything else.

That being said, I know that at anytime things could go up in smoke. I'm from south of San Francisco, CA. We've just had one cool day so far. Even today. It looked cool, grey and a bit misty, but was actually warm. I know this year I will not stint on heat.

Kentishgirl in reply to Hindags

Thank you Hindags, Like you, I find some exercises helpful, and some not, I walk everyday, just to get out is a joy, so it does a lot for my inner self, and that makes me feel better, this is a burden we, and only we, know what it is like! it is hard to explain what these two, or even one of them, does to one's body, mind, and we'll being!.

That is why, this site is so important, folks like yourself, and the myriad of experiences, that the group as a whole brings to the table, is so comforting, I am so glad for all the pals out there,who share their experiences! nothing compares to experience, when it comes to the need to reach out for help,

Thank You


I get the slapping! My 87 year old Tai Chi Quigong teacher has the class doing that! I feel calmer, happier, less edgy after class. I also have a trainer for light weights. I have osteoporosis in addition to PMR so we work on balance and strength.

Down to 15 mg Pred for 2nd week but since this decrease stiffness is slightly worse when I wake up. Yesterday I could barely do leg extensions because I had pain down the side of one leg.

Consider Tumeric tablets. I take 1000 mg twice a day.

I’ve was diagnosed about 6 years ago. I live on East Coast and humidity a horror.

You should see your doc! Your sediment rate may be high which indicates inflammation. Sounds like you might have to up your pred for awhile.

You should always keep up with doc! If your doc is not a rheumatologist, I would find one immediately! Good luck!🤞

Thank you Ava, I do have a Rheummy, he is very good/strict I am calling his office tomorow, and follow his advice, I sympathies with you, suffering the humidity😕

Good luck


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